The Buddhist approach to dealing with anger or temper:
Engage in maitri and give ourselves a break.
Don’t harm anyone, or act it out. Acknowledge it, but don’t indulge in it. Befriend it, don’t suppress it, but don’t take it out on others.
Breathe deeply into that temper. Use Tonglen meditation to directly engage with that heat and transform it into love or empathy. Visit a Shambhala center or find a meditation instructor.
Meditation daily is one of the most helpful things because it reminds us to take our story-lines or ourselves so seriously that we buy into them and create wars over them.
Be genuine instead of perfect. Deal with the tough stuff as we are.
Take care of ourselves: take a deep breath, look up at the sky for a second and do nothing, look at the leaves on a tree, drink some water. If you find yourself having habits that aren’t good for yourself, stomp on them. Do some exercise that you enjoy the hell out of. Get that adrenaline out, get that feeling out.
Use the six points of mindful speech.
“Actually, my life is not that bad. Other people have it really hard. Let me think about other people. Let me serve other people.” Helping other people when we’re having a hard time is one of the most transformative ways to 1. feel better and 2. actually be helpful to others.
You have to be in the fire of compassion, of service, of anger, of all this difficulty in order to be helpful to this world. You can’t just escape.
When you lose your mind, come back to the present moment.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman