The Mahabharata has inspired many people to lead a better life, to achieve excellence and to manage difficult situations. The epic has a good mix of philosophy, spirituality and practicality. In this article, I would like to quote the example of two characters from the epic – Bhima and Krishna.

Bhima, as we know, was a powerful warrior; he was well built and had strength equal to that of a hundred elephants. On the flipside, he was impatient often getting angry very easily. In fact, his answer to most of the problems was the use of power. He was the kind of person who got angry at the drop of a hat. He would confront people aggressively, doubling his problems, never finding himself at peace. This would invariably cause a lot of concern and embarrassment both for himself and his brothers.

On the other hand, Krishna was pleasing, friendly and positive and managed most situations with patience and understanding. He rarely got angry and would remain calm even under extreme pressure. He focused on the problem, not people, and more often than not, he found solutions to suit his needs. By dealing with different situations and different people in different ways, he could find innovative solutions most of the time. His approach earned him respect even with his enemies and it was difficult for anyone to hate him. Bhima was the one who could not control his anger, Krishna on the contrary, could not only control his emotions but also had the ability to diffuse others’ anger and calm them down.

Let’s look at it hypothetically. Imagine that you are travelling in a train and suddenly you are stopped from travelling in the particular compartment as it was reserved for ‘Whites only’.
You produce a ticket, showing that you have paid the full fare and have the right to travel in it. But the ticket collector refuses to listen. At the next station, you are forced out of the train and your luggage thrown out as well. How would you react?

If you were to use Bhima’s style, then quite naturally, you would get angry, shout and may also use foul language. You may also throw things around, create a scene and try to gather
support for yourself.

But, if you were to use Krishna’s approach then you would get up, gather your things and start walking out of the station. Not really reacting but surely assuring yourself that this was unfair and
that you would fight this discriminatory at the right time and in the right place. Yes, exactly like the way Mahatma Gandhi had done when he had faced a similar situation in South Africa.

Well, Krishna was a super being and therefore he was able to succeed in everything that he did. Can mere mortals like you and me control our anger and achieve success? The answer is yes, although there is no one quick-fix technique to it. Instead, you may have to learn a host of techniques and use them as and when the need arises.

When someone gets angry, his decision-making abilities begin to drop to the lowest point. Thus we hear angry people make rude and unreasonable remarks like – ‘You are stupid’ ‘I cannot tolerate you anymore’, ‘I want to leave this company’ and so on.

However, when the anger level drops, our decision-making ability begins to rise again. People begin to think rationally and feel sorry about their behaviour realizing that they have hurt someone in their fury and make amends for it. And most never carry out the threats they had made in anger.

So, talk less when you’re angry because you may say things which you really don’t mean but people will inevitably remember only those words and feel disappointed. On the other hand, when you encounter an angry person, try to give the person a benefit of doubt for all the accusations made by him because you know the statements are arising due to low decision-making level. This way you will be able to control your anger and calm the other person down by allowing him to vent.

Become aware of symptoms of anger. When you are getting angry, notice a change in your body and mind, your vocabulary, the tone of your voice, tightening in the face or neck muscles and increase in your pace of breathing.

Get into action straight away and ensure that your anger level gets under control at this point itself. Relax yourself, concentrate on your breathing and normalize it. Make sure that you relax your neck muscles and fingers. Tell yourself that you will not let the situation go out of hand. Stay in control.

Ask yourself whether you really are in a frame of mind to confront the person who is the cause of your anger. Are you sure that you will be able to focus on the issue and not make unreasonable attacks on the person? Only if you are hundred percent confident then talk to the person, else postpone the situation until you get into the right frame of mind for a discussion. This approach will help you to stay focused and solve problems without an outburst.

Slowing down your response and becoming a better listener will help you in becoming a more peaceful person. It takes away the pressure from you. Listening shows caring and moulds you into a patient person. So, encourage the people to talk, do not interrupt them, pay attention while they talk, show that you understand and respect the person. Better listening will also enhance the quality of your relationships.

The proverb – ‘Sometimes the best action is no action’ can be a boon for an angry mind. When you are angry with someone make an attempt to ask questions to find out the reason behind a person’s behavior. This approach will help you to understand the other person’s point of view. Remember not to interrupt the person while he is speaking. Keep quiet and listen to his side of the story. Ask reflective questions and prompt him to speak more. The more information you gather, the better your response gets.

In conclusion, recognize that anger is an emotion, if you fail to control it, anger will control you. In other words, either you can make anger your slave and use it when ever needed, else, become a slave of your anger and allow it to rule you. It’s really your choice.

Author's Bio: 

Rahul Kapoor, India's leading motivational speaker, mentor, inspirational author incorporates valuable content for business and personal growth with practical and implementable tools. Rahul is known as a 'live wire' in delivering highly memorable, inspirational programs to individuals, teams and organizations.

His customized content, which is a combination of Psychology, Science and Spirituality, is delivered to hundreds of prominent organizations, including many Fortune 500 companies. Over the last 20 years, his programs have inspired over 3,00,000 people across 15 countries like Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE & USA resulting in increased sales revenue, superior customer service and operational excellence. His largest single audience to date is 10,000 participants.