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Burn Your Anger
From time immemorial, there has been a quest for coping with anger. The ancient Chinese believed that “if you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred years of sorrow? In the following article, Dr. H. K. CHOPRA, Coordinator and Senior Consultant Cardiologist at New Delhi’s prestigious Moolchand Hospital and Director of the Heart Care Foundation of India, provides a modern perspective on anger management and control.

Anger is defined as a negative physical, mental, emotional, psychological and environmental response to any negative stressful situation.

Represented by When transformed
A Agitation Agility
N Negativity Nobility
G Grief Gratitude
E Enmity
Efficiency and Excellence
R Revenge Respect

If not managed well, anger may prove disastrous and fatal not only for an individual, but also for a family, community, society or nation resulting in conflict in personal and professional relationships, which ultimately leads to health problems such as heart attack, blood pressure, stroke or paralysis, palpitation, restlessness, sleeplessness and also affects relationships.

Managing anger is therefore necessary for optimum health. Perfect mindset (focus) helps maintain perfect health and an imperfect mindset (confusion) causes anger and disease.
Anger can be classified into two categories, righteous and unjustified.

Righteous anger
This form of anger is not long lasting. It is superficial and does not change one’s biochemistry. It is positive and creative. For example, parents and teachers need to have righteous anger at times for children to maintain discipline. Similarly, an employee may have righteous anger with another employee in the organisation to enhance productivity.

There is a good example cited in a scripture published by the Ramkrishna Mission. There was a poisonous snake that used to bite innocent people causing their death. One day the Lord appeared and gave the snake a divine mantra not to bite anybody. Some days later, a group of mischievous boys tried to kill the snake. The snake managed to escape, and thereafter started coming out in search of food only during the night. A year later the Lord appeared again. He was shocked to see the pitiful condition of the snake. When asked, the snake replied, “I have not bitten anybody for the last one year and I come out only at night to eat fallen fruits and leaves.?The Lord said, “I told you not to bite but I never told you not to hiss!?In order to survive, we have to show our anger at times, but in a controlled manner.

Unjustified anger
This is long-lasting anger, which changes the biochemistry, always has a selfish motive, an egoistic mind and an object referral. It is a bigger disaster than an earthquake, a lot more destructive than fire; it spreads like fire and creates a chain reaction.

For example, when a boss is angry with a subordinate, the subordinate becomes angry with his spouse and the spouse passes on the anger to the maid and the maid gets angry with the children and the children in turn get angry with a street dog. It is a chain reaction.

Let us consider two case studies.

Case I:
Vivek Khanna, 51 years old, an exporter by profession, received an order to export garments worth $40 million to the U.S. in 1996. His employees worked continuously, for almost 22 hours a day, to meet the deadline. It was apparent that he would not be able to ship the consignment as the employees could not meet the deadline. The order was cancelled. The same day he summoned all the managers and fired them. While he was doing so, he suddenly suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed. The intense fit of anger brought on the attack.

This disaster could have been prevented by proper time-management, by self-management and by delegating responsibilities. Khanna could have easily sub-contracted the work. The causes of the fit of anger in this case are loss of business, non-fulfilment of greed, non-sharing of business with others and selfishness.

Case II:
A Russian couple decided to keep the romance in their life alive by devising a strategy that on his return from office, the wife would receive her husband at the main gate, that they would sit together and talk over a cup of tea. The strategy worked for two years. One day, the husband lost his job. When he returned home, he saw his wife waiting at the gate as usual. He did not even look at her. As he got out of the car, the wife asked, “What’s the matter? What is wrong with you??The husband, being irritated and angry, snapped back at her telling her to keep her mouth shut. The wife was stunned. She vowed that she would not speak to her husband any more. This continued for the next 40 years. The husband subsequently developed cancer of the food pipe and begged continuously for forgiveness so that he could die in peace. But the wife felt helpless ?words just couldn’t come out of her lips!

Burn your anger before it burns you. As Lord Krishna said in the Gita: “Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment and Ego are the five gates to hell.?p> Useful tips for anger management
v Avoid haste; it is the most common predisposing factor for anger.
v Avoid provocative conversations.
v Never be in a hurry.
v Manage your time and manage your self.
v Go for your work quietly, lovingly and gently.
v Keep your mouth shut and lips sealed whenever you start feeling angry.
v Drink a glass of water when you start feeling angry.
v Change the subject of discussion if it is anger-provoking.
v Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes.
v Meditate daily for 20 minutes in the morning and evening.
v Hate no one and love everyone.

As the saying goes: “The path of love is the path of enlightenment, the path of anger is the path of misery and hell.?/font>

This article appeared in the January 2003 issue of Longevity and Health, published by the Central News Agency Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, and is reproduced here with the Author’s permission. The cases referred to are actual case studies of Dr. Chopra’s patients.

Edited by Nariman Bacha
Personnel & Administration



On their way to a Justice of the Peace to get married, a couple had a fatal car accident. The couple found themselves sitting outside Heaven’s Gate waiting on St. Peter to do an intake. While waiting, they wondered if they could possibly get married in Heaven. St. Peter finally showed up and they asked him. St. Peter said, “I don’t know, this is the first time anyone has asked. Let me go find out.?And he left.

The couple sat and waited for an answer ?for a couple of months ?and they began to wonder if they really should get married in Heaven, what with the eternal aspect of it all. “What if it doesn’t work??they wondered, “are we stuck together forever??/font>

St. Peter returned after yet another month, looking somewhat bedraggled. “Yes,?he informed the couple, “you can get married in Heaven.?/font>

“Great,?said the couple, “but what if things don’t work out? Could we also get a divorce in Heaven??/font>

St. Peter, red-faced, slammed his clipboard onto the ground.

“What’s wrong??asked the frightened couple.

“Come on!?St. Peter shouted, “it took me three months to find a priest up here! Do you have any idea how long it will take me to find a lawyer??/font>

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