Tag Archives: Dalai Lama

Is anger controlling you?

Fred was a successful professional sportsman in his younger days. His life began to fall apart some years ago with his anger tantrums leading to an acrimonious divorce and financial disaster. Later his children and remaining friends refused to deal with him any longer. He lives today in a shelter for the homeless in melancholy sadness over the life that was and is no more.

I could go on and on about stories of people whose lives have been torn apart by anger issues.

Negative emotions such as anger have become pervasive with a poll taken just prior to the recent American elections showing that nearly 80 percent of people felt particularly angry about the pandemic and the economic situation.

We are all susceptible to an occasional outburst of anger but when you or a family member fall into a temper tantrum over seemingly small matters by throwing things, and becoming physically abusive professional help should be sought for what is described as “intermittent explosive disorder. The root cause could be anything from a childhood trauma to substance abuse.

The more common anger is an undercurrent of irritability and negativity that will rapidly reduce your vibrational energy, and inevitably turn you into a person people don’t like to be around with. You will lose friends, relationships and risk your job and business ventures.

Negative and compassionate anger

The Dalai Lama points out the difference between uncontrolled and compassionate anger which he describes as anger that “helps us repel forces that are detrimental to our survival and well-being.”

“In some situations strong compassion may give rise to an equally strong sense of outrage—that is anger about an injustice.  Again, feeling angry can, in the short term, make our minds more focused and give us an extra burst of energy and determination.”

This is the “holy anger” that Jesus demonstrated in turning over the tables of the money-changers in the temple of Jerusalem with the words: “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” It is not relevant whether the incident happened historically.

The message Jesus communicated was the importance of standing guard at the doorway to your soul. What books, newscasts and social media are you feeding your mind with? What associations are making you or have made you into the person you are?

Negative feelings only become destructive when the “intensity is disproportionate to the situation in which they arise.” according to the Dalai Lama.

Are you or your emotions in control?

The problem arises particularly when emotions such as anger start controlling your life. “No one intentionally creates problems, but we tend to be slaves to powerful emotions like anger, hatred and attachment that are based on misconceived projections about people and things,” the Dalai Lama teaches.

We probably have the least understanding of ourselves. When we have uncomfortable feelings and emotions we turn to blaming external circumstances and others. It is the reason why so many relationships go sour. If we expect a partner to fill an inner void, it will inevitably result in disappointment because no other person should be given the responsibility of “making us happy.” Likewise we should not have the expectation that politicians or other professional deceivers are responsible for our happiness.

Beyond the anger lies fear

You don’t have control over unexpected external events such as a pandemic but you can choose how you react. In going deeper into anger there are the emotions of fear and anxiety. When analyzing any situation there are always different perspectives. In the bigger picture all has meaning. If you are experiencing a difficult situation tell yourself: “This too shall pass.” Impermanence is a fact of life. Sometimes we just have to surrender to a given situation and ride out the storm.

Shifting into a positive mindset

If you are having feelings of fear and anxiety it helps to name those feelings. Be truthful to yourself. Write down the feelings in a journal. Before you can transmute the demons you have to name them. Replace the word “Fear” with the word “Trust”. Replace the word “Anger” with the word “Compassion”.

In studying yourself you will become more aware of typical emotional reactions that stand in your way. Anger directed at a stranger is often anger toward the self and the hurt inner child. Emotional shifting is a powerful tool in moving from a negative into a positive mindset. Be mindful and caring of your inner child that is in need of attention.

A negative mindset might be programed by over-consumption of negative news media. Flip the channel to a comedy or a funny video. For me one of the most powerful shifters is taking time out walking. Nature is one of the most powerful healers. When you open the senses to the sights, sounds and smells of nature, your body and mind will start relaxing and falling into alignment. A solution to your problem will come almost naturally as you open yourself to the whispers of the universe.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. Also check out the recent reviews of my book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

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Happiness is where you live

What makes people or nations happier than others? The World Happiness Index released last month  lists Denmark as the world happiest country followed by Norway and Switzerland.

All these European countries are very affluent by world standards. But why are other wealthy countries like the United States  not right up there among the leading “happy nations.”

What stands out in Denmark, Norway and Switzerland is their excellent health care and education system which are regarded as a basic human right. This is sustainable development. The people, especially mothers, families and children, are seen as the most important asset, literally the golden gateway to the future.

The Happiness Report lists six other key variables that explains three-quarters of the variation in annual national average scores over time and among countries. These six factors include:

  • real GDP per capita
  • healthy life expectancy
  • someone to count on
  • perceived freedom to make life choices
  • freedom from corruption and generosity.

Another key aspect mentioned in the report is mental health:

“Some studies show mental health to be the single most important determinant of whether a person is happy or not. Yet, even in rich countries, less than a third of mentally ill people are in treatment. Good, cost-effective treatments exist for depression, anxiety disorders and psychosis, and the happiness of the world would be greatly increased if they were more widely available.”

The report goes on to say that “happy people live longer, are more productive, earn more, and are also better citizens. Well-being should be developed both for its own sake and for its side-effects.”

One other aspect needs to be noted in these “happy nations” . Corruption and crime is extremely low by international standards. All the countries renowned for their corruption and crime, sadly including my own home country South Africa, are pretty much down at the bottom of the list.

If a government cannot protect its own people from being mugged, raped or robbed, it is on a fast downward spiral. The best talents in a country are bound to emigrate to those countries where they feel safe, can live their full potential and be happy.

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Some would argue that happiness is all a state of mind, wherever you live. That, I think, is too simplistic and approach. What I read from the Happiness Report is that you need some decisive preconditions that only good governance can provide:

  • You need enough material resources to provide for basic needs
  • The opportunity to live a long and healthy life with your loved ones.
  • A good education and the freedom of choice to do what you find to be your life’s purpose
  • Freedom from crime and corruption

Quoting the Dalai Lama: “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”

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