How I Deal With Anger

 Someone cuts in line while you were waiting for hours to pay.
You get pushed around by a rough commuter during rush hour.
Some ignoramus pops out of nowhere to give you a rude comment.

We've all been through this. Anger and frustration are part of our daily lives. You see, yours truly isn't the quiet, calm kind. I'm -- sadly -- much of a hot-headed lady. However, with God's help, I've been able to work on my character and calm me nerves! Here are a few tips that have helped me.

1. It's okay to be mad. We all have some sense of what's right and wrong. So naturally, we feel frustration in the face of injustice. The problem happens when we voice our frustration in ways that are displeasing to Allah and could bring us trouble.

2. It's kind of a good thing. Being upset is usually a good indication of people's state. We tend to think that aggressive, loud people are not, but I see them as being emotional. This tenderheartness just needs to be redirected towards something positive.

3. Don't let the dunya fool you. Society/the madia tends to portray aggressive people as self-reliant and strong. We've seen countless movies revolving around a guy trying to avenge his daughter's/son's/wife's brutal death. We're always reminded that "nice guys finish last", "it's a dog-eat-dog world", "survival of the fittest"...
If we don't act "hard", we're weak and submissive. Our tradition taught us that true strenght is self-control, and aggresiveness is weakness. Our beloved Prophet said: "The strong man is not the one who can throw another down. The strong man is the one who can keep hold of himself when he is angry". 

4. Don't let your nafs rule. In a argument, outwardly, it may seem like one person is opposing anther. This is not entirely accurate, it's you versus your nafs. If you give in to anger, you're surrendering to your urges. Human beings have lower desires, they must be controlled and channeled. You ride the horse, the horse does not ride you.

5. How should I act in a tense situation? An important thing for me is to remain silent. Do not speak! Leave the place of the argument if you can. Go make wudhu, as anger is from Shaytan and water will extinguish its flames.

6. Be God-conscient! The dangerous part about acting on anger is, you aren't in control. If someone's insulting you, the blame is on that person. If you respond with insults, your behavior will be as bad as that person. Things can escalade to an ironic situation where you become the offender, and eventually, in a bad position with God.

7. People = children. A belligerent woman went to a saint asking for advice. Suddenly, a child comes towards her and slams her with a huge pan. Instead of yelling at him or giving him a whooping, she held him tenderly, recognizing the child's innocent gesture. The moral of the story is, we, as human beings, tend to act like kids. If someone has to be the bigger person, let that be you!

8. See the bigger picture. Know that things happen for a reason. Good or bad, we can learn from mishaps, and grow from them. When Allah SWT sends tribulations your way, it's not to cause you distress, it's for you to learn how to deal with things in a proper, Islamic way. It's in tight situations that we know what we're made of. Remember, in order to get the purest gold, it must be heated.

May we all be serene people, true ambassadors of the Prophet SAWS.
Any questions, concerns, remarks, let me know!

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