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Spiritual Advice on Anger

Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, offers advice on how to release anger. He advises awareness and compassion, which are achieved by shifting your perspective.

Shifting perspective sounds a lot easier than it is. Some people think that it requires lying to yourself, but that’s not a true shift in perspective, that’s just pretending. To truly shift your perspective, you have to be open to the possibility that you are wrong. However you are interpreting the situation that makes you angry, you could be wrong. People hate to be wrong. But if you let go of your faith in your own thoughts, you are free to consider other possibilities. “She sent me an email apology because she’s a coward,” becomes: “She sent me an email apology because her phone got flushed down the toilet.” “He said those pants are too tight because he wants me to lose weight,” becomes: “He said those pants are too tight because he bought a pair of pants in a larger size for my birthday.”

The key here is not to pretend. Actually admit to yourself that you could be wrong, and look for different explanations for the behavior or situation. Think about the other person instead of yourself. Shifting perspective is an invaluable tool in all areas of life. Try it today!

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