8 Ways To Manage Anger With Ayurveda
Anger is actually a normal healthy emotion in all human beings. But the manifestation of anger and quantity of anger sometimes needs to be controlled. According to Ayurveda, there are ways to manage anger.
Anger + Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, anger depends on several factors.
1. A Pitta dominant person tends to get more angry.
2. People with a lot of mental stress, anxiety, insomnia might get angry faster compared to others.
3. People who consume excess non-vegetarian foods, an excess of spicy foods, drug abuse and excess of alcohol (Rajasika foods) get angry very quickly.
4. Teenagers and elderly get angry quickly.
5. Those who have taken an over dosage of antidepressants and those with increased blood pressure may also get angry faster compared to others.
The Physiology Behind Anger
Emotions more or less begin inside two almond-shaped structures in our brains which are called the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for identifying threats to our well-being, and for sending out an alarm when threats are identified that result in us taking steps to protect ourselves.
The amygdala is so efficient at warning us about threats, that it gets us reacting before the cortex (the part of the brain responsible for thought and judgment) is able to check on the reasonableness of our reaction. In other words, our brains are wired in such a way as to influence us to act before we can properly consider the consequences of our actions.
As you become angry your body’s muscles tense up. Inside your brain, neurotransmitter chemicals known as catecholamines are released causing you to experience a burst of energy lasting up to several minutes.
This burst of energy is behind the common angry desire to take immediate protective action. At the same time your heart rate accelerates, your blood pressure rises, and your rate of breathing increases. Your face may flush as increased blood flow enters your limbs and extremities in preparation for physical action.1
8 Ways To Manage Anger
1. The ancient tradition of Ayurveda offers the tools of yoga, pranayama, and meditation to bring equanimity and peace to the mind. Develop a regular, maybe even daily, yoga practice to help with anger.
2. Anger is an emotion particularly associated with Pitta dosha. To control anger incorporate Pitta controlling measures into your life. Have raisins, almonds and ghee regularly. Follow a Pitta pacifying diet and lifestyle.
3. Sleep for at least 7 hours a night.
4. Herbs useful in controlling anger include Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Gotu Kola (Mandookaparni), Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pleuricalis) and Draksha (Vitis vinifera).
5. Rose water and rose petals are excellent to calm Pitta.
6. As a general rule, all sweet tasting food substances are Pitta pacifying in nature and therefore good in an anger management diet. Sweet apple, sweet grapes, apricots, sweet berries, guava, ripe sweet mangoes, watermelon, papaya, sweet orange, pears, plums (sweet) and prunes are all good candidates.
7. Keep a spiritual diary. Writing can reduce the intensity of your anger.2
8. Most important of all, practice patience. Think before you speak. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything.
1 Mills, Harry, PhD. “Physiology Of Anger.” Mental Help Physiology of Anger Comments. Sober Media Group, n.d. Web. 24 July 2017.
2 Purcell, Maud, LCSW, CEAP. “The Health Benefits of Journaling.” Psych Central. Psych Central, 17 July 2016. Web. 24 July 2017.