Chill Out, Pitta! Manage That Short-fused, Hot-Head Temper!
Imagine – you’re on your way home from work and need to stop by the supermarket to buy ingredients for the dinner party you’re hosting tonight. You glance at the clock and see that the supermarket will close in 5 minutes. You need to speed up or you won’t make it! You drive, almost recklessly, up to the parking lot, rush your way to the entrance only to see the doors lock right in front of you. You politely ask the supermarket manager if you, can, please, get your groceries and that you’ll be really quick about it. The manager gives you a dirty look and a rude answer, saying that you should have come before closing time. After all, his work day is over.
Now, if you’re, for example, a Kapha, you’d likely react to this situation by feeling an overwhelming amount of sadness. What will you do now? How will you host your dinner party? Oh no…
However, if you’re a Pitta, you likely wouldn’t be experiencing sadness. Rather, you’d be furious. Enraged at the manager. Where does he get theaudacity to just lock the door in front of you, not willing to give you a mere five minutes of your time?! You likely wouldn’t have let him just walk away, and probably started arguing with him! Whether this proves effective or not, most likely depends on the manager’s dosha type…
Different people react differently to a situation or person they dislike. Anger is a response to a situation/person born out of several factors which a person does not like.
Ayurveda explains that one’s body and mind is made up of five elements. Fire is one of those elements, and, in a controlled manner, can cook food. If the situation is out of control, it can burn everything. The same principle applies to our bodies.
Fire is significantly present in our body and expresses itself in various functions. When fire combines with water, it forms “Pitta”, a physiological factor or bio-energy.
There are five types according to Ayurveda.
One type is called “Sadhaka Pitta”, and this lives in the heart, ruling over your emotions. When this factor is balanced, you enjoy clear-sightedness with an analytical mind and sharp wits.
However, an imbalance can invoke anger, and this imbalance may stem from your diet, lifestyle, and temperament in general. Let’s understand how Pitta can become imbalanced:
- Food habits: eating excessive hot-spicy foods may make a person reactive
Mental imbalances: we expect so much out of everything and ourselves. Sometimes these expectations aren’t met, and this builds frustration. Sometimes our expectationsare met, leading us to want more – leading to unrest. This unrest expresses itself in the form of various emotions, and some people show it in the form of anger.
- Genetics: Ayurveda explains them as a fiery (“Pitta”) type of person. It’s in your personality, your temper is encoded in your DNA.
- Stress and frustration can lead to anger, for example, when you’re unable to share thoughts with your confidantes, or when your boss isn’t willing to give you that well-deserved raise.
Ayurveda strongly advocates that you hold your anger fit. Ayurveda enforces the ability to ‘hold your urges’. This does not mean that you should suppress anger and harbor it.
Why should you refrain from harboring anger?
- It makes you prone to a whole lot of diseases, especially inflammations and other reactive diseases according to Ayurveda.
- It exposes your weakness. Yes, you read it right. Anger is a weakness that people can take advantage of.
- It’s very easy to express anger. The deeds done in a fit of rage cannot be reversed like an arrow shot from a bow. This means that you can lose so much after the easy expression of anger.
But how can you just ‘stop’ getting angry?
You probably won’t get rid of your temper entirely, but you can take measures to cool your Pitta down, resulting in a temper that’s more difficult to prompt. Start by checking out the Pitta pacifying diet.
Note down things which make you angry. Go through them. Develop a thought process: “I should deal with them rationally”. This will be the base of finding your CCC (cool, calm, and composed).
- Try to cut down on stimulating foods and drinks like coffee, mustard, and alcohol.
Pungent spices etc. help a lot to become calm and composed. It’s about cutting down on factors which may curb aggressive tendencies. A few examples: It may help you to use coconut oil in cooking. Not only does it have cooling properties, it’s also incredibly healthy. Coconut water is nourishing as well as cooling. Eat salads which include cooling vegetables like cucumber, zucchini. Use cow’s ghee to prepare food, as ghee also helps to cool down Pitta. According to ancient Vedic wisdom, it also helps you develop a righteous attitude to problems.
- Try to indulge yourself in cooling activities like water sports. Vent out your frustration in a constructive manner.
- Violent content on any media may exacerbate your anger. Avoid it strictly. Switch the channel if a violent action movie is playing.
Meditation, by far, is the best technique you can use to develop a balanced perspective. It helps you answer the basic question of frustration and anger, build yourself up and deal with it by understanding the root cause.It may be difficult to just sit and meditate. You can start with some Pranayama, controlled breathing pattern exercises like “Sheetali” (cooling).
- You can use some cooling herbs and minerals like a purified coral preparation.
Try using aroma oil combinations oflemon, ylang ylang, sandalwood and lavender. These can help settle the agitated mind.