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Mussar

Mussar

4 Ways to Reduce Anger

Published on Monday April 6th, 2020

The angry man is often scornful of others. He also judges his neighbor unfavorably.

Our Sages also advised several methods of working on the midda of anger:

1. Learning Mussar

• Accept that everything that causes you to get angry comes from Hashem. There is no one who can hurt you without it being ordained by G-d. Can we get angry at a divine decree?

• When you feel yourself getting angry, tell yourself, "It is my weakness that leads me to anger."

• If someone irritates you, think about the reasons why you are grateful to him.

• One who behaves patiently, his prayers will be answered, as it is written in Yeshayahu (49, 8): "At the time of mercy, I will forgive you."

• There is a Segula to guard oneself against anger, by repeating the following verse with fervor: "The Canaanite, the Hitite, the Emorean, the Prizite, the Hebrew and the Jebusite."

• Be aware that "anger is like the sin of idolatry".

• The Ari Hakadosh reports that the 248 organs of the body correspond to the 248 spiritual organs. If a man sins with one of his limbs, it will have an influence on the spiritual organ that corresponds to it. Only anger impairs all of man's spiritual organs!

• Write in a notebook verse about anger and take them out to read when necessary.

• Make yourself "reminders" as explained above. For example, "pay attention to anger", "be patient".

2. Method of ''Cheshbon HaNefesh''

• Answer all the questions you are asked, even those that seem irrelevant.

• When a person upsets you, instead of getting angry, look for what caused the situation. Do not forget that it comes from Hashem.

• "Get used to talking amiably to everyone at all times, it will protect you from anger."

• Today, we usually get upset about small things: someone took our place in the queue, another person spoke to us aggressively. All these little things increase our anger. It is, therefore, necessary to judge others positively and take a step back in each situation to avoid overreacting.

• Think about the damage done to your health.

• If you think your reaction will be influenced by anger, do not react right away, wait until you are calmer. It is said that Rav Eliahou Lopian always waited a certain amount of time before punishing his children, in order to be sure that he was not acting from anger.

• Often, we act by being driven by our feelings without even trying to put ourselves in the other person's shoes or understand him. Even if you do not always understand other people's behavior, accept different points of view.

• In a moment of tension, wait at least 61 minutes before reacting, this will help you react without anger.

• Anger happens in unexpected situations, so be forewarned. For example, when you have an appointment, be prepared that the person may be late so as not to be surprised if this happens.

3. The Rambam's Method

• If you are angry, make yourself smile.

• If someone makes you angry, do not react. That is a way to release tension.

• Good anger is one we feign on the outside without feeling it on the inside. This is important for educating our children. Repairing a bad character trait with a good character trait.

• The more you concentrate on your Divine Service and repairing your bad tendencies, the less value you will give to annoyances in your everyday life.

• Imagine a man who, returning home in the evening, expects to find his wife, and a hot meal waiting for him. To his disappointment, when he comes home, his wife is away and no meal is waiting for him, just a can of food with a note; "Put this in the microwave for two minutes. Enjoy! One can only imagine the aftermath of this incident and the anger that will follow.

But if that same man on the way back home listens to the Lottery results on the radio and realizes that he is the winner, his wife's temporary negligence will not matter to him and nothing will alter his joy.

The two situations are identical, it is the perception that differs. It is possible to work to change one's perception of things in all situations.

• Joy: He who feels joy will never be angry.

• Greed: set a fine of a certain amount for each mistake.

• Laziness: prepare yourself Tehillim to recite for each mistake.

4. The Chazon Ish's Method

• If you have difficulties, choose another Midda to work on.

Its influence will positively impact your patience.

The Torah-Box Team - © Torah-Box

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