Recently I was lucky enough to write an article for Complete Wellbeing magazine about my struggle with overcoming anger. But unless you are a subscriber you probably didn’t read it. Which is why I’m excited to share it with all of you. Below is excerpt along with a link to the rest of the article.
My love affair with anger
Samuel “Gentoku” McCree reveals how he discovered the secrets of rage and the way he conquered it
For years, I was hooked on to anger. I was addicted to the rush it gave me, and I loved the sense of power and strength that came along with it. But after each episode of rage there was always wreckage.
My life was filled with broken plates, damaged relationships, and most of all, shame. When I think back on all those moments of anger the first word that comes to my mind is regret. Yet, despite the pain that anger caused, it took me years to realise that I had a problem and even longer to get it under control.
The anger ideal
Anger is often idealised in the modern world. It is at the heart of daytime talk shows and reality TV; it’s even glorified in sports like football, boxing, and mixed martial arts.
The idealisation of anger made me think that rage was an acceptable—even desirable—way of being. I was often tempted by the passion that rage invoked, but eventually I saw that anger offers a false promise.
Anger doesn’t just harm those it’s directed at; it also harms the person caught in its grasp. It has taken me years to come to terms with the things I’ve said and done when caught in fits of anger. But all of this taught me that I can’t allow anger to rule my life. So, I spent several years learning to tame this fearsome beast.
When I realised the damage that anger was causing in my life, I knew I had to make a change, but I didn’t know where to start. It was a tricky feeling to conquer.
Rage can feel random and unpredictable, and when it does occur, it happens so fast it can be hard to stop. So, instead of trying to stop rage, I decided to watch it. What I discovered not only revealed the secrets of rage, but also taught me to conquer it in a dramatic way.
1. Noticing rage
Rage doesn’t come on suddenly, so the first step is to notice it during its early stages.
I did my best to notice anything that made me irritated or angry. Then I would pause and say aloud “I feel angry” or “I feel irritated.” This simple practice not only revealed what bothered me, it also gave me space to feel these emotions. Many times I found that simply admitting my anger enabled me to let it go.
2. Looking for patterns
Once I was able to recognise anger, I began to see patterns emerge. Things like lack of sleep, hunger, and high levels of stress made me more susceptible to rage.
Of course, these may seem obvious, but watching how these conditions affected my mood taught me to notice and counteract these risk factors. I learned that eating regular meals and getting enough rest were two of the easiest ways for me to keep a cool head.