10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice

I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.

What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.

There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:

1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.

2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.

3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.

4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”

Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:

  • 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.

  • 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.

  • 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.

  • 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.

  • 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.

  • 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.

  • 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.

  • 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.

  • 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”

  • 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Orthodox Spirituality

Ortho-dox: "right, true belief or worship"

In 987, Vladimir I, the pagan prince of Kievan Rus, sent his emissaries to neighboring countries to learn about their religions. For political and spiritual reasons, missionaries from these countries had been urging Prince Vladimir to adopt their religion. His emissaries were unimpressed with Islam, Western Christianity, and Judaism, but when they entered Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and experience the beauty of the Divine Liturgy they are reported to have declared, "We do not know if we are on heaven or earth . . . nor such beauty, and we know not how to tell of it." Impressed by their observations and for the political advantages conversion to Orthodox Christianity would bring, Vladimir I and his family were baptized in the River Dneiper in 988 and thus Christianizing Kievan Rus.

The story of the conversion of Vladimir illustrates the incarnational and experiential characteristics of Orthodox spirituality. The material world and our experience of it cannot be rejected because Christ is with us in the material. All of creation is good and can lead us to God. Orthodox spirituality is a sensual spirituality. The arresting vision of icons, the haunting sound of Byzantine chant, the billowing clouds of incense, and the humility of our neighbor bent in prayer shows that we are meant to live in Christ, to discover love of God in this world more than intellectual knowledge of the divine. The old ladies lighting candles and kissing icons may not be able to expound upon the doctrine of the Trinity but they know, live, and experience it in their sensual act of prayer.

Theo-sis or divinization

The Word became human so that
we might become God.
-Athanasius of Alexandria

In Genesis we read that we are made in God's image and are meant to dwell with our creator. But thrown from the Garden, we wander far forgetting our true home. It is as if we are blind stumbling in the dark. In Jesus Christ, however, God incarnate dwells with us so that we might remember who we are made to be and live again. Christ conquers death and by the power of the Holy Spirit we, with Christ, are led back home.

Whereas Western Christianity has predominately used legalistic and economic metaphors (ransom, satisfaction, debt) to describe salvation, Eastern Christianity has emphasized healing and transformation (theo-sis). Death and corruption are as much a consequence of the Fall as sin and it is from death and corruption that all of creation is rescued, healed, or redeemed. Christ spits on the earth, rubs the mud on our blind eyes, and we can see again. Out of pure love, God in Christ through the Holy Spirit makes us whole. This is theo-sis, the lifelong and dynamic pilgrimage of love towards union with God. The more we love, the more we practice humility, the more we empty ourselves, the more we are just and merciful, the more we are attentive, the more we are like God, then the more we are human.

Kataphatic and apophatic

Scholars of spirituality have used the Greek terms, kataphatic and apophatic, to generally describe different approaches to mystical experience and our pursuit of God. Kataphatic spirituality refers to a positive way of approaching God by focusing on God's actions or energies in the world and the use of analogy to describe God. It stresses God's movement in creation and the use of our senses, imagination, and intellect to experience that movement. Though often associated with Western Christianity as exemplified by the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, it is also evident in Eastern Christianity in the use of Icons for prayer and the sensual experience of the Divine Liturgy.

Apophatic spirituality emphasizes a negative way to God since our Creator is so completely other nothing we say of God can truly describe God's essence. Instead of using analogies to describe God, apophatic spiritualitywithholds description of our transcendent God and rather attempts to strip the mind of images and even words in order to draw closer to the divine. We find apophatic spirituality in the East in the spiritual writings of St. Gregory of Nyssa (Life of Moses), the Hesychasts of the fourteenth century and their practice of the Jesus Prayer but we will also find it in the West in the work of the anonymous English mystic (The Cloud of Unknowing) and the sixteenth century Spanish Carmelite, John of the Cross (Dark Night of the Soul).

Neither approach is superior to the other and both are at work in each person's journey towards God.


from the Greek word hesuchia (quiet or stillness)

Following Paul's injunction to the Thessalonians (pray without ceasingI Thess. 5:1), hesychasm seeks a life of constant prayer through a stillness of heart by which we may interiorly experience our true God. This experience of God, according to St. Gregory of Palamas (hesychasm's primary advocate), is not of God's essence which will always remain unknowable but of God's created and uncreated energies, God's divine grace and power at work in creation in which we can participate. Hesychasts strip their intellect (nous) of images lowering it into their heart (St. Gregory of Sinai) through the practice of the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me.) The hope is that through constant repetition of the words of the Jesus Prayer, attentiveness to bodily posture and our breathing, we will become a wordless prayer experiencing God's divine energy and shining with light of Mt. Tabor (the Transfiguration).


An icon is not primarily a work of religious art but rather a prayer, a sacramental means of God's grace. The worshiper is surrounded by these "windows unto heaven" where she looks into the eyes of the saint or the Mother of God and they look back at her and together they sing praises to God. The person depicted is joined with our prayer. It's very function is the act of prayer and it is never thought of as mere decoration.

The making of the icon can also be considered an act of prayer for the creator of the icon is participating in the divine act of creation and gives honor to all other acts of creation: "To make an icon from plaster or cubes of stone, from wood or paint, to sanctify that icon and to incorporate it in the worship of God, is to call down his blessing also upon all other forms of human art and craftsmanship." (Kallistos Ware)

Icons do not realistically depict the world as it is but show us transfigured creation. In the distorted 385px-GregoryNazianzen features of the icon, we see possibility and hope, the eternal glory breaking into our world even now yet still to be fulfilled. The saints and Mary and the depictions of Christ show us what we can become.

Listen to an example of Byzantine chant while viewing examples of icons.

Cherubic Hymn

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