Aristotle said, “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” It fascinates me that, 2300 years later, we still wrestle with this difficulty.
Anger is a natural, human emotion. There is nothing destructive about anger. It demands our attention when our health is in danger, when a boundary has been crossed, or when someone takes advantage of us. However, how one behaves when angry may be either destructive or constructive. Being mindful when angry does not mean the anger is ignored, suppressed or denied. Being mindful does not mean that one behaves in destructive ways. Rather, being mindful when angry means a) recognizing the anger, b) labeling it, and c) choosing the best action to take.