“There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”
As the story tells, when we get angry, we say or do things that may hurt others, and that wound could stay forever. The principle is simple, but it may not be that easy to get rid of anger, not easy, but possible.
We are used to get angry on a daily basis, and that is because we have been doing that for many years, so by now our brain has long term connection on the emotion of anger, it even has specific chemicals which are sent to our cells every time we get angry.
Every time we got angry in the past, a connection was reinforced in our brain, then after so many times we have reinforced the emotion, the neurons in our brain have formed a long term relationship.
Basically we do not have control of our anger, it comes out of our brain naturally. But we can change that. Just as the brain has the ability to create long term relations, it also has the capacity to forget those connections. When neuron connections are not used on a daily basis, they loose their long term relationship, therefore we can rewire our brain with new connections.
The question would be, If we have no control over our anger, how can we stop getting angry and rewire our brain?
Here is the trick; every time you are aware of an emotion, the connection looses power. Every time we KNOW we reacted because we were programmed to do so, the connection get weaker.
In addition if we know the real reason because we are getting angry, our conscious mind will start to make new connections, because now we know the reason, and that will give us control of the situation in future events.
If we believe there are many things outside which can make us angry,we will find it so hard to work with the emotion, but if we understand that in essence anger is one of the simplest emotions we have, and most of the times we experience it, is only for one reason inside us and not outside, then we will be able to rewire our brains.
The reason most of the times we get mad is because we want to be right.
So next time you get angry, be aware of it, and look underneath the emotion to find out the reason you got angry, that may lead you to make a new program in your brain, and help you be in control of your emotions, without having to reprehend them. You will have a more peaceful life.