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Holding on to Anger Is Like Grasping a Hot Coal – Buddha Quote

Hot Coal

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

These words, said about 2500 years ago, are still valid today.

Whom do you punish when you are angry? You punish yourself.

  • Does anger help you in any way?
  • Does anger solve any problem?
  • Do you feel any better afterward?

The obvious answer is, NO.

When you are angry, your emotions get agitated, your blood pressure goes up, you become impatient and irritable, and you lose control over your actions and reactions.

Anger hides common sense and reason and makes you say and do things that will only aggravate the situation.

Sometimes, you might get angry because you interpret other people’s words and actions incorrectly. The person who allegedly made you angry might not be aware at all of what is going on inside you.

If you let the anger grow and hold it within you, you waste precious time and energy and harm your health. It is only you who suffers, not the person whom you believe aroused your anger.

It is like the Buddha said, ‘Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else.’

It Is Always Better to Avoid Anger

It is not wise to hold your anger bottled within you. Venting it out might release it, but the consequences might not be pleasant. It is much more desirable not to create anger at all.

If you get angry, do your best to get rid of it initially and not let it grow. It is easier to make it go away if you are attentive and stop it the moment it appears.

Not letting anger arise is difficult, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it.

Simple Tips to Get Rid of the Hot Coal Called Anger

  1. When you feel angry, take a few deep breaths, and then count up to ten before reacting or saying something.
  2. When you get angry, imagine the anger like a hot coal burning in your hand. Then imagine yourself throwing it away into the sea, where it cools down and harms no one.
  3. Repeat in your mind that anger will not help you in any way, so you’d be better without it.
  4. Anger will not help you in a traffic jam, and it would not help if you missed your train. It will also not help you if you wake up late in the morning because your alarm clock doesn’t ring. It is not worth getting angry over things you have no control over.
  5. Choose to react calmly and peacefully in every situation. Try repeatedly, regardless of how often you lose control and get angry.
  6. Don’t take anything too personally. It is not worth it. It only brings more anger, more stress, and more unhappiness.

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.”
– Epictetus

Books to help you get calm and release anger:
Let Go of Anger and Let in Tranquility
Inner Peace in the Busy Daily life
Emotional Detachment for Happier Life