Mental Wellness: The Self and Anger

This is the fourth in a series of articles on mental wellness taken from the Mental Wellness Workshop: Balkhi’s The Health of Bodies and Souls.

There are both internal and external things that affect the self. If something is affecting you, is it a matter of how you are viewing it or how you are choosing to feel about it?  Do not try to be self-dependent, rather, talk things through with others and that is where the investment in having ties of family, friends, and mentors helps. Talk it through with others. It is not a weakness. 

If you feel sad, do not dwell on your sadness but rather, discuss it with another, not out of complaining but empowering yourself to a better response. Similarly, with external matters,  it helps to identify what specifically is affecting you because very often if you do not, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with them. 

The scholars mention how the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) enumerated the causes on many things. By enumerating things, it makes things clear. Sometimes it just helps to put pen and paper together and write it down. Do a little brainstorming. Then you can reduce it down to three or four problems and you can consider what you can deal with and so then you can make a plan. That helps put things in a mental and emotional perspective.

Look Ahead

Then there are things that you cannot deal with. In that case, you make a plan of what you can make the best of a challenging situation. Consult and do not forget the spiritual perspective. Everything that happens is by divine destiny and decree. Everything that comes to you has wisdom in it. Everything is enveloped in divine mercy. You find the divine mercy by striving to make the best choice that you can given the circumstances. If you do that, you are in the divine circle of mercy. 

You should know what you plan and what you do not plan. There are things that are outside your control so do not try to plan them. If you make the conscious decision to live with your parents, you cannot control how they are going to be with you. But, what you can do about it and what is empowering is how you respond to them.

Revise your plan once in a while and put things in a spiritual perspective. Ultimately, we plan but there is the divine plan. What hits you was not going to miss you. Our moral responsibility relates to striving to make the best choices given the circumstances. Ask yourself in the face of a challenge, “What do I do next?”

The key to wellness is not to dwell on the past but to look at what to do next.

Anger Management 

Anger arises from an internal imbalance. The key is to apply the very same principles. Know how to control your anger and reflect on what is causing the anger. 

Identify internally what it is that causes you to get angry internally and this would relate to how you view things or how you react to things. As for the external, there are pain points that you have to avoid. Avoid that which leads to the problem. Rather than putting yourself down thinking, “Why do I get upset?” Reflect on the causes that led you to this.

Again, one should know. Learn about anger from a spiritual and emotional perspective. At times, you may be able to handle it but consulting and mentorship help significantly. One of the best types of consulting is to have someone who helps you on an ongoing basis to navigate it. Not only do you have a plan but you have someone who helps you through the stages of your plan. 

We apply our spiritual wisdom to monitor ourselves. If you are trying to address a particular challenge do not just say, “Well, this is something I have to deal with,” rather, have a plan based on knowledge and have consultation. If it is very critical, you may want to consult them daily, or it could be weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc. It could be a teacher of yours or a scholar that you respect. It may require having the right kind of mental health expert depending on the circumstance.