I am 19 years old, and I admit I have a problem – I get angry when the things don’t go my way (like when my buddies don’t have time for me, or even when my dollar gets eaten up in the soda machine). What can I do about it?
In dealing with anger, here is a strategy that might help.
Try to remember some disaster you faced when you were about five years old (perhaps it was a minor injury or a favorite toy that was lost). Visualize the pain you felt at the time, the unwelcome disruption to your life. Now, superimpose your current outlook to life on that event, and see if there are still any deep and jagged feelings. Probably, it’s just a distant memory – perhaps even a source of laughter in your family. Was all the pain at the time worth it? Had you known then what you know now about life, would you have allowed it to bother you so?
Imagine that you’re twenty years older (you’ve got a growing family, a mortgage, a boss and a full work-day to put up with, and, hopefully, serious Torah study to enjoy on a daily basis). Look back from that vantage point at all you’re experiencing now, and rate (for yourself) how important and devastating it all is in the larger scheme of things. This perspective might give you the “distance” to let things go a bit. I’m not suggesting, by the way, that what you’re experiencing now is in any way comparable to the loss of a toy. Rather, if properly managed now, the event will more easily become just a distant memory.