Controlling Anger, Anxiety, and Fear


How to control the anger, anxiety, and fear?

—Elizabeth, India


Dear Elizabeth,

Anger, anxiety, and fear have their roots in our ego: that aspect of our consciousness that sees itself as a separate actor in this life. The ego is the soul identified with the body. We must have an ego to live and act in this world, but unfortunately the ego’s delusion is that it thinks it is ‘in charge’. The ego’s motivation is to look for opportunities to expand itself and be wary of any threats that might diminish it.

Without connection to a greater reality, life is lived only to fulfill desires and allay fears. Though at times life may give us what we want, and we are temporarily satisfied, it never lasts: whatever we claimed as our own inevitably slips away. The ego can never be permanently satisfied. So long as we live identified with our ego there is a perpetual state of ‘threat’ — real or imagined — that the ego must guard against. Fear and anxiety provoke us to withdraw and hide from the threat. Anger provokes us to strike out at the threat. None of these help allay the threat.

Security is found only within, in connection with our soul. This is the path of yoga and meditation. When we look within, finding peace and calmness in our spiritual practices, we are able to act in this world without expectations for what the world should give us. When we feel anchored in inner peace regardless of the experiences that come to us, we act to put energy positively out into the world and do not react emotionally.

A foundation of spiritual practice is relaxation. In relaxation we let down our physical and emotional barriers to allow an opening to higher consciousness. I encourage you to learn techniques to relax in order to help with fear, anxiety, and anger. Relaxation techniques are an excellent preparation for meditation. Meditation will help you realize the calmness and peace within that is your true security.

Hatha yoga postures are excellent for balancing our energy and helping us to relax. If you do not have a hatha yoga practice, you can find yoga classes online. Ananda Yoga, which expresses the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, our guru, is a deeply relaxing and balancing form of yoga you might try. Here is a video to bring calmness and relieve anxiety, Spiritual Yoga for Calmness. This free 1 hour 18 minute video we posted on YouTube begins by guiding you through Yogananda’s energization exercises which fill the body with cosmic energy. The video then guides you through postures to release tension in the body, includes a guided deep relaxation, and ends with a guided meditation. See if this helps.

If you would like to learn a basic meditation technique that Yogananda taught, you can learn it for free here Learn to Meditate Mini-Course.

Many blessings to you,
Nayaswami Mukti