Seven Quick Tips for Controlling Anger
Some people are prone to rage more often than others, but anger is a feeling that many of us could use a bit of help in handling. The choices we make when angry can often come back to haunt us, but the cycle can be hard to break. Anger has power – and there are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with that power, from letting it control you to wielding it in a way that spurs you on to something positive. Here’s how to control your anger:
Pretending you’re not angry – especially while exhibiting nearly cartoonish physical signs of anger – does no good for you, the target of your anger, or your blood pressure. Many people think that to acknowledge anger is the same as acting inappropriately on it. That’s simply not true, and the difference in those two concepts is huge. Admitting that you are upset, whether to yourself, or as calmly as possible to the person you’re mad at can validate your feelings. You can say, “I admit I seem to be getting upset here. I want to resolve this and not do anything I’d regret, so I am going to try to slow down.” It can help you feel more empowered towards working on solution, and it will also diminish the bad feeling you have.
If you jot down some of your thoughts, you’ll gain some clarity as to how they’re serving as the antecedents to your feelings. In the process, you can sort out why you’re upset and what steps you can take work through the situation. Perhaps most important, putting your feelings into words can make them feel more like physical things, and therefore more manageable to get them out of your system.
Break It Down.
Move It Out.
As physical signs go, anger can look very similar to other forms of upheaval, like anxiety or even excitement. Calming those physical impulses, or giving them someplace useful to go, can help you get your anger under control. Slow down your breathing through several long, deep breaths. Loosen your muscles through clenching and unclenching your fists and slowly doing a neck roll. If you can use that emotional upheaval for good rather than for hitting someone in the face, you’ll be better off. So channel that rage into an activity that can release tension: running, kickboxing, dancing, jumping rope, or even just beating your fists against your chest like a gorilla. Screaming can also be helpful if you are somewhere isolated. Tears, too, can help let it out. Instead of letting your frustration burn you up, you can burn it off.
Find The Big Picture.
If you’re still feeling steamed from that bad interaction with your classmate or that snarky tone from the kid at the playground, it might be time to make a list of the things you’re grateful for. Gratitude meditations, or just sitting and focusing on what’s right in your life, will make what you’re angry about seem more molehill than mountain. You might also want to consider what challenges the person whom you think has wronged you is making him act that way to you. Try to empathize and mentally give it to them – it can often neutralize anger.
If there is a friend or loved one you trust, sharing your feelings with them can sometimes be cathartic. But be aware that not everyone is equipped to hear difficult feelings in a healthy, supportive way. Some might
Share – carefully.
5. Be honest with your offender.
If you need time to absorb the reality of what was said or done, express this honestly to the one who hurt you. Yet you must not use time as a means of manipulation and punishment.
Perhaps you have good reasons for being hesitant to reconcile, but these must be objectively stated. Sometimes, for example, repeated confessions and offenses of the same nature make it understandably hard for trust to be rebuilt. Clearly define your reasons for doubting your offender’s sincerity.
6. Be objective about your hesitancy.
7. Be clear about the guidelines for reconciliation.
Establish clear guidelines for reconciliation. Requirements like restitution can be clearly understood, and include such factors as maintaining financial accountability, holding down a job, or seeking treatment for addictions.
In Ephesians 4:27 of the Bible, Paul warns about the possibility of giving Satan an opportunity in our lives. Significantly, this warning is given in the context of unchecked anger. A few verses later, he wrote: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you…” Reflect on these words and put them into practice.
As the apostle Paul wrote: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” And to the Romans, he wrote: “We know that God works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” To quote once again from Ken Sande:
“When you are having a hard time forgiving someone, take time to note how God may be using that offense for good. Is this an unusual opportunity to glorify God? How can you serve others and help them grow in their faith? What sins and weaknesses of yours are being exposed? What character qualities are you being challenged to exercise? When you perceive that the person who has wronged you is being used as an instrument in God’s hand to help you mature, serve others, and glorify him, it may be easier for you to move ahead with forgiveness.
Change often requires time and effort. Periodic failure by an offender does not always indicate an unrepentant heart. Behavior patterns often run in deep channels. They can place a powerful grip on a person’s life. A key indicator of change is the attitude of the offender. While you may proceed with some caution, be careful about demanding guarantees from a person who has truly expressed repentance. If they stumble, the process of loving confrontation, confession, and forgiveness may need to be repeated. Setbacks and disappointments are often part of the process of change. Don’t give up too easily on the process of reconciliation. Strive for the goal of a fully restored relationship.
8. Be alert to evil schemes.
just not be good listeners, and could just try to bottle up your emotions for you. Others might try to fan the flames, making you feel angrier.
Act. If someone habitually does you wrong or makes you angry, you need to do what you can to plan steps to improve the situation. You need to carefully think up ways and how do them, always with very important sense of control, to reduce the offence and increase your peace.
Sometimes things may seem to be resolved on the surface, but the anger still lingers residually, in the form of irritability, insomnia, or even feeling depressed. Being mindful of your thoughts and feelings, and what triggers them, can serve as an early warning system for precluding future conflicts. It can also help you determine if you need to talk to a professional about it.
9. Be mindful of God’s control.
10. Be realistic about the process.