Do you have a tough time figuring out how to control your anger? Are you sick of feeling like anger controls you? You can learn to overcome anger with God’s help and the help of a Christian counselor.
The Roots of AngerMost people have grown up in homes where anger was not handled well. Perhaps you grew up in a home where anger was explosive and damaging. Or maybe your parents swept everything under the rug, stuffing situations that never got discussed. Another common way of handling anger is to let it leak out in passive aggression. None of these methods help you handle anger in healthy ways.
To truly learn how to control your anger problem, you must deal with the roots of anger. By knowing the themes of your anger and the ways you learned to handle it, you can reprogram your thoughts and behaviors when you feel angry. A qualified Christian counselor can help you gain perspective and put healthier behaviors into place.
Reasons to Control Your Anger
You probably already understand that anger exacts costs on your relationships. No matter your anger style, you’ve probably noticed people distancing themselves from you after you blow up, seethe, manipulate them, or seek revenge. Perhaps you are suffering due to lost or strained relationships. When you learn to control your anger, you can have a better chance of repairing those relationships.
Anger exacts a heavy price on our mental, emotional, and physical health. You may have trouble concentrating on your work or empathizing with others due to anger. Angry thoughts can keep you from having more positive thoughts. It can steal your mental and emotional potential from you.
The more often you feel angry, the higher toll you take on your body. Anger can cause you to lose sleep, experience heart palpitations, have higher blood pressure, gain weight, and have digestive issues, just to name a few symptoms. Untreated anger can turn into depression. You have many good reasons to get your anger under control.
Anger also strains our spiritual health. Though God gave us anger as a good warning signal to deal with issues of fear, hurt, and injustice, we often let it take over our emotions without dealing with the deeper issues.
This is how anger can turn into sin, and this dynamic can block our relationship with God. We may even blame God for our anger triggers. If you are experiencing any strains like these, you can speak to a caring Christian counselor to learn how to overcome anger issues.
How to Control Your Anger
You can get control over your anger if you are intentional about handling it. Here are several tips you can put into practice today when you feel angry.
Remember God is slow to anger.
Take a moment and consider all the reasons God could display his anger to you. It probably won’t take you long to realize you have a lengthy list of reasons God could be angry with you but chooses to love and forgive you instead.
God has so many reasons to be angry with each of us because we are sinful, and he is holy. Yet he is slow to anger, forgiving, and patient with us as we learn and grow. Follow God’s example of being slow to anger. Don’t let the little things get to you. Choose your battles wisely and trust that God is handling the rest. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalms 103:8
Look up verses that remind you to practice self-control. If you memorize these verses, you can pull them up in your mind when you are triggered. In this way, you can follow God’s will for how you handle anger.
Take time for self-reflection to consider where the anger is coming from and process through the situation. When we understand ourselves a bit more and why we respond to situations, it can help us move through life a little easier as things happen in the future.
Be patient with others.Our anger is often caused by frustration. In our fast-paced world, it doesn’t take much for us to get angry in frustratingly slow situations. But you can choose to exercise patience so that your anger button doesn’t get pushed.
When a slow situation arrives, see it as an opportunity to be patient. Ask God to help you choose patience instead of impatience. Pray for the person who is causing your frustration. Be proactive in the moment rather than reactive to the trigger. With practice, you’ll learn patience and gain peace.
It’s highly likely that your spouse, coworker, friend, etc. did not grow up with the same anger style as you. You also likely have a different personality that affects your anger style. If you can take the time to learn the other person’s background in handling anger, you can respond with empathy and have greater peace in your relationships.
For example, let’s say that you are one who defaults to sweeping issues under the rug, while your spouse tends to explode in anger. You can have a conversation when you are both calm about respecting differences in anger styles and moving toward one another rather than away. By empathizing with the other person, you’ll have a better chance of reaching a mutually beneficial result.
Confront with care.
Confrontations are often necessary and even healthy. But when we handle confrontations in anger, the situation can quickly fall apart. You may need coaching on how to handle confrontations with extra care. A Christian counselor can help you do this.
By practicing confrontation on small issues and leaving anger out of the picture, you can experience little wins that will help you tackle bigger issues with care. Your counselor can role-play situations with you to help identify any blind spots you may have and give you pointers on responding with care instead of reacting in anger.
Take practical steps in a heated moment.
There are many tips and tricks you can use to control your anger. Try memorizing these so you’ll have a plan when you feel angry. Then you won’t be tempted to go to your default setting, where anger isn’t handled in a healthy way.
First, control your mind and body. Step away from the situation for a moment; literally say, “I need a quick break,” and remove yourself from the trigger. While removed, breathe deeply and count to ten or twenty while you calm down. A short walk can help your body metabolize the stress hormones that surge when you are angry. You may need to punch a pillow or scream into it to release your stress.
Second, control your words. Refuse to say the first thing that pops into your mind. You will likely regret it later. You can always say short responses like, “That’s interesting” or “I’ll consider that” or “No thank you,” depending on the situation. Be sure to use “I” statements when identifying your feelings rather than “You” statements, which put the listener on the defense and heat up the conflict.
Third, practice self-care. For situations that cause ongoing anger, such as being the relative of an addict, you need to care for yourself to prevent anger issues. You can keep a journal just for your angry thoughts, so they have a safe place to escape.
Burn or shred the pages if you like to destroy the evidence. Just don’t keep anger boiling inside because it will slowly destroy you. Do things that make you happy, like taking a bubble bath or watching a favorite TV show. You can reward yourself for tackling your anger issues through self-care.
When You Have Anger Issues
There is no need to feel ashamed if you experience anger issues. As we stated at the beginning, most people have never learned how to handle their anger in healthy ways. However, everyone who is willing to learn can create new ways to respond when anger issues arise.
A compassionate Christian counselor at Seattle Christian Counseling is ready to help you conquer your anger. Contact us today to set up your first appointment. You can finally gain control over anger instead of letting it control you.
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