Anger is a powerful emotion that needs to be controlled. If you struggle with anger, consider these steps to regain control.
- Admit that you are out of control. While anger is a normal emotion and not a sin, anger expression can be sinful. If you curse, yell, scream at, and disrespect others, this is a problem. You are out of control and must admit this for it to change.
- Realize that venting anger won’t make you feel better. We know from research that venting anger leads to more aggression. Revisit this idea that venting releases tension and accept that there is no evidence to support this strategy.
- Get at the root of your anger. Anger is often triggered by issues from the past. Keep an anger log to see what triggers your explosions. Below the surface, you may feel hurt and vulnerable, a position that makes you uncomfortable. Anger makes you feel powerful, especially if you didn’t feel powerful as a child. But you are an adult and not a victim of your past. You can react differently. Target your hot buttons so you can prepare a different response.
- Practice ways to calm down and commit to using them. Rehearse several strategies—deep breathing, time-out, counting to ten, distraction, etc. Practice deep muscle relaxation at night as a way to calm down your body. Then continue to practice until you can cue yourself to relax.
- Study the biblical passages on anger—be slow to vent, deal with anger when it comes up, no name-calling, get to the source, etc. Pray and stay close to God, knowing that a fruit of the Spirit is self-control.
- Stay calm during the next argument, since you have identified your triggers and are working through issues from your past, use those new ways to calm down.
- Discuss what went right. Review your behavior—did you stay calm, stick to fighting guidelines, wait to talk until you were calm, etc. Pat yourself on the back for any change you made for the positive. The more you have small successes, the better you will become at managing anger.
For more, Breaking Free from Anger and Unforgiveness by Dr. Linda Mintle
Persistence is a trait that most parents want to see developed in their children. We know from research that persistent children are less likely to be delinquent and more likely to be engaged in school. What parent wouldn’t want to build this in their child?
The secret to building persistence is dads. A study in the Journal of Early Adolescence concludes that dads matter when it comes to developing persistence.
Brigham Young University researchers studied children from two-parent families and found that a dad’s parenting style, more so than a mom’s, influenced persistence in children. Specifically, dads who used an authoritative parenting style influenced their kids in a positive way when it comes to persistence.
Authoritative parenting is characterized by a warm style of lovingly listening, but also providing rules and structure. Rules are explained and autonomy is encouraged. So there is a nice balance between loving and accountability. This is in contrast to dads who are authoritarian-dictating to children what to do, or permissive-allowing the child to do whatever.
Every child needs a listening dad who sets structure and provides accountability in a way that is authoritative and loving. So dads, consider your parenting style. Are you building resilience and providing the right amount of structure to help your child grow in a way that helps him or her stay in the game and finish? You are a big influence in the development of your children. Use that influence to build persistence.
The pain of a broken relationship is often difficult to heal. Years of hurt and resentment can feel too big to tackle. And the idea of embracing emotional pain without being able to control the other person means an uncertain outcome.
Reconciliation efforts are usually made because we still have feelings for the person and believe things could change.
Yet, pride can stop us from pursuing reconciliation. Reconciliation is blocked when we don’t admit wrongdoing and continue to blame others for our problems. The longer we wait, the more entrenched and estranged we become. We then begin to organize our lives without the people we once loved.
However, if we admit our faults, accept responsibility, and make every effort to repair the damage done, hope remains.
Reconciliation is possible in even the most difficult of relationships. It is an opportunity to grow beyond the past and the pain, with the hope of creating something new.
In Scripture, hope is referred to as a strong and confident expectation. The strength of that expectation comes because of what God can do in any situation. With hope, you expect without certainty and desire something better. Hope changes how we see ourselves and changes what we value. It affects our decisions to face conflict.
Hope opposes avoidance. It allows us to pursue a courageous life. More importantly, hope brings joy and peace into our lives. It protects us from becoming cynical or giving up. Keep hope alive. Reconciliation may be possible.
Excerpt and adapted from We Need To Talk by Linda Mintle, Ph.D. (Baker Books, 2015).
Revenge is an angry response to being treated in wrong ways, but it is not a godly response. Scripture tells us that revenge is the Lord’s and we need to leave it to him.
Revenge doesn’t solve anything anyway. It only ups the ante for more hate and anger, which negatively impacts the body, only serving to hurt the person seeking revenge. If you find yourself wanting revenge, these biblical prescriptions may help curb that urge.
- Be slow to speak and to become angry. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
- Examine your heart. What do you desire? “A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated” (Prov. 14:17).
- Find the lesson in the anger. Is there something that needs to be corrected, changed, or dealt with better? Look for the lesson. “Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent” (Ps. 4:4).
- Observe your feelings. Acknowledge the feeling and then let it go. Practice calming techniques. “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city” (Prov. 16:32).
- Don’t allow your anger to escalate. “A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again” (Prov. 19:19).
- Regroup. “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end” (Prov. 29:11).
- Have a big-picture perspective. Is your anger worth the relationship? It is more important to be right than to be merciful? “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (Col. 3:8).
- Surround yourself with people who exercise self-control. “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered” (Prov. 22:24).
Excerpt from We Need To Talk by Linda Mintle (Baker Books, 2015)