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Doing Life Together

BFS_Anger_LGAnger is a powerful emotion that needs to be controlled. If you struggle with anger, consider these steps to regain control.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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

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