Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

We all get angry, right? But how do we handle those angry feelings? Our reactions to anger matters. It often determines the health of our relationships. So, canger-18615_1920heck yourself and see how you measure up on these points.

  • Admit you are angry. Don’t deny the emotion and engage in “anger insteads” such as overeating, boredom, depression, anxiety, physical illness, gossip, etc. When you angry, identify the feeling and decide what you want to do with it.
  • Identify the source of the anger. What make you mad? Usually there is an injustice or you are hurt by someone. Avoid anger arousing situations if you can and /or recognize the things that set you off so you can be intentional concerning your reaction.
  • Don’t make excuses for your anger. For example, “My dad hit me.” “I’m Irish and have a temper.” “My wife makes me so mad.” Be angry but don’t sin is our instruction.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions. Is your anger based in a real situation or is it based on your perception? Sometimes, we misread people and judge them to hurt us when they haven’t. Clarify the situation and get more facts.
  • Refuse to keep thinking about the injustice. Once you’ve identified the source of anger, let it go. Confront the person in love or choose not to hold on to it.Forgive no matter if they apologize or not.
  • Don’t vent. Research actually shows that when you express anger by screaming, yelling, punching pillows, rage, tantrum, etc., you actually increase anger instead of reducing it. Ventilation does not make it go away.
  • Practice self-soothing and calming methods: Do something physical like exercise or a sport to release anger from your physical body. Count to ten and calm down.There are several things you can do to calm yourself and engage the rational versus emotional part of your brain. Distraction is one of them. Take a time-out if you need one.
  • Be assertive and confrontational, not aggressive. Tell someone they have hurt you, but do so in a way they can hear. Use “I” statements about how you feel. Deal with each angry incident when it happens. Don’t allow anger to build or take root. If you do, you will become bitter.
  • Walk away from the situation,  but determine to come back and resolve the problem. If your anger is intense, better to walk away and give yourself time to calm down. Relax your body by deep breathing or tensing and relaxing your muscles. You cannot be relaxed and angry at the same time.
  • Resist the urge to get revenge. It’s up to God to judge the person. Our job is to forgive and release the person to God.
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