Top 5 Tips for Anger Management
Dear Selfless Esteem,
Anger management is not my greatest strength. Recently, I took my frustration out on a coworker by snapping at him and making a big deal out nothing. I’ve been this way all my life so how can I be any different?
Dear Short Fuse,
Although you’ve struggled with anger management all of your life, you have reached a level of maturity by acknowledging it rather than blaming others for your behavior. If your ambition is put into action, you will continue to grow. Read on for concrete steps to control anger (ง︡’-‘︠)ง and have more peace. (>‿◠)✌
Causes of Anger
Anger is natural; it’s the first emotion we express when we’re born screaming as loud as we can with our brand-new voices. Even God gets angry; however, the Bible says several times that He’s patient (Psalm 86:15, Numbers 14:18, Psalm 103:8, Jonah 4:2, Joel 2:13, Psalm 145:8, Nehemiah 9:17, Exodus 34:6-7). Furthermore, anger can be used productively to champion a cause.
But when anger is difficult to manage, the first step is to have a physical examination to determine if there are any underlying health problems. Likewise, the physician can check if your anger is causing health issues.
A possible cause or contributor is lack of sleep. For more details, see the post, “The Best Ways To Fall Back Asleep.” If the problem is related to conflict with a significant other, see the posts “How To Address Problems with Your Spouse the Right Way,” “Domestic Abuse Victim Is On the Fence,” and “The Honeymoon’s Over, Now What?” If it’s work-related, you may be interested in the post, “How To Deal with Lazy Coworkers.” If current events are infuriating you, see the post, “Is Media Affecting Your Mental Clarity?” And of course, stress is associated with anger; thus, see the posts, “6 Effective Ways To Manage Stress” and “How To Stay Positive When You’re Having a Bad Day.”
I recommend that you find a competent therapist to discuss the causes of your anger, talk about past experiences or trauma, identify your needs, use coping skills, and practice assertiveness skills and communication skills. The therapist can refer you to other professionals and resources as needed, such as group therapy. See the posts, “What is Wise Counsel and Good Therapy?” and “Why You Need a Therapist ASAP.”
5 Anger Management Tips
Possibly you’ve had poor examples of anger management growing up. Furthermore, tantrums may have been effective in getting your needs met in the past. But there’s hope. Read on for 5 suggestions.
1. Recognize Early Signs of Anger
Your therapist can help increase your awareness of indicators that you’re starting to lose your temper. But substance use makes it difficult to notice these and manage your anger; therefore, talk to your therapist if you struggle with this.
Whatever is setting you off most likely doesn’t need to be addressed immediately. Instead, walk away and expend the sudden surge of energy through a physical activity, such as working out or cleaning your house. If that’s impossible (i.e. you’re riding in a car), take a deep breath and if you’re arguing with someone, request a break so that you can think it through first.
Be sure to ask God for wisdom and self-control. Entrust the problem in His hands because He can handle it (Jeremiah 32:17). Joyce Meyers, a prominent Bible teacher, has numerous resources on managing anger with God’s help. For more details on focusing on God, see the posts, “The Real Truth About God,” “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps,” and “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem.”
4. Express Your Anger Constructively
Write down a list of harmless ways to express your anger and experiment with what works for you. An example is journaling your feelings. You might even find yourself scribbling furiously and that’s ok because you’re releasing tension.
Journaling could also be in the form of a letter to someone, who offended or irritated you, which you don’t intend to actually send. When you calm down, follow up with a journal entry/letter of forgiveness. Again, the letter would not be sent; the purpose is having an outlet for your emotions. But it could be beneficial to read it to your therapist.
5. Change Your Mood
How can you change your mood instantly? By doing something you enjoy. Have you ever been in a bad mood and then your favorite song comes on the radio, suddenly making you smile and sing? Try listening to music when you’re upset or doing some other pleasant activity.
Another way to change your mood is to change your thoughts (Philippians 4:8). Everyone struggles with negative thought patterns sometimes. Your therapist can help in this area.
In conclusion, anger management takes practice, but with a good support system, you can begin to control your anger. Rather than saying it’s not your “greatest strength,” start believing it will be someday. (👍≖‿‿≖)👍 👍(≖‿‿≖👍)
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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