Over the years, I have gained some experience in dealing with anger issues. Did you ever realize that anger can become a habit and pattern of behavior? I had become accustomed to reacting to another person or situation. Anger in itself is not wrong. It is simply an emotion, like any other emotion. What is wrong is if it is expressed in a negative or destructive way, or destroys relationships. Here are six principles to apply that will help in dealing with anger. They have helped me so I want to share them with you.
1. If a person has an anger issue he or she must own the problem. Admit that there is a problebem with anger.
2. Realize that “blowing up” or yelling never accomplishes anything.
3. Recognize what types of situations or people make you angry.
4. When you know in advance that there may be a situation that has the potential to make you react in a negative way, plan in advance how you can respond in a non-destructive way. There is a big difference between reacting and responding. Reacting is just what the word implies. There is no thought given to it. Responding involves thinking something through ahead of time, even the words that will be used.
5. Take positive alternatives to dealing with anger, like going for a walk, or going outside and working in the yard. Work it off, while at the same time think about how to respond to the situation or person. It will provide a “cooling” off time.
6. It is important to do something to vent or release anger, but not around people.
There are three objectives on which to focus in controlling anger. One, it is important to deal with it so that it does not become repressed. Holding anger in is not good for physical or emotional health, and over time can lead to bitterness, hatred, or even murder. Two, it is crucial that one’s family is not exposed to angry reactions. Three, attempt to keep relationships intact. Always remember this: One negative expression of anger directed at a person, even just using the wrong tone of voice or a wrong word can temporarily, or maybe permanently, ruin a relationship.
Dealing with anger properly can also serve as a good example for children. It will teach them the importance of not holding in anger, while at the same time teaching them how to express it constructively.
(These principles were quoted from my book, “God’s Healing Hope: Breaking the Strongholds of Wrong Thinking,” available on amazon.)