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Posts Tagged ‘Anger’

And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. Nehemiah 5:6 (NKJV)

When you’re angry, you might feel anywhere between a mild irritation to rage.  If it progresses and you start to feel angry, try deep breathing, positive self-talk, or stopping your angry thoughts. Breathe deeply from your diaphragm. Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax” or “take it easy.” Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply until the anger subsides.

Although expressing anger is better than keeping it in, there’s a right way to do it. Try to express yourself clearly and calmly. The very angry outbursts are stressful to your nervous and cardiovascular systems, can increase the anger, and can make health problems worse.

There is great value in strenuous physical activity like regular exercise as a way to both improve your mood but also to release tension and anger.

Get support from others like a friend, a counselor, or a pastor. Talk through your feelings and try to work on changing your behaviors.

Sometimes we have trouble realizing when we are having angry thoughts.  Others can see it in us but we don’t seem able to see them in our life.  Consider keeping a written log of when you feel angry.

If we get angry at people, try to put yourself in their place in order to gain a different perspective.

A good sense of humor can be your salvation.  Learn how to laugh at yourself and see humor in situations.

A lot of angry outbursts result from miscommunication.  Practice good listening skills. Listening can help improve communication and can build trusting feelings between people. This trust can help you deal with potentially hostile emotions.

Learn to be more assertive by expressing your thoughts and feelings calmly and directly without becoming defensive, hostile, or emotionally charged.

Uncontrolled anger ends up hurting us and those around us.  Learning to control it will help us live better, healthier lives and have more positive relationships.

Father God, help me to control my anger before it destroys anyone.

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This anger is killing me

This made Cain so angry that he could not hide his feelings. Genesis 4:5 (CEV)

Anger can help or hurt you, depending on how you react to it. If you can react without hurting someone else, it can be a positive feeling. But if you hold your anger inside, it can lead to passive-aggressive behavior like ”getting back” at people without telling them why or being critical and hostile.

While anger is a common experience to all humans, if left unchecked it can be very harmful to us, and to others. If you don’t deal with your anger, it can lead to anxiety and depression, it can disrupt or even damage your relationships, and it will raise your risk of illness.  For instance, long-term anger has been linked to health problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, and digestive problems. In addition, unchecked anger can be linked to crime, abuse, and other violent behavior.

If you believe that your anger is out of control and is having a negative effect on your life and relationships, consider seeking the help of a mental health professional or a religious leader. A psychologist or other licensed mental health professional can work with you to learn techniques for changing your thinking and your behavior. A mental health professional or a pastor can help you deal with your anger in an appropriate way.

In some people, a pattern of inappropriate anger can also be a symptom of a mood disorder, a personality disorder, a substance use problem, or another mental health problem.  You may want to told to your doctor and ask him/her if medicines could be helpful. Sometimes, antidepressants, certain anticonvulsants, and low-dose antipsychotics can help manage sudden attacks of rage or anger.

Choose your therapist carefully, and make sure to talk to a professional who is trained to teach anger management and assertiveness skills.  A pastor or a friend can also help you and be your accountability partner for the next time you feel anger rising or when you have come to an explosion.

Father God, help me to control and deal with my anger before I hurt myself or the relationships I have with others.

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A hard heart

He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. Matthew 19:8 (NKJV)

 

The last four things Nicole Feuer[i] lists as things she wishes she had been told before getting a divorce are:

  1. Let go of your anger and resentment toward your spouse as this can only hurt you and your children and no good can come from it! It doesn’t mean you condone or excuse your ex’s behavior; it simply means you need to let go of it. If you feel stuck, seek help — a therapist, a divorce advisor, or a divorce support group.
  2. Holidays are hard, especially in the first few years. It might help you to start new traditions and make sure you are not alone.
  3. Don’t bad-mouth your ex-spouse no matter what: This can actually crush their self-esteem. Children want, indeed have the right, to love both parents. Saying bad things about their other parent will come back to bite you and your kids will likely resent you for it now or later.
  4. Don’t rush to start dating again! Your children are not ready to see you with someone new, and you need time to figure out who you are and who would make you happy. Take at least two years, after the divorce is finalized, and focus on your children. Your children also need time to heal and are likely to reject your new partner if they aren’t ready.  The most challenging relationships are found in blended families.  As a result of your divorce from their other parent your children experience a sense of abandonment. If you begin a new relationship, they also experience a sense of betrayal toward the other parent.  And if the new relationship does not work out, as many subsequent relationships don’t and they experience a new breakup, they suffer through another separation from a person with whom they might have begun to feel some sort of closeness.

While these are not the only considerations before taking the serious step of getting a divorce, they are worth taking them into account.

 

Father God, give us the wisdom to make the best decisions in spite of these painful circumstances.

[i] Ibid.

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Short-tempered People

Scripture: Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated. Proverbs 14:17 (NLT)

Observation: Quick-tempered connects this verse with the preceding one. Such a person does foolish things (cf. v. 29; 15:18). “Flying off the handle”—not controlling one’s temper—causes a person to do and say ridiculous things, which he may later regret and be unable to undo. Even more difficult to live or work with is a person who is crafty (cf. 12:2) or scheming (mezimmâh; see comments on 1:4). A person who schemes and works underhandedly to get his way and to oppose others is hated by others because he is untrustworthy. He goes astray (14:22). [Buzzell, S. S. (1985). Proverbs. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (Pr 14:17). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.]

Application: The famous Mayo Clinic offered the following 10 tips to tame your temper (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anger-management/MH00102)

1. Take a timeout. Counting to 10 isn’t just for kids. Before reacting to a tense situation, take a few moments to breathe deeply and count to 10. Slowing down can help defuse your temper. If necessary, take a break from the person or situation until your frustration subsides a bit.

2. Once you’re calm, express your anger. As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

3. Get some exercise. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to erupt. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other favorite physical activities. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.

4. Think before you speak. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

5. Identify possible solutions. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything, and might only make it worse.

6. Stick with ‘I’ statements. To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes,” instead of, “You never do any housework.”

7 . Don’t hold a grudge. Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.

8. Use humor to release tension. Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don’t use sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

9. Practice relaxation skills. When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.

10. Know when to seek help. Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you. You might explore local anger management classes or anger management counseling. With professional help, you can:

If you still experience problems with controlling your anger, you may look for anger management classes and counseling individually, with your spouse, with other family members, or in a group. Request a referral from your doctor to a counselor specializing in anger management, or ask family members, friends or other contacts for recommendations. Your health insurer, employee assistance program (EAP), clergy, or state or local agencies also might offer recommendations.

Don’t be foolish, as the proverb state; seek help to manage it before it hurts the people in your life.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help us to learn ways to control our anger so that we may not do or say foolish things that may hurt the people we love.

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Scripture: But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, Colossians 3:8-10 (NKJV)

Observation: Several words deserve further explanation:
Wrath describes passion for a time: opposed to “tender-hearted,” and so it has also been translated as harshness.
blasphemy describes “evil-speaking,” as it is translated in Eph 4:31.
filthy communication – the context favors the translation, “abusive language,” rather than impure conversation. “Foul language” best retains the ambiguity of the original.

Application: The apostle Paul writes that our relationships should be different now that we have been changed from the inside by Jesus. Those things that were commonplace, second nature, should give way to our new nature.
Think of how the words of Paul apply to your relationship with your spouse. Your old self won’t be nearly as good of a spouse as your new self. These verses from Colossians challenge us to set aside the poor behaviors that always get in the way of a healthy marriage and put on the character of Christ.
Think of the opposite of these words so that it will help you to practice, or “put on,” the positive traits and not simply fight to not do the negative things. Instead of bitterness , use kindness. Instead of harshness, be tender-hearted. Instead of anger or resentment forgive one another.”
Although it makes it sound as easy as putting on a coat, read the words of today’s passage aloud together with your spouse and listen for that one sinful trait that is the hardest for you to get rid of and the one godly trait that is the hardest to clothe yourself in. Confess the ways you’ve failed to put on godly character and ask your spouse to forgive you. And then pray together that God will give you the determination to put His character on again and again every day.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, help me today to put on the character of Jesus Christ so that I may be kinder, more gentle, more loving, and more forgiving toward my spouse.

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Anger Management

Scripture: (Psa 4:4 NKJV)  Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah

Observation: This is one of the first of Dasvid’s many psalms.  It is a plea or prayer for safety for the faithful.

Application: I chose to entitle my words today “Anger Management” and not “Anger Suppression,” “Anger Elimination,” “Denial of Anger,” “Absence of Anger,” or any other name that would indicate that anger should not exist.  Anger is a normal emotion, one that even God experiences.  And while God’s anger may be different than ours, it is still anger.  David writes, “O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure” (Psa 6:1 NKJV).
We need to accept anger as a normal emotion; but we need to learn how to manage it in a healthy way so that it does not become sin, and so that it causes no harm to anyone.  According to marriage researcher and therapist John Gottman, during the heat of an argument with their spouse husbands tend to “flood” faster.  By flooding he means that the blood “rises to the head” and prevents more “rational” thinking.  Maybe this explains why so much of anger in men develops into physical abuse.  When some  men feel anger rising, they retaliate against the person they feel is causing them to get that way – for instance, their wife.  One of the things we recommend is that when either spouse begins to feel “flooded,” that they take a time out.  The key, however, is to make sure there is a time limit to that time out as opposed to an open-ended break.  For instance, as the discussion begins to heat up, the husband may say, “I need to take a time out; please give me an hour and we can sit down and talk about this and try to resolve it.”  Gottman’s research shows that it takes at least twenty minutes for a person to calm down  when they’re in the middle of a discussion (as measured by their body reactions such as pulse, heart rate, etc.).  To simply walk away would cause more harm as the wife feels like the issue has not been resolved and is not being “stonewalled’ by her husband.  But a timed time out can help both calm down, give them time to think about their own contribution to the issue at hand, and maybe come up with some possible solutions or compromises.
May use relaxation techniques – breathing, going for a walk, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, listening to soft music, taking a warm shower, etc., to help them calm down before resuming the conversation.
Denial or suppression of anger won’t make it go away and will cause more harm to the relationship than dealing with the issue in a constructive way.  So go ahead and  be angry, if the case warrants it, but deal with it in a healthy way, and do not sin against your spouse, your children, other people, or God.

Prayer: Father, thank You for anger.  Thank You for the anger that makes us act in the face of unfairness, injustice, evil, and sin.  Help us, Father, to manage it in a healthy way that we may not become instruments of pain and destruction but agents of peace and healing.

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