Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to effectively deal with anger

Do you have a difficult time expressing and controlling your anger?

Do you use anger as a power mechanism to control other people and handle your life?

Do you feel out of control with your anger and take it out on innocent people?

Are you always feeling deep regret about taking out your aggression on others?   

A destructive way of communicating to others

Anger can be part of a range of emotions raging from rage at one extreme to impatience and irritation at the other. People experience anger when they feel that their rights have been violated, have been wronged or that a certain expectation or value of theirs hasn’t been met.

Angry people feel frustrated, misunderstood and have trouble communicating their needs and wants to others. Only by anger do they feel that they can get their message across to others and get what they want. But exploiting this emotion and using it as a control mechanism is often dangerous and counterproductive.

A powerful emotion

Anger that lasts even for a few minutes can sometimes do a lot of damage if it leads someone to act impulsively. In its extremity, the emotion of anger can influence someone to act violently, harm themselves or harm others. That’s why it’s so important for people who suffer from anger take proper steps to overcome and manage it.

The tennis player who exploded on court

Have you ever seen a tennis match where the tennis player that was losing ended up arguing with and cussing the umpire? I’m sure you and most people have. The angry tennis player resorted to venting out their anger on the umpire in front of a whole crowd of people just because they weren’t winning the match easily.

Unfortunately resorting to aggression only makes things worse for people and in the case of the tennis match, high chances are that the tennis player’s anger explosion ended up making them lose focus and concentration, lose the match and get fined by the umpire!

Roger Federer won the battle over anger

The famed tennis great Roger Federer once suffered from anger problems early on in his career but was wise enough to get help to manage it. After overcoming his anger issues, Roger rose to the great heights of unparalleled success in the tennis world and has never looked back since.

There are several strategies that you can use to help manage and take control of your anger, below are some suggestions:

Communicate angry feelings assertively rather than aggressively

It’s possible to express your anger or frustration towards other people in a way that is respectful to others and doesn’t blame or put them down. One way is to begin what you say with “I” rather than “you”.

In other words, “I feel angry when you treat me like this” instead of “You make me so mad when you treat me like this.” “I - statements” maintain respect for the other person; “you statements” put people on the defensive and put the blame on them for your feelings.

Ventilate your feelings of anger in non destructive ways

It’s quite possible and healthy to discharge your anger in ways that are not destructive and that don’t involve dumping your anger on someone else. Taking out your anger physically on inanimate objects may be helpful for people to take out their angry feelings. The following are suggested ways to safely vent out your anger:
  • Hit a pillow with your fists
  • Scream into a pillow
  • Hit a punching bag
  • Yell in your car with the windows closed and when there are no people around
  • Sweat it out with a workout
Use coping statements to release your anger

When you find yourself in situations that you do not like and can’t change, you can quote the following statements:
  • I don’t need to prove myself
  • If it’s beyond my control, let it go
  • Keep your cool and you’re in control
  • People are just people. They are neither good or bad. Everyone behaves according to their own set of rules
  • They don’t have to behave the way I would like them to. I am responsible for my behaviour and they are responsible for theirs
Take 5 and breathe

This is a great anger interruption technique. When you find yourself in a situation that angers you and you want to explode you just have to stop and pause. Don’t react to what’s angering you. Just breathe deeply and count to 5 and slowly allow for your anger to dissipate like fog. This technique will help you not react automatically to your anger and allow you to exert some control over your automatic reactions.

A final word

If you feel as though your anger is extremely unmanageable and you need external help, there is plenty of professional help out there for people who want to effectively reduce and manage their anger. God desires that you live a life free from anger, so take your anger problem to God in prayer.

Ask for God to reveal how your anger problem came about. Maybe it was because your father had been violent and verbally abusive to you when you were a child and you learnt his dysfunctional habits. When you understand the roots of your anger problem you can start to deal with it [with God's help.]

Know that God can set you free from any bondage, that's why Jesus died on the cross. The victory has already been won by Jesus, so take your bondage to God and He will lead you into healing and deliverance over anger.

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