We all get to that point where we seem to have been caught off guard. Anger isn’t a new thing to virtually anyone, it is not something you are taught in school but a part of your makeup. Anger is very normal and to some extent very healthy and part of your emotions. Since anger belongs to you, it shouldn’t decide what you do, it should be under your own feet, you should be the one who controls how you express it. What you don’t control may turn around to control you and when anger begins to control you it becomes cancerous, it can damage you, your relationships and things that are very important to you. If you are looking for a way to manage your anger, it is probably because you are aware that anger isn’t giving you the best of what you want. Although you may be enticed to use what you have, you can also decide not to use it when it is not truly going to be helpful.
In today’s post, we aren’t going to be discouraging you from expressing anger because it can become a whole lot of bigger problems but we will give you helpful tips on how to manage your anger and express it in a very healthy way. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:26
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
It is okay to get angry, it is something God built in us to respond to threats and sometimes even help us find a solution to something. But it is wrong when we let anger take control of us, that is where sin comes into place. Sometimes people let anger take control by staying angry all day. It is a choice, you can decide to let anger take control of you or to take control of your anger. Here are some simple tips on how to manage your anger.
1. DON’T SPEAK BEFORE COGITATION
You are bound to say things you will regret in the future if you speak out of anger without thinking. Although when people’s actions stir up anger, we seem to want to act immediately, sagacity demands that we walk out of that situation for a time no matter what we are feeling and to think over it for another moment. Sometimes anger shapes our attitude and sometimes we see from a more helpful viewpoint after that anger is gone. When we decide to take a break and think, we are also offering other people involved with the corresponding opportunity to think before saying anything. The Bible rightly says in Proverbs 14:17 “People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm”
2. DON’T FEIGN PLEASURE
When you have really thought about it, express your anger in a controlled way. Don’t try wrapping up your anger in religious covers or because you want to appear more mature. The worst things to do about your anger is to hide it, don’t believe such half-baked truth that Christians can’t get angry. Anyone can be angry and God created those emotions in each and every one of us. Sometimes, anger serves a good purpose, it pushes us into taking actions concerning a situation that shouldn’t be there in the first place. If something makes you angry, then you’ve got something to deal with. Acknowledging your anger is truly a major way to start out with managing it because if we do not acknowledge it, we will not be able to manage it and it can graduate to rage, resentment not just towards a situation but towards other people. Hidden anger causes all manner of ailments including depression, disorders and even cancer! These things have been proven by various researches. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:30 “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body…”
3. DON’T OVER-SCRUTINIZE ISSUES
While it is okay to have a break and think about the actions you are about to take, you shouldn’t let your mind continue to journey back into that issue! You don’t have to keep examining and speculating over the wrongs meted out to you. In fact, the reason you have to think is that you want to take control of your anger and not because you want to give your anger rooms to truly express itself. The more you think about what they did and the punishment they deserve, you grow out of control. Truth is, you can control your thoughts as much as you can control your anger. This is why the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that “we should bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” How do we bring it to obey Christ? Jesus said we should love one another and therefore our thoughts about any issue should gear towards love.
4. YOU CAN ACTUALLY FORGIVE!
The easiest way I put my anger under check is to forgive my offender, whether they are there or they had gone out of sight. My decision to forgive isn’t usually because I feel like doing so but because I know this is the right thing to do. Sometimes, forgiveness has usually made me appear like a coward. While you have thought about the right actions to take, expressing your anger in a very less aggressive way and wedged yourself from overthinking about it, it is time to forgive him or her. The Bible says in Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” We can mitigate the emotional pain by truly forgiving people and doing it vocally. Sometimes it is also important to reach out to that person and say “I am truly very angry with you but right now I have chosen to forgive you.” It brings healing and peace to your heart and even when invalidating thoughts try popping up, your decision to forgive puts it under serious check. The Bible also says in Ephesians 4:31-32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.“ You have the ability to forgive and you have the strength to control your anger.
5. LOOK BEYOND THE ISSUE
Many times, we often get angry with people not because what they did was even worth the anger but because we have other internal issues we are dealing with. Now that you have chosen to control your anger, it is also important that you look beyond the issue to know if the early nagging of your wife or bully from your husband is what gets on your nerves. You may also have to check if it is your poor income or the annoying character of your kids that pushes you to the wall and make you want to pour your anger on someone else. Perhaps, you just got off the phone with your partner and she just told you it is over and you are going crazy! You may not be able to fix those internal issues but you can admit to yourself that anger won’t fix it either. Decide to start putting a limit to how it affects you and your relationship with other people. Let nobody suffer the consequences of other people’s offence even if they are friends with those people.
6. AVOID GETTING INTO ISSUES
There are times it is inevitable, there are times we must speak up and stand up for something right but there are times we can avoid anger and things that lead to anger. When we discern that a decent debate is intensifying into a heated quarrel, we should withdraw. When we suddenly discover that something is bothering someone so much that he or she reacts to other things angrily, we can control how we communicate with them. We know those issues that could probably get us angry and therefore we can avoid getting into them. It is better to give up on an argument and be called a coward than try to win and eventually get yourself angry even when you are saying the right thing. Don’t be too quick to force a truth down people’s throat, if they don’t believe you, they may believe someone else later. Only a patient teacher can teach slow learners and only patient teachers are great teachers! The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:23-25 “But keep away from foolish and ignorant arguments; you know that they end up in quarrels. As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher, who is gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth.”
7. CHANNEL YOUR ENERGY RIGHTLY
Finally, there are other things you can use your energy for rather than let it turn into stress! You have good energy and the same energy can become negative or positive. When you are angry, instead of rage and fume, find something else to do! You could enter the kitchen and go make some popcorn, you could decide to take a walk, read a funny book, watch a movie or even play around with your kids! If you have video games, you could get your hands on it. For people like me, you could even write your best seller when your emotions are boiling. Stress and depression would happen when you don’t release that anger-energy through other means. When I am not writing, I have some friends I know I could hang out with and forget I ever got angry. The moment you have released these energies, you may even still want to stay angry and discover you can’t because the energy for that has been released. If you got angry or you sensed you are getting angry during the day, put hands off that job and take a walk to the ice cream shop.
“Ice cream tastes better than anger, why not choose ice cream over anger? I prefer vanilla flavour or farm-fresh yoghurt alternative!”– George Onyedikachukwu Nnadozie, 7 Ways to manage your anger
When it becomes a whole lot of challenge to control your anger, you may want to seek a professional help towards managing your anger. If you realize that you experience sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behaviour or angry verbal outbursts that result to reactions that are negatively gross, it may be a sign of explosive disorder and you should seek help!
God bless you.
~ George O.N