There is nothing wrong with getting angry, in fact it is a natural human response that indicates that something has annoyed, challenged or frustrated us. The problem with anger is when we allow it to take control and call the shots for us, often causing us to say or do something that we later regret and feel shame for.
9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. -Ecclesiastes 7:9
So the big question is: How do I deal with anger before it deals with me? There are a lot of different things that we can try, bunt from my personal experience, there is not a one and done remedy and usually it takes a combinations of efforts to get untangled from the web that anger weaves.
The most important thing is to make a decision before you are angry that you are not ever going to allow anger to call the shots. This way, you go in from a strong place, which is much better than beginning from a place of weakness. Below are a few other ideas that will assist you in dealing with anger before it deals with you.
There is the famous “Count Method!” You can either count to ten or count backwards, but I have found that many times, this seems to get me a little more angry???
Take A Breath! In fact, take several deep breaths – in and out. Our breathing becomes shallow and rapid when we are angry and sometimes taking a moment to focus on and change our breathing works wonders in calming us down enough to get back our control.
Go For A Walk! Walking is one of the best things we can do for a lot of different things, but taking time to walk when we are angry allows us to process our thoughts and gives us some time to gain that control back that is so easily lost.
Stretch Your Frustration Away! When we get angry, our muscles tense up, tighten and we become a big ole ball of negative emotions. When we are in this state, it is very easy for us to say or do something that we are sure to regret later. Stretch it out – you will be glad you did!
Pray! That’s right, take some time to talk to God and also some time to listen to God. Prayer is powerful and God wants to help us be victorious in every area of our life, so just by making and taking the time to talk and listen to God, you are moving yourself to a higher level of living. It’s also a great idea to write in your journal, this gives you creative space to shake free of the entanglements of anger!
Practice Gratitude! This requires a major shift in gears, but if you make it, it will totally change things and fast, In fact, I keep a gratitude list in my head and heart of top blessing that I have in my life that help to remind me of the things that really matter. Thinking through this list gets me grateful and moves me to a better place quicker than almost anything else.
Now there are a thousand other ways to deal with anger before it deals with you. I encourage you to find your top three to five and have them in your arsenal, ready to draw whenever anger decides to raise it’s ugly head in your life. You’ve got this, because you were created for so much more!