Do you get upset when someone treats you poorly? How about when you feel like you've been treated unfairly? Feelings of anger are normal and even appropriate at times. However, as the verse goes, be angry but do not allow your anger to cause you to sin (Ephesians 4:26).
It's important to deal with anger effectively. Uncontrolled anger can cause you to sin and create additional burdens on your relationships. If your anger is getting the best of you, try these 10 Strategies to overcome anger so that you can regain your peace.
10 Strategies to Overcome Anger
1. Take action when you first start to feel angry.
It's much easier to control any emotion at the onset. As you become more stimulated, it's more challenging to think clearly and rationally. Take action when you first notice that you're starting to get upset.
2. Count to 10 and breathe.
Giving yourself a moment to gather your thoughts can help to defuse the situation. Take the time you need. There's nothing wrong with taking a short timeout. Walk away from the situation and come back when you're calmer.
3. Avoid saying anything while in an angry state.
Speaking while in a negative mental state can create further challenges. Remember all the times you wish you'd kept quiet instead of lashing out. A soft word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1). When you say things in a negative mental state, the words are usually harsh. Think before speaking, and you'll save yourself much apologizing later.
4. Focus on solutions, not the problem.
Whatever we focus on tends to expand. Directing your focus on finding a solution to the issue increases the odds of a positive resolution.
5. Distract yourself.
This is not the same as avoiding the situation. Focusing on something else for a while can help you to overcome your anger enough to handle the situation in a calmer manner. Choose to think about something positive or something that makes you happy. When your emotions are settled, you can return to the situation with a renewed ability to find a solution.
6. Put a smile on your face.
Emotions tend to follow actions. Smiling is your choice. If you smile, you'll feel better and be in a more useful mental state for finding a solution. In his book The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz says to act the way you want to feel. So, despite being angry at the moment, smile big so that you can return to a peaceful and calm state.
7. Seek to understand the other person's point-of-view.
If you understand why the other person angered you in the first place, you might find it was just a simple misunderstanding. It's also possible you made a mistake and can then rectify it. Be certain you have a valid reason for your anger. You might find there's no reason to be angry at all.
8. Apply logic to the situation.
Consider the likely outcome of being angry. Is it really going to help you? Is the situation likely to improve or get even worse? Seeing the negative outcome of continuing with your anger might be enough to put a stop to it.
9. Make peace the priority.
As the saying goes, You can be right, or you can be happy. A feeling of equanimity feels better than anger every time. Value your peace of mind more than you value your ego or holding on to negative feelings.
10. Consider the impact on your relationships.
When you say or do things in anger, it's not always possible to take them back or to rectify the situation. Once the words have left your mouth, the damage has already been done. Your relationships are more important to you than the issue causing the anger.
For your spouse, children, significant other, close friends, or other loved ones, keep the fact that you love them at the forefront of your mind, even during a disagreement. It will help you think more clearly about the issue.
At work, It's important to maintain positive relationships with your boss and coworkers. Consider the consequences that your anger could have on your job.
Anger is a normal emotion. However, it has the power to be very destructive when not managed correctly. There are many ways to deal with anger effectively and peacefully. Focus on understanding the other person and finding solutions to upsetting situations, not your emotions.
Remember, emotions do not solve problems. Your actions and words are what lead to positive or negative outcomes in your life. Do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27).
Are there any other strategies you can think of that we left off our list of 10? Leave them in the comments.