Anger is a natural emotion, but it is harmful when it becomes our focus or a continual part of our personality. Some anger is obvious, but there is also an inordinate amount of hidden anger lurking in the hearts, souls, and spirits of people.
What we refuse to acknowledge, we cannot comprehend, and what we cannot understand, we cannot influence. To deal with the problem of anger, we must first be honest and open about the feelings we may have refused to acknowledge or tried to suppress.
Self-defeating attitudes are often symptoms of anger, mistrust, and self-hate, creating so much havoc with our self-esteem that it becomes impossible to see God’s presence in our lives. It may be anger over the way you were treated as a child that continues to dog your steps as an adult. Or you may harbor anger stemming from a failed relationship, being fired from a job, being discriminated against because of your race or gender, or feeling that life has been unfair to you.
Anger enters our lives in many ways, but when we lock it up for fear of being honest with our feelings or from anxiety over possible reprisals, it does not go away. Instead, it grows inside the emotional walls until it becomes so strong it cannot be contained. For some, the anger seeps out slowly for years — deadly toxic anger and discontent. For others, the power of the anger is so intense that it bursts all bonds, emerges as a flood, making us out-of-control terrors on the loose.
When you feel anger coming on, learn to ask yourself three simple questions:
- Is this an issue of truly great importance?
- Can I justify my anger in this situation?
- Can I do anything right now to solve the problem?
If you can honestly answer no to these three questions, you should take this as a warning to slow down, calm down, and relax before you do anything that might hurt you or someone else.
Ask yourself these three questions the next time you’re stuck in traffic. Then, instead of steaming and fuming about the inevitable, put on a relaxing music tape, say a prayer, and thank God for your blessings. Learn to slow down and make good use of the time rather than letting your anger get the upper hand.
If you find you continue to hurt yourself and others with your anger, then you need to talk through your anger in a safe place with a counselor you trust. If you do not investigate your rage and resentment, you will set up insurmountable roadblocks that prevent you from traveling the path to inner healing. You need to recognize that your anger is essentially raw energy and a result of hurt, frustration, or fear. So get to the bottom of the real issues: What/who has hurt you? What/who is getting you all frustrated? What/whom do you fear?
As you deal honestly with your anger and come to grips with it rationally, determine to use what was once anger energy to deal with the real issues at hand, which usually mean dealing with unfinished business that can lead you out of the pain and sorrow of emotional exhaustion.
If you or someone you know is struggling with anger, depression or anxiety, The Center • A Place of HOPE is here to help. Contact us today at 1-888-771-5166 and begin the healing process.