Anger management tips are not fun words, but words to take seriously. If someone tells you that you have anger issues, they are… unfortunately…probably on to something. So how do we control our tempers before they erupt? I have three simple ways to turn our lion into a lamb.
Anger comes to the party
Let’s start this off with a good old definition of what anger is. According to Dictionary, anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Did someone come to mind when you read that definition? Childhood foe? Co-worker? If not, then this person could be you! Anyway…
It seems that every January starts with an unexpected visit from a lion who sets up camp. This wasn’t one of those sleepy lions, this cat was roaring. A New Year, a fresh start, and WHAM, my 2019 was faced with my first of many challenging days. This is 2019, I’m not talking about 2020, or even 2021!
My anger management was being tested and I was on the verge of taking the gloves off. Normally, if it were just one issue I would handle it pretty well, but anger-hungry events kept happening. As I look back at this year, I feel it prepared me for the years to come. So how can we transform a lion into a lamb? I have a few anger management tips that will work and have you laying in green pastures!
What’s up with Diet Coke?
Let me give you a taste of how January 2019 went along. Below-freezing temperatures hit our area, we had no school for eight days in one month! On one of those days my son and I were chatting on the couch when suddenly we heard an explosion from the garage, “What was that?”. My mind quickly questioned ‘Was someone breaking in? Where was the gas can? Did a tire pop? Was that a gun?’ As we peered, ever so slowly, into the garage we were welcomed with a light brownish slush on our screen door. The garage smelled a little sweet. Hmm. As I turned the light on, my eyes widened at the car, garage ceiling, recycle bins, and even our boots. This brownish, familiar smell, stuff had exploded everywhere. Yep, I guess that’s what happens to a 2-liter of Diet Coke when it freezes.
It was at that moment I decided to practice my reaction to this roar, “All you can do is clean up the mess. Just do it and move on. Getting mad is not going to fix it.” I shut the door and stood there for a second. “At least it’s frozen”, I said to my son. I grabbed my stocking hat, tightened my scarf, and went to work.
Later that afternoon I was craving a Diet Coke slushie. After I went through the car wash I went to the store and got one. The funny thing was as I backed out of my parking spot, someone else backed up too…we met in the middle…crunch; hmm. My soul took a deep breath in and out, and my inner voice said, “Okay Christy. No one was hurt. There is no car damage. These things happen. Learn from this, and then move on.” This is just one example of one day I had that January.
Anger Management Tips from Lion to Lamb
Even though January was a bit rough, in hindsight, I’m actually glad it all happened. It’s usually through the bad stuff where we grow the most, no? The salty season reminded me that I have values and morals. I have goals. And I have a family who loves me after a bad day…month…LOL. But that’s not all this lion-of-a-month taught me. He taught me how to transform him into a lamb.
Every week was peppered with dire events: work difficulties, health issues, relationship misunderstandings, car problems, communication predicaments, extreme weather conditions, and big decisions to name the least. I regularly thought about the superstition that bad things happen in threes, but there were more than three! “What’s going on?” It kind of felt like I was in a boxing ring dodging punches; then I’d get an uppercut to the gut and a hook to the nose. My opponent would then roar like a lion and stand over my body. Okay, maybe not that intense, but I needed to fight back with class.
Tip 1 – Name the Lion
The first trick to fighting the urge to blow your top is to notice it. Identify it. Give the feeling a name: Doubt, Insecurity, Frustration, Unfairness, Confusion, or whatever it is. No one likes to call these out, but it helps to pinpoint the issue. What exactly are you upset about? Are you mad at a person or are you upset about this person’s behavior? Do you have chronic physical pain? Are you sick and exhausted? Is your work stressing you out? Feeling overwhelmed? Family drama?
Pay attention to what is going on around you, not to sulk in your despair, but to put a stop to it! What exactly is happening? Why is it affecting you so much? Can you name it? In my instance in this particular case, it had been cloudy for weeks, sickness everywhere, bills coming in, and goals were strapped for time. On the not-so-obvious note, my hormones were haywire, my values were compromised, and people-pleasing got the best of me. But when I named why I was getting angry, I could then fight back with the right punches.
Anger Management Tip 2 – Focus
The second tip to anger management is knowing the pace. The frequency of these downers was happening one right after the other. My thinking immediately shifted from rolling it off my back to what was coming next? This can be looked at as a good thing and a bad one. The good help with being alert, ready to act, and prepared for the not-so-fun. The bad taints perspective. It’s like we’re looking for the grim so we see the grim. Here’s the trick with the good and the bad: what you focus on is what you’ll see the most of, pace yourself.
3 – Skill. Train the Lion
When it comes to anger management tips, this tip is like a tip on steroids. Skill in managing your emotions is a must, and yes, it is a skill! How are we handling the situation? This skill needs to be continuously worked on. My awareness of how I managed these troubles became clear to me. Some I did well with, others…um…I could have done better. I don’t like to admit I blew some things out of proportion, but gosh, it happens to all of us. So how do we train and master the skill of anger management?
Here are 7 techniques:
- Understand the triggers. Have a plan of how you’d like to react. Play it over in your head and practice.
- Use this opportunity to better yourself, not to hurt others, but to strengthen your character. Get to know who you are.
- Flip the switch and focus on the good things. Seriously write down or discuss at the dinner table what good things happened that day.
- Turn to God. He might be trying to get your attention or even protecting you from something worse. Yes, spiritual warfare happens. Fight off the Enemy with God’s armor, Ephesians 6:13-17. It also helps to call the enemy out on it, “STOP! Away from me!” Jesus did, why wouldn’t it work for us? Ask Jesus to help you.
- If you don’t have someone you can trust to vent to, write in a journal. Get it out.
- Give your mind a break and your body a good sweat. Exercise helps your brain be more creative and it kicks in your problem-solving skills. Not to mention, exercise helps relieve stress. Here are 10 Breakthrough Tips on how to reduce stress in your life.
- Distract your thoughts. Again, get your mind on something else that keeps you busy for a while. It gives you time to regroup.
Practicing these training techniques over and over again will help us see lions as lambs. Give’r a try and keep moving forward.
Blue Monday? Seriously?
Ironically, during the latter half of the month, my husband heard on the radio that the third Monday in January is called “Blue Monday”. Apparently, a university professor used a formula to calculate the most depressing day of the year. WHAT?! The date was calculated by these factors: poor weather, debt level, post-Christmas blaa, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, and low motivation levels. You can see the formula here. After my husband told me that news I felt SO MUCH BETTER! Light bulb moment here: I wasn’t alone. And maybe that’s all we need to know when going through a lion season…we’re not alone.
In conclusion: anger management tips
Anger management may be kind of embarrassing, but taking the steps to know how to handle the triggers will not only help you have more peace in life, but it’s also better for your heart, relationships, and self-confidence. These tips are to be practiced over and over again, so that next time a challenging and tempting situation comes up, you’ll know just what to do to keep your cool. Keep moving forward and pay attention to what sets you off.
Before you go, check out these other great posts:
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