Everyone struggles with getting hot under the collar. Anger is part of being human. We all have triggers that set us off and make us angry. We don’t have to work on not getting angry, we have to work on managing our anger instead of it managing us. What matters is not so much the anger itself, but how we handle ourselves, how far we let it control us. Proverbs 29:11 says, “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”
Everyone has triggers. What are yours?
The way to handle anger is to know your triggers and (try!) to choose how to respond to any given situation instead of just flipping out in rash anger. Handling ourselves this way gives us power and grace. To stop from just lashing out, here are 3 not-always-so-simple steps to keep cool.
1. Freeze! When someone does something and you feel the blood rushing to your face, stop right there. Don’t move a muscle, don’t say a word, don’t react. Give yourself a few minutes to regain control. You can’t change how you feel, but you can change how you react.
2. Breathe! Take a few deep breaths. Stopping and breathing, instead of spouting off, will save you over and over in life. Paying attention to your breathing will take your mind off whatever just happen, even if only for the moment–long enough to get a handle on the situation.
3. Chill! When something happens, when someone upsets you in some way or another, often the best thing to do is NOT to dwell on it. I’m not saying we should let everything go and be happy, happy…but if anger is controlling you or your day, the best thing to do is stop, breathe, chill and think about something positive, no matter how difficult.
What are your triggers and what ways do you handle them?