Anger

How To Understand & Manage Your Anger

Anger is a common human emotion that arises when we are upset by life circumstances, difficulties in relationships, and frustrating inconveniences.

Because the emotions and physical feelings of anger are so strong (and so often negative), it can be hard to know what to do with your anger. But anger is not a feeling you have to be afraid of. There are ways to understand and manage it.
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Understanding Anger

Not everyone gets angry for the same reasons, but there are some common threads behind what drives anger for most people.

PAIN
Pain and anger fuel one another. Very often, anger issues develop after abuse, or some other trauma you’ve experienced (neglect, assault, abandonment, etc.)

SENSE OF INJUSTICE
This is one of the most common sources of anger. When you feel you or someone you care about have been treated unfairly, anger is often a natural consequence.

GRIEVING
Grief after a loss often includes anger because you’re upset that someone you love can no longer be with you, or because you feel like your life will never be the same (i.e. when someone you love dies, or after losing a job or ending a relationship).

Physical

Long periods of unresolved anger can put a strain on your heart health, putting you at risk for cardiac issues. It can cause high blood-pressure, weaken your immune system, and have a negative impact on your respiratory system. For the sake of your physical health, seek professional help to learn how to process anger in a healthy way.

Emotional

Whether you express your anger with continual outbursts or repress your anger, you are at risk for developing anxiety and depression. Unhealthy anger can create emotional havoc, and in many cases, cause damage to the relationships in your life. Angry outbursts will often leave you with feelings of both shame and regret.

Spiritual

The root of anger is often a deep wound from your past that inflicted pain to your very soul. This wound never got the attention it needed to heal properly which has allowed your spirit to be infected with the anger. Your spirit desires peace, but anger is always fighting against you, making peace feel unattainable.

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Toxic Forms of Anger

Once you better understand your anger, it’s important to put healthy boundaries on your feelings (and how you express them) so that your anger doesn’t contribute to abusive or toxic relationships. Here are a few feelings to be on guard against.
BITTERNESS
Becoming bitter is resigning yourself to your anger, and convincing yourself that nothing about your life or your emotions can change for the better. The resulting jealousy and resentment may keep you from forming new relationships.
HATRED
Anger shifts to hatred when you desire that the people who hurt you also experience pain or are “paid back” for what they’ve done. There’s little room for forgiveness and healing when people hate one another.
RAGE
Rage is the point when anger causes people to lose control and cause pain to others by harming them verbally, emotionally, or physically. If you’ve damaged property or valuables (throwing or breaking things, punching walls, etc.), or feel as though fights with someone have gotten out of control, it’s time to get help with your anger.
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Healthy Anger Management

Learning healthy ways to manage your anger keeps it from controlling you and prevents harm to yourself and others.

Don't Ignore It

It’s a very good thing to express your anger to a mentor, therapist, or trusted friend. Asking for help and support can help lessen the intensity of your emotions and lead to healthier coping strategies.

Find An Outlet

Sometimes you just need a break from thinking about the person or situation making you angry. A healthy outlet (exercise, prayer, meditation, or creative expression) can help with relaxing some of the intense physical feelings that accompany anger.
Get help to identify where your anger comes from, what makes you angry, and who in your life you might need to forgive.

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

There is hope to overcome the battle with unhealthy anger. Practicing meditation or spending time in prayer can help ground you and calm you. Anger isn’t always bad but allowing anger to control you is. The Bible gives us clear guidance about anger as it says in Psalm 4:4, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.” The key is to not always react or repress, but to calmly process what you are angry about and come up with a better way to handle your anger. Ask God for help! He’s there for you.

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