Slow to Anger

1.   Acknowledge anger.Be willing to admit you are angry. Accepting the naturalness of the anger emotion will remind you of your human limitations. Even with these limitations or weaknesses it does not take away your worth as a person. God has a forgiving nature and while in the rising heat of a battle you will be able to draw upon His forgiving nature that you are out of control. It is important when you are angry to feel some freedom to express your negative emotions in the presence of others. In the presence of others you should not be harshly confronted but encouraged to express what you are feeling. It may be necessary to slow down the rapid firing thoughts that surface and are reflected in bitterness or irritation. Upon feeling these surges of anger feelings, take a deep breath and try to relax your muscles. Try to think and talk slowly or not talk at all. Sometimes, if possible it may be necessary to separate yourself from the conflict or provoking situation. Asking for a better time to talk about the issue may be necessary for any success.

2.   Control thoughts. Your thought life is the key to whether you will be able to control your behaviors. Thoughts prior to anger are very important. Thoughts are the fuel for irrational behaviors prolonged existence and strength. When anger feelings begin, you should listen to yourself think. You are constantly making judgment calls, decisions and comparisons without knowing all there is to know. In the long run, you can only change yourself. Changing your thoughts can be difficult and you will only succeed if really want to change your anger.

3.   Discern the causes of your anger. What is making you angry right now? This is not the reason for your anger but provoked what was hidden beneath within your mind. Make an honest checklist- what are   your personal fears, what irritates you, are your expectations too high or are there others around you that are hot-tempered and see if the flame of your anger is fanned from these things. Understanding that the moment you are angry happened way before and was just waiting to surface.

4.   Challenge irrational beliefs. Renew your mind daily by reading the Bible to keep in check your expectations of others and whether you think you are always right. The word of God is a plumb line as to what is prosperous and what will build you up.

5.   Do not be bothered by everything. By having a mindset that there will be “normal troubles” that come with everyday living and relating to others. It will be important to learn new ways when dealing with situations such as; not to be angered when something goes wrong, hope that today is a good day to be alive and trying to maintain a positive attitude. Life is something that is worth working at and problems are normal.

6.   Consider the goals for your relationships. When anger is provoked by another person ask yourself to remember the goals for that relationship and your Christian responsibility. By holding back anger also means having a forgiving mindset because forgiveness cannot dwell side by side with anger. Granting forgiveness to others no matter what the sin or faults will tantamount to recognize human weakness. When “slow to anger” people examine their responsibility in anger-causing situations and be willing to confess their responsibility.

7.   Develop peace of mind. Holding back anger and taking the time to work at changing anger responses develops and increasing sense of control as well as patience and peace. This does not happen overnight and needs encouragement to keep going in the direction of healing. By using Scripture, an angry person will be able to rise above hate and anger so to forgive and resolve issues that held them back before.

Taken from:

Counseling for Anger; Mark P. Cosgrove, PH.D. Word Publishing; Dallas 1986: p 77-87.