“How do you control your anger?” If you have a hair-trigger temper, then answering this question has the potential to greatly improve your quality of life. This is why diving into anger management advice is so important.
A quick temper can have harsh consequences. Some of these consequences include the following:
- Angry outbursts (especially if they are filled with criticism and contempt) increase the odds of divorce. Ongoing anger also damages our relationships with the ones who matter most.
- Health problems connected to the long-term effects of anger include headaches, digestion problems, abdominal pain, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, skin problems, heart attack, and stroke. And no one wants to be at increased risk for these.
- Because attitudes are highly contagious, angry parents run the risk of passing on anger, negativity, and defiance to their kids.
- If anger escalates to violence, it can have lasting negative effects on children, especially young kids.
What is anger management?
Anger management starts with recognizing the triggers and warning signs of anger. The next step is practicing a range of skills to manage intense emotions appropriately and return to a calm state.
My wife, Jenny, and I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Ray and Julie Hayden of Rhombus University. During our conversation, the four of us did a deep-dive into the topic of managing anger well at home.
A few of the highlights of our conversation and our key anger management takeaways are below.
How to Control Your Anger in Stressful Times
Where does the anger management problem come from?
- God created the mechanisms of family, and there is a war on the family unit. Satan wants to get a crowbar in this mechanism of family. Anger management issues are one way he does this.
- The sympathetic nervous system is our body’s fight or flight system. It’s meant for good—especially when our body is in danger. This system helps us protect ourselves or run away.
- At home, when the sympathetic nervous system is triggered, we can’t really do anything with it (especially during COVID quarantines and social distancing isolation periods). We get stuck, and this has an effect on people’s health. This is why learning how our sympathetic nervous system kicks in and how to shut it off is so important.
What are some tips and tools we can use to get out of an anger mode?
- First, recognize that emotions come and go. They are just chemicals in our bodies. So it’s important to have tools to evaluate them.
- Having an awareness of when we are thrown off of our game (such as a dad recognizing that being out of work adds to his stress and creating feelings of loss) is a great way to start getting our feelings under control.
- Prayer and thanksgiving are two global strategies for anger management. They lay a foundation for the other tools.
How to Control Your Anger With Perspective
When our fight or flight mode is activated, our thinking brain shuts off. This causes people to do things and say things they would not normally say and do. A proper perspective can keep our thinking brain from turning off, and there is a three-step process for changing our perspective.
- Start by thinking about your thinking. Pretend you are a scientist observing yourself. Notice your thinking trends and developing the discipline of noticing your thoughts.
- Then, every time you notice a thought, ask yourself, “How else could I think about this?” Doing this starts the evaluation process.
- Step three is to choose your thinking. Take responsibility for thinking that is accurate and takes one that considers all scenarios. Examples include, “God is in control” and “This is a terrible time in history that we will overcome.”
The goal is to choose thoughts that keep our sympathetic nervous system from wreaking havoc in our lives.
How do you control your anger when you are in fight and flight mode?
- Once your body enters into fight or flight mode, deep breathing and slowing your heart-rate come into play.
- This is when you want to think to yourself thoughts like relax, calm down, everything is fine.
- Then step away. Find reasons to get away from the situation and calm yourself down.
Because the sympathetic state (fight or flight mode) and pare-sympathetic state (calm, clear-headed, and relaxed) cannot be turned on at the same time, if we can trick our brain into turning on this relaxed state, then anger, fear, and anxiety will turn off.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive account of how to control anger. But these incredible insights into anger management are certainly a good start.
Dive Deeper into How to Control Your Anger
To dive deeper into the topics of anger management and how to control your anger, be sure to check out our full interview with Dr. Ray and Julie Hayed on our Thriving at Home Summit!
Here’s what one summit attendee had to say:
I highly recommend the “The Thriving at Home Virtual Summit“. I’m only about two-thirds of the way through all the teaching and I’m very impressed with the quality of information contained in it. I can’t believe I got this for only $47. I would expect to pay five or 10 times the price for a quality marriage conference or good marriage conference videos. The variety of teachers and the quality of teaching is very impressive. There are so many good resources and tips in the videos. It’s especially helpful in this time when families are closer together and stepping on each other’s toes. I would say run don’t walk, to get this high-quality program. It can change your life.”– Rob
Find out more about our all-access pass (That’s 19 amazing speakers diving into the topics of thriving relationships, thriving kids, a thriving you, and thriving faith). You can preview and purchase the summit here: Thriving at Home Summit all-access pass
Continue the Anger Management Conversation
- Which of these anger management strategies resonates with you?
- What anger management skills have you already tried, and what was the result?
- What thoughts would you add to this ongoing conversation on how to manage your anger well?
Jenny and I would love to hear from you. Simply leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Finally, for more tips on how to control your anger, check out Our Ultimate Guide to Self-Care—which contains two printable infographics to help you grow!