How to Cope with Anger

How to cope with anger? Forgiveness is the key
Are you struggling with how to cope with anger? I recently had an opportunity to practice my coping skills. My husband bought a new e-reader and to use the reader wirelessly, we needed a password. I could not find the password and I searched all day on two computers. Needless to say, my husband got angry and I was frustrated! Our daughter even came over to help look for the password. We never did find the password! Instead, we took the reader, laptop, and router to a computer shop and the problem was resolved.

Perhaps you are angry over a little thing like this, or maybe you are angry because a tragedy has come into your life. Whatever the source of your anger, there are steps you can take to defuse the anger that is brewing inside of you.

It has not always been easy, but I have learned the importance of not holding on to anger. It can lead to bitterness, unforgiveness, substance abuse, extreme stress, and illness. I’ve found that this Bible verse has saved me many sleepless nights: “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26). What a great challenge! Dealing with anger before it festers into bitterness is the key.

How to cope with anger – Steps of Action

  • Seek professional help. Counselors in your local community can help you talk through the problem and deal with your angry feelings.

  • Take time to be calm. Think before you react. Often, this requires removing yourself from the situation until you can respond in a calm manner. I like to take a walk in the park or go fishing.

  • Communicate. Remain calm while you share your thoughts and feelings with the other person. Be willing to admit when you are wrong and be willing to apologize.

  • Look for the positive. Be intentional to look for the good in the situation. What are you learning? What will you do differently next time? Be thankful for the good things in your life.

How to cope with anger – Seek God
I’ve learned that seeking God is a great answer to how to cope with anger. This may seem like a crazy suggestion, but it really does help! My pastor recently said, “People are hurting and they don’t know where to turn. Their fears and frustrations are the result of their inability to cope and situations they can’t change. The more they think of each day’s mundane activities, the more miserable they become with life. Circumstances and problems don’t always change. How you look at them does.”

  • The Bible instructs us to be slow to anger. “…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19

  • We are encouraged to call on God and He will hold us up. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

  • God knows our thoughts. “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” – Psalm 139:1-3

  • Share your anxiety with your God. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, of love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Remember, when God is silent, He is still involved in your life. Never stop praying, no matter how bad things seem. Cry out to Him and allow Him to defuse your anger.

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