March 22, 2014
Bubba reached out and grab his son Jimmy Bob by his shirt collar and spun him around – “don’t ignore me boy, I’m talkin’ to you.” Jimmy Bob pulled Bubba’s hand away, taking a few steps backwards, while leaning into his dad responded, “What’d I do? You’re always telling me what I do wrong, how disappointed you are in me – how I displease you and I’m tired of it. Did you ever stop and tell me how much you love me? Hell no not very often.” Bubba stepped off to the side and dropped into the couch – he looked up at his son and softly said, “Sorry JB, don’t know why I’m so angry, so stressed. I know it’s hard to forgive me, but guess I need help.”
Stress is many times played out as anger, not sure why Bubba and so many others often live their lives in the arms of anger. Anger has a way of pulling both reason and love out of our arms and replacing them with uncontrolled reactions – direction without forethought, often crushing the one we target. Given anger is often uncontrollable, although anger can be a normal and even healthy emotion — that said, it’s important to deal with it in a positive and controlled way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships. Research related to anger dates back centuries – there have been many suggestions related to controlling anger and the most successful of these lay in the following five steps:
1. Take time out. Before reacting to a tense situation, take a few moments to breathe deeply and wait about ten seconds before you react in any way. Slowing down can help calm your temper. If necessary, take a break from the person or situation until your frustration decreases a bit and you can react with reason.
2. Once calmed now express your anger anxieties. As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in a self-confident way, but try hard to be non-confrontational. Express your concerns and needs clearly and directly – be gentle, without hurting others or trying to manipulate them.
3. develop a channel for your anger by physically exercising. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to blowup. If you feel your anger growing, go for a walk or run, or another favorite physical activity. Physical activity stimulates many brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.
4. Release personal anger; don’t hold a “grudge”. Forgiveness is a powerful tool. Don’t allow anger and other negative emotions to crowd out positive sensations, rather if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation.
5. Learn that when anger overwhelms you often to seek professional help. Learning to control anger is a battle many just can’t control. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you. You might explore local anger management classes or anger management counseling. You are worth a ton of faith, hope and love – if you’d like to talk with me, I’d like to share with you the A, B, C’s of handling stress.