3 Steps to Manage Anger
The other day I was rushing to work because I was running a tad bit late. As I get off the train an older gentleman bumps into me. I didn't say anything and proceeded to walk. As we reach the stairs he begins to walk slowly as if to antagonize me (my perception). As I excuse myself and walk around him he snickers in a belittling tone "I don't see why your rushing, you have no place to go". I immediately turned around and say "I might not have no where to go to but I see your approaching your death bed". He gasped and I immediately turned away. While walking I began to process the words that left my lips. I began to feel saddened that I allowed someone's behavior and words get the best of me. As I prayed to the lord he reminded me that I am human. I need to become more aware of the choices I am making because my choices can affect another.
I am far from perfect, but I realize that I am a work in progress. The lord continues to sculpt me in his vision. For years I have been angry and been wearing a mask to hide the pain I was in. Anger is an emotion which comes naturally easy for me especially when I feel that I am being threatened. It's easy for me to be on attack/alert mode, instead of saying thank you. On that day I meditated on James 1:19-20 which reads:
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
I have come to the conclusion that all of these years I have become comfortable with anger that I did not feel the need to change. This instance made me realize that I have to be slow to speak. Every action does not deserve a reaction. At this moment I realized that I needed to create steps once I realized that I was becoming angered. These three steps included:
Breathing slowly gives you time to think and to also allow oxygen into your body to control your nerves. The extra oxygen stops the adrenaline which anger introduced to your body. The way I do this is by counting down from ten. While counting I am taking short, deep breaths. Until I feel that I regain control of my bodies energy.
Define the problem
Defining the problem allows me to think about the situation and forces me to express the problem more clearer. I then think about what triggered me to react with anger.
I then think about different possible options to fix or change the situation. There Is always a solution for a problem!
Although I am doing much better with my anger because of these steps, what has helped me the most is realizing that being angry is a CHOICE. I no longer wanted to CHOOSE anger but wanted to CHOOSE happiness. So, I encourage you to choose your happiness and not allow any little thing get the best of you.