The Root of Anger and 3 Ways to Control It

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Anger is triggered by many factors, and sometimes one person can carry more of those triggers than others.  Some of us have deep wells of hurt, regret, or fear that can transform into anger at a moment's notice. I had one such incident the day after Christmas with my eleven year old daughter.

The Root of Anger and 3 Ways to Control It
The Root of Anger and 3 Ways to Control It

She displayed some behavior that I've noticed in myself that I'm not particularly fond of and I reacted. (With more bad behavior, go figure). This, in turn, created a reaction in my daughter and things escalated quickly. Before long I realized what had happened and after unloading loud words and punishments, I began to recognize what I had done. Most of us have flaws that we'd rather not see birth out of our children. Beyond that, recognizing where the origin of our anger or frustration lies is the key to eliminating much of that anger. Rather than laboring to control our anger, perhaps it's a good idea if we face it head on.

Root of Anger

How can we get to the root of what's making us angry and deal with it? While we'll need to train our reactions in the short run, sometimes working through root anger issues can take years to sort out and heal from. This may take some time to reflect, perhaps journal, and really dig deep. Sometimes it really requires some searching to finally reach the problem. Aside from part of my frustrations stemming from fear that my children will pick up my bad habits, I have several other anger issues stemming from selfishness, unrealistic expectations, and feeling overwhelmed that can all trigger reactive responses.

Consequences

Anger in and of itself is not a sin in some cases {it really depends on your heart}. However, responding in anger can be and it carries consequences with it. We can wound our children in our anger. We can break their spirits or even be a root cause of anger in their own lives. I don't think it is something we should brush off as normal or no big deal. It is something that we should be taking diligent steps to minimize and control.

But, How?

A Gentle Answer - devotional for moms
A Gentle Answer - devotional for moms

First, begin with prayer. Ask for God to change your heart because it's really the molding of the Holy Spirit that is going to be effective in our change. Second, be willing to be molded. We can't expect change when we don't want to be changed. It's going to take some effort on our part, not merely a change made up in our minds, but some purging of our heart. I think we expect that anger will be lifted from our lives with little to no effort, but that's just not the case. It really does require some chiseling and pain to purge those areas. Third, memorize scripture dealing with anger and the tongue.  This simple task can be very helpful in the midst of an episode rising in us. If we can stop our anger from elevating from a frustration to an explosion, we'll begin to learn self-control. One way to do this is to be familiar with verses on anger so they can be brought to memory when we feel those frustrations rising in us. James 1:19 and Proverbs 15:1 are great places to start. None of these are meant to be a cure-all for all anger issues. They are merely a starting point, and we all need to start somewhere. It begins with recognizing we have anger, pinpointing it's root, and taking steps to control it. Let's start with an attitude adjustment. Let's respond with a soft answer. I have an eBook devotional on speaking words of grace to our children rather than in anger and frustration. It's called, A Gentle Answer, and you can get a copy of it here. It's 21 days of verses, tips, and ideas on how to be mindful of our words and our tone, especially in frustration. What's one way you have found that helps you deal with anger? Joy in Christ, Christin, Joyful Mothering

This post is part of the month-long challenge From Grouchy…To Great.  Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

From Grouchy…To Great
From Grouchy…To Great

Christin

Christin is wife of 14 years to her high school sweetheart and mother to seven children. She looks for beauty in the simple and appreciates a good cup of coffee. She is learning to live everyday with joy, find gratitude in the mundane, and speak words of grace. You can find Christin writing through her days on her blog, christinslade.com.