Anger and anxiety - how to cope with anger

Understanding anger and anxiety

Suggestions for coping with anger

In the short term, choose the "flight" option if at all possible. Count to ten, leave the room, walk away, put a safe distance between you and the perceived threat. Give yourself time to breathe and think.

Use up your body’s adrenaline in legitimate ways (go for a run, thump some cushions, chop some wood, jump up and down).

Identify the threat or cause of frustration – What made you get angry and why?

Dispute your view of the situation – is there another way of looking at it? Ask other people to give you their view. Try to get to the truth.

If you have an ongoing problem with anger, keep a diary recording when and why you feel angry each day. This can help you identify patterns. For example, you may be getting angry at home but the real source of the anger is a work situation.

People  express anger through physical violence, verbal violence or sarcasm. All of these are destructive. They hurt other people and create negative responses in them that will make your situation worse. Try to avoidd all kinds of violence.

Attack problems, not people. Explain your perceptions and your feelings in words to the people that need to understand them, trying to keep as calm as you can.

Try to work out a strategy that will help you to remove threats or blockages that stop you achieving your goals. Channel your anger into making things better.

Comfort and console yourself in legitimate ways. Avoid false comfort  (for example, drugs and alcohol, affairs, overeating).

Take your case to the supreme court (God). Talk to him about it.

If you can’t resolve the anger alone, get someone wise, perhaps a trained counsellor, to help you to shape your strategy and carry it through. Mediation or arbitration can sometimes help. (Arbitration is when two people ask someone else to rule in a dispute between them. Mediation is when someone helps two parties to agree a compromise).


Anger in the Bible

God himself is described as being angry with people who persistently do wrong in spite of being warned. (Genesis 6 v 6).

God asked Jonah “Are you right to be angry?” (Jonah 4 v4 and v8). Ask yourself the same question.

People of faith often assume that anger is always wrong. There are situations where anger is an appropriate reaction to a situation. Jesus got angry about the way the temple was being misused and drove out the merchants and money changers (John 2 v 13–17). Paul told the early Christians “be angry, but don’t sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4 v 26).

suggestions for coping with anxiety

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