Last Sunday, I was a part of this check in related to the senseless killings by police officers. Initially, I said that I was on the call to support the person who was hosting the meeting. But as the meeting progressed, I was more comfortable with sharing what I was REALLY feeling. I was angry all that was going on. I felt a little overwhelmed by all that was going on.
It is ok to be angry sometimes. It is not the anger that is the problem but what we do when we are angry that’s the problem.
There are people who have gotten angry through out history and they were able to express their anger in a way to bring about positive change. I think about Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatmi Gandi and even Jesus Christ himself.
When expressed appropriately, our anger can have positive outcomes for ourselves and others.
- Anger can help us to reach our goals.
- Anger can be fuel to help us to advocate for the needs of others.
- Anger can help us to identify solutions to problems that frustrate us.
- Anger can be used as a tool to improve communication skills with others.
So, anger is not a bad thing, but what we do with anger can make it good or bad.
I came up with an acronym to help me to deal with my emotions (anger included!). I call it “ARTSY“
ARTSY consists of these five steps:
- Acknowledge the emotion. When we find ourselves feeling angry or any type of emotion, we first need to be honest about what we are feeling. “I am angry.” “I am anxious.” “I am upset.” “I am sad.” Whatever the emotion is, we need to be honest about what we are feeling. Be honest about the emotion. If we just trying to hold it in, it’ll come out in our actions or in our body.
- Recall why you are feeling this way. Think about what is causing you to feel this emotion. Did someone do or say something that triggered you? Triggers are real. A lot of times, we have unresolved issues and a situation that we are currently in reminds us of something that happened in the past. A trigger is something outside of us that causes a feeling or emotion in us. An example of a trigger might be a word, place or a person. One word that is a trigger for me “crazy.” I really do not like when people use this word to describe people. So, think about it, what is REALLY causing you to feel this way.
- Talk to someone. It is important to talk to someone. If you are a person of Christian faith, you can pray to God. If you are a person who needs God, you can pray to God. He wants to help you. But, God also gives us professionals who can walk with us through our situations. So, we can speak with a therapist, a pastor or a trusted friend. It is important to decipher whether the issue that you are experiencing is due to your spiritual state or a trauma. If it is spiritually related, then a pastor might be good. But if it is due to trauma, then you need a licensed mental health professional.* Whether you choose to see a pastor or a licensed mental health professional, please make sure that they are competent. Before starting the counseling sessions, ask questions to make sure this person is trained to work with you.
- Shift your perspective. Take your mind off of what is causing you distress. Take a bath, go for a walk, bake, take a nap, write, read, listen to music, etc. Find a way to take your mind off of what is causing you distress at the moment. If necessary, take some deep breaths. Remind yourself of a Bible verse that will help you to get through this situation. Remind yourself of a time that you got through a similar situation.
- You will get through this. This emotion that you are feeling is temporary. It is not the end all. So, know that you will get through this!
While our emotions are normal and valid, we are in control of our emotions.
So, the next time you feel yourself feeling “angry” or “some type of way”, go through these steps and you will better be in control of your emotions.
Did you find this to be helpful? Feel free to share with someone who will benefit!
*Resource for licensed mental health professionals:
“Its Ok to be Angry” first appeared at https://itstashascorner.com/2021/04/30/anger-is-not-all-bad/ on April 30, 2021.
ARTSY first appeared on November 7, 2020 @ https://itstashascorner.com/2020/11/07/five-tips-for-dealing-with-uncomfortable-emotions