Tips for Controlling Anger
Many sites offer advice on how to control your anger. The Mayo Clinic, for example, lists ten tips. Among them are: take a time out, get some exercise, and forgive. Of course, the time out is a temporary solution. After the short time has elapsed the problem or its aftermath may be right there staring at you. Exercise can be a release of tension, but again the problem or its after-burn may be there to greet you the next day. Forgiveness, in contrast, offers a permanent solution to the emotional disruption. The seeking of a proper justice may be necessary to rectify an unfair situation.
The American Psychological Association is now saying that a continual expression of one’s anger (getting it off one’s chest, as the expression goes) is dangerous because it can accelerate the intense negative feeling. Forgiveness, in contrast, soothes that potentially destructive feeling.
Helpguide.org sees the situation quite similarly to the advice above: take some time out, exercise, and do not continually vent. This site, too, suggests forgiveness as an option.
Yet, how does one forgive? Proclaiming it as good and actually accomplishing the task are quite different. We have many resources here on our site to help with forgiveness-as-anger reduction (among many other goals). You can view our blog posts on anger. You can begin to get a sense of the forgiveness process. Finally, there are books and curriculum guides in our Store.
Forgive and live well.
Before forgiveness therapy became popular therapists tended to focus on the superficial side of controlling anger. It is nice to see that such prestigious organizations as the Mayo Clinic are now taking notice of forgiveness.
I am glad you mentioned justice because forgiveness will not fix a problem. It can fix the reaction to a problem but not the problem itself.
Nothing helps me to rid myself of anger more than forgiveness. It is amazing to me how I can be angry or down and as soon as I work on forgiveness I start to calm down. People need to take this healing balm of forgiveness more seriously than they do.
Anger seems to be growing in Western societies. I wonder if part of that is connected to the internal wounds people carry around in them each day. We need an answer to the growing epidemic of anger. Forgiveness should be a central part of addressing this epidemic.
As a mental health professional, I can attest to the relationship between extreme anger and the development of other mental health problems. Forgiveness can reduce that anger to manageable levels and at the same time reduce other symptoms. Your research shows the same. As clients forgive, they become healthier.