Video 1 – How Anger Is Affecting You

  • Every emotion is there for a reason. Emotions are a natural part of you.
  • You can't hide from emotions.
  • Anger helps people survive, especially by helping them to act quickly
  • Excess anger hurts your body
  • What happens in your body:
    • The amygdala raises an alert
    • Adrenaline kicks in
    • Your heart rate goes up (for greater blood flow)
    • Testosterone is released
    • You're made ready for aggression or violence
  • All the chemicals pumping through you cause damage if they're triggered too frequent or too strongly
    • Heart – coronary heart disease
    • Lungs – you develop a faster decline in function
    • You age more rapidly. You look older sooner.
  • Anger should be a tool for motivation (not acting out). You can use it for creative change.
  • What can you do?
    • Take a breather (timeout)
    • Take a few deep breaths
    • Pause and ask yourself why you're angry
    • What is the best way to respond without being angry?
  • Practice – remembering and doing
  • Meditation – over time it reduces the size of the amygdala, thickens or strengthens the neocortex (the "smart part" of your brain). It increases your emotional wellbeing and control. (It also reduces stress.)
  • Exercise – releases endorphins so you feel better and more relaxed

Video 2 – How Anger Affects Thinking

  • Extreme anger is designed for surviving a physical threat
  • Your metabolism is ramped up for energy to act NOW!
  • It turns your higher order thinking more or less offline. Planning and judgement become unreliable.
  • People who get angry easily and frequently are prone to making high risk/high reward choices
    • They underestimate risk and the degree of negative consequences
    • They expect or are hoping for a big, unlikely or even impossible reward

Video 3 – Stop Making Yourself Angry

  • People "out there" and "the outside world" are not making you angry.
  • What makes you angry is your view of the outside world.
  • Cartoon World is the world of "shoulds." "Things should be my way." "The world should reflect my ideals."
  • Cartoon World is a way to refer to expectations and feelings of entitlement.
  • The Real World is where your way doesn't rule or doesn't matter.
  • When you're aligned with Cartoon World, you're frequently let down and easily angered.
  • Reality isn't always disappointing, bad or against you.
  • Use accurate language to stay in the real world. Don't use emotionally loaded words.

Video 4 – How to Deal with Self-Anger

  • Why? "Why did I do what I did?" You're angry with yourself because you're hung up on where you should be rather than where you are. (This is Cartoon World applied to yourself.) There was a reason you did what you did and it has to do with where you are in life right now.
  • How? "How can I learn from this going forward?" If your anger was embodied as a person sitting next to you, what would it be trying to tell you? You need to sit down with and really pay attention to difficult emotions sometimes and learn from them.
  • What? "What can I do differently from this moment forward?" You can't change the past or take it back.

Video 5 – How to De-escalate Someone

1. Validate!

  • Acknowledge the other person's anger. You're not saying it's OK. You're letting them know you recognize they're feeling that way and may know why. Don't judge their feelings. You validate until they feel heard. You can tell by seeing a "release" in their looks, voice or body language. They'll look like or sound like they've relaxed a little bit.

2. Help People Find Options

  • Help them explore where to go from here. Don't try to fix things or make suggestions. Help them figure things out for themselves. Explore the payoffs or consequences. Make suggestions of your own after, but only if you really have to.

  • It's easier to see the big picture when you're not emotionally involved. Be careful about suggestions if you're emotionally invested in a plan of your own.

  • Always remember, people who feel heard are more inclined to listen and take suggestions.

3. Allow for Choice

  • Recognize their freedom of choice. It's on them, not on you. Respect their choice. Let go. Don't fight for your position or plan. Don't be judgmental. De-escalate yourself first.

Video 6 – Unseen Pain

  • Unseen pain is what other people can't see in you that has led you to lash out or hurt others and say things you regret.
  • You need to recognize that other people have unseen pain, too. This will change how you approach or handle people.
  • When your expectations are changed, empathy and understanding increase.
  • Can you see symptoms of other people's pain? What do you know about them? What can you reasonably guess about their unseen pain? (Check it out.)
  • Everyone has a story. Your story is the reason or explanation for what you do. (This doesn't make it a valid excuse.) If you accept others humanity, because you see the everyday humanness of their reason, empathy and understanding can increase. You can approach them from a position of love and compassion.
  • You need to practice this regularly with yourself, too.

Questions to Journal

  • When you’re angry, where do you feel it the most?
  • How does being angry or stressed for some time affect your eating and sleeping habits? What habits does it encourage? Are any of them positive?
  • How do you talk to yourself about being angry? Do you encourage yourself to stay angry? Do you justify it? Do you use colorful, extreme or emotionally loaded language while doing it?
  • What would you like to try this week to practice being less angry?

Verses for the Week

Ephesians 4:26
Be angry, but don't sin. Don't let the sun go down on your anger.

James 1:19a
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry…

Proverbs 29:11
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

James 4:1-2a
1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight….

Proverbs 22:24
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered,

Psalm 37:8
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil.

Proverbs 14:29
Anyone who is patient has great understanding, but someone who is quick-tempered is foolish.

Prayer for the Week

Thank you for helping me overcome my anger. Help me catch myself before I do more damage to myself and others. Help me see the hurt and pain in others and treat them like I'd want to be treated. Help me become a peacemaker and a shame breaker. Amen.