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What Makes your Kettle Boil? Is Anger Getting the Best of You?

What Makes your Kettle Boil?

You’re going through life happy as a lark, not a care in the world when suddenly someone does someone that sets you off.  It could have been a word they said, a facial expression or just a touch of body language.  Whatever it was, it didn’t take much, the volcano suddenly became active, and lava was flowing in an instant.  What is it that makes your kettle boil?  And can anything be done to prevent the burn you may be causing?

angerFreeImages.com/ Samantha Sargent

What Causes Anger Outbursts?

Emotions are good things; in fact, some might call them a gift.  They alert us to potential problems that may require action.  When we are happy, we smile or laugh and spread the joy.  When we are afraid, we pick up our pace to make sure we stay safe.  But when we don’t deal with emotions properly, they do much more harm than good.  Instead of taking action, we stuff our emotions away and refuse to deal with them.  Or we don’t try to control our emotions at all, and let them fly.

My family lives in a wooded area of Pennsylvania where wildlife is a part of our daily lives.  I can’t walk around the block without encountering cows, horses, birds, chickens, squirrels, deer, and the occasional raccoon or snake.  They don’t scare me when they are outdoors where they belong.  But the dead shrew my dog brought into the living room was another story.  I experienced a combination of fear, disgust, and anger all at the same time.  My family had the privilege of listening to my screams and got a first-hand look at my new dance moves.

What about you?  What causes your blood to boil?

  • Injustice
  • Unresolved Past Issues
  • Being Treated Unfairly
  • Inconvenience
  • Others Getting in your Way
  • Not Sure

Preventing the Burn our Anger Can Cause

There are many things can cause us to be irritated and lash out.  Regardless of the cause though, it’s important to deal with anger and stop it from hurting others.  There may be times when we need to seek professional counseling to deal with issues.  Other times we just need our eyes open to what needs adjusting.  Here are five suggestions to consider.

  • Manage Real Dangers.  Although it’s not easy to think about, some people do intentionally hurt others or lack the ability to control themselves.  If you are experiencing any type of abuse, it is important for you to seek help and stop the injustice now.
  • Dig up the Roots.  This is like doing work in our emotional garden.  If you have secrets that you keep burying, it’s time to dig them up and deal with them.
  • Ditch the Superiority Attitude.  This one might be a little tough to hear, but the world does not revolve around you (or me), so stop acting like it does.  Whether its family members, coworkers, neighbors, or friends, sometimes we have to put aside our own desires for the sake of someone else.
  • Develop Healthy Coping Mechanism.  This can actually be fun.  Do something that defuses the anger bomb, such as exercise, singing, dancing, counting to 100, beating throw rugs, heading to the batting cage, or playing kickball.
  • Count your Blessings.  This has to do with changing your focus and looking on the bright side.  What you choose to think about affects your behavior.  So steer clear of the stinking thinking trap!

Reflection Questions:

  1. How has anger influenced your life?
  2.  Is it time for you to deal with an anger issue that has been brewing for a long time?

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