So as I previously posted, I had spoken about mom anger at a MOPS group last month. I thought I should take the time to share a bit of what I shared with that group.
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I’ve struggled with controlling my responses towards my kids when I’m angry. Over the years, through trial and error, lots of practice with anger management techniques, and lots of help from the Holy Spirit, I’ve definitely improved. But along the way I’ve also learned that there are proactive things I can do to help me feel angry less often.
Here are four things you can do to stop angry feelings before they start:
- Understand Your Anger
Look at your anger as a warning light. It can be an indicator of changes you need to make. Ask yourself two questions: “Are there underlying emotions or stresses in my life that cause me to feel angry?” and, “Are there certain situations or circumstances that tend to trigger my angry feelings?”. If you track your angry feelings over a period of time, you will likely find common triggers for your anger. Once you know the triggers, then you can focus on making changes that will prevent or decrease your triggers and result in less anger.
- Make Time for Self-care
Mothering can be tough and can push you to the limit of your physical, emotional, and mental energy. If you are feeling empty it is so much easier to act out in anger. Be sure you are taking time to care for yourself. Determine what revives and refreshes you, and do it! Investing in your self-care not only benefits you, but it benefits your family as well.
- Get Perspective and Support from Friends
Friendships can help you on this journey in so many ways! Having some deep and authentic friendships gives perspective, support, accountability, and encouragement. Sometimes your expectations of yourself or your kids are too high, leading to frustration and anger. Friends can provide perspective. Friends can support you by praying for you and by holding you accountable for your responses. Sometimes a hug and word of encouragement from a friend can take you a step further to healing.
- Seek God in Your Weakness
Struggles can be an avenue for growing faith in God. Nehemiah 9:17 says, “…you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.” Getting to know God better and growing closer to Him brings change in our lives because we become more like him.
If you struggle with anger, know that you are not alone. You are not outside the limits of God’s love, and He can bring change in you.
Tell me, have you struggled with anger as a mom? What are your best tips for feeling angry less and also for managing your responses when you’re angry?