1. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE SITUATION
When you feel your mood swelling, the worst thing to do is to stay in the situation that sparked it. Get outta there! Remember prevention is key, so prevent yourself from letting your mood escalate into an even bigger problem. If you can’t leave the situation without causing a scene or acting rude (example: you’re at a family dinner), do your best to think about something else positive.
2. REALIZE THE NEED TO GET OUT OF IT ASAP
An angry heart is controlled by evil. All attitudes start small; it’s much easier to turn around and start heading the opposite direction when you’ve just begun the journey. The longer you let your heart travel down a negative road, the harder it will be to reverse it. Illustrated well by most health conditions, prevention is key. It’s better to prevent heart disease with a lifestyle of healthy foods and exercise than to treat it. Once the damage is done, it’s mostly irreversible if drastic changes aren’t made.
3. REFLECT BY WRITING IT DOWN
Once you’re in a safe, quiet place, ask yourself why you’re in this funk. What triggered it? Do you know? What is the deeper issue? Let’s face it. Most of the time, an attitude will pop because a needle was tossed on the haystack. Your spouse forgetting to put their dish in the dishwasher or take out the trash isn’t really the main issue here. It’s likely a series of wrongs you have felt committed against you as opposed to that last straw. The confusing part is this: your spouse, or whoever else you have an issue with, has no idea what’s really wrong.
The best thing to do is to write down your feelings, good and bad. Create two lists side by side: “Why I’m Mad” and “Why I’m Glad”. This exercise will help to relieve your jumbled brain of confusion by organizing your thoughts and feelings on paper. Go ahead and fill out the mad side first, list why you’re hurt, I’m sure it’ll be easier. Once you’ve unloaded, it will be easier to list some things you are happy about and thankful for. There are three main objectives here: 1) get things off your chest to feel liberated, 2) clarify in your mind the real issue so when you return, you may clearly communicate what is really wrong and 3) bring a bit of perspective back.
Pray whenever you feel moved. For the best results pray before and after making your list. Pray for yourself and pray for who you’re mad at. Ask for healing in your heart and in your relationships. If you feel it’s just impossible to be genuine in praying because you’re too upset, try using these descriptive prayers written in Keeping a Happy Family with Prayer. Once you connect with the Lord, you will feel peace flood into your soul and you can start to move on.
5. EXERT ENERGY
If you haven’t realized it yet, exercise lets off steam, literally and figuratively. This idea was discussed in 14 Ways to Enforce Positive Thinking Today. The quicker you can get your heart rate up, the better. Stress revealing hormones will be released in your brain to instantly make you feel better. Use the quiet time during your workout as a personal reflection. What is your part in this? Attempt to take responsibility for your actions as opposed to blaming others for what they have done wrong. And just a side note, don’t fall into the temptation to use alcohol or drugs to mask the feelings. If anything, being under the influence will only exacerbate the feelings and remove inhibitions to say what you think without a filter.
6. RESOLVE YOUR ISSUE
Hopefully you will have gained clarity on your situation after completing the above steps. When you approach your spouse, or whomever you have an issue with, go calmly, with an open heart, an open mind and a desire for resolution. If you are looking to fight, stay away. There is a difference between calmly discussing a matter and spilling your guts and letting your mouth run wild. Remember that words cut deep. Even though it will immediately feel good to throw hurtful words to “get back” at the hurt they caused you, soon after it will turn into remorse. There is no taking back harsh words, it may take a while to heal and they may leave scars.
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