Is COVID pandemic the source of anger? Who would have thought we would still be having to deal with this COVID-19? Getting never-ending news about this pandemic can be stressful. Our lives have been forever changed. Changes that are affecting each of us in different ways. To think we must constantly be aware of who we have been in contact with. Will we ever get back to normal?
Our emotions are going out of whack because of all this death and having to isolate ourselves. We want peace and security. Are we losing our patience with one another? Reports show that Anger cases has risen tremendously during these times. Unfortunately, this anger is having detrimental effects on ourselves and others. We must learn to manage our anger; this article will help you understand and manage this emotion.
Anger is universal and it is natural for everyone to experience this emotion from time to time. It has it place in society, but many times we allow anger to consume us. We must beware of the adverse effects it can produce on individuals, communities, and society. We must learn to move beyond anger.
Anger is described as a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire. To understand anger, we must also look at the definition of emotions. According to Oxford Languages, emotions are defined as instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge. Our Emotions are referred to as energy in motions. Emotions produce major changes all through the body that affects every muscle, organ, cell, and tissue. They have enormous power to enhance, distort, or disrupt other mental processes.
According to late David Hawkins, MD, Ph.D., we have proof that emotions have measurable energy and can either foster or negate actual cell life. As explained in Dr. Hawkins’ book Power vs. Force, that the measurable energy level in a person’s magnetic field--increases as that person experiences more positive emotions, known as a person log-level. Another finding of Dr. Hawkins is that cells died when the log level was below 200, meaning your emotions can kill your cells.
As identified in the Atlas of Emotions, anger is considered one of the six basic types of emotions. Anger can play a part in your body's fight or flight response. Anger is generally displayed through facial expression, body language, Tone of voice, Physiological responses – which include sweating, pacing, and aggressive behaviors. Now that we have a basic understanding that emotions can be measured, and it can affect our body and cell, we will look at the purpose in which anger serves.
Purpose of Anger
Emotions have a significant purpose in our lives, it evolved to keep us safe. Anger is a natural response to perceived threats. Anger causes us to instinctively fight back, act quickly and forcefully to protect ourselves whenever there is an attack or threat. The emotion of anger is part of our primitive need to live and protect ourselves against aggression. Anger can serve as being helpful or can be dealt with negatively. Anger is normally viewed as a negative emotion but anger for injustice can not only be good but can cause positive changes. It is a defense mechanism that usually has an underlying emotion that sparks anger. Many of us ignore or never investigate or address the underlying emotions that accompany anger. We may momentarily deal with the anger, but the root is still there.
It is like weeds in a garden if you do not pull up the root it consistently surfaces again and again. This pandemic has caused a rise in anger, we are very uncertain of what tomorrow will bring. Individuals have experienced a reduction in income, limited mobility, and there is fear of sickness even death. This has made our basic nature of survival mode kick in. We unconsciously evaluate things more on a threat level, leaving us to be in the fight or flee concept. It is alright to have this perception but when it becomes the norm, it changes our make-up of peace, harmony, and security. Eventually, this affects society, so many people are stuck in the fight or flee concept. Many people do not feel safe or secure and have no idea how to handle these emotions, other than expressing themselves in anger.
Types of Anger
There are about a dozen different types of Anger. We will talk about five common ones as noted in an article in Psychology Today:
Justifiable Anger – an ability to show a sense of moral outrage at the injustices of the world. These injustices could be human rights, environmental, cruelty to animals, violence, and abuse issues. Short term, this type of anger can fuel a passion and action for change.
Annoyance Anger – the most common form of anger triggered by the frustrations of daily living. This is negative energy that we tend to personalize and internalize. This anger comes from things like a driver cutting in front of you, poor customer service, someone being rude or insensitive to you, etc.
Aggressive Anger – an individual attempting to exercise dominance, intimidation, manipulation, or control over another. Repeatedly this behavior is known as bullying, oppression, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.
Temper Tantrums – as we know the terrible two, some adults still operate at this level.
Disproportional outbursts when an individual’s selfish wants and needs are not fulfilled. It can be difficult in forming healthy and successful relationships with adults who have temper tantrums.
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What Happens when it Becomes a Problem?
Anger can harm both the perpetrator and the recipient. If anger empowers you, think again you are also it to affect your body and mind. As noted above anger is an emotion that can be measured, and it measures a medium-low 150 Mhz on the emotional frequency chart. The highest emotion is enlightenment 700-1000 and the lowest emotion is shame at 20mhz. Anger is registered as a negative emotion, so the longer you stay in the mood the lower frequency you are causing your cells, body, and mind to operate.
Everything in the universe is made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies. The saying goes like attracts like, that is no difference between emotions and their energy they vibrate. Have you notice when you are in a negative mood you have a desire to cause more harm to someone or yourself. Many times, anger leads us into regret. I guess that is why we find scriptures that speak about the company we keep. Proverbs 14:7 Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
Anger Found in the Bible
Anger was exhibited at the beginning of time. The emotion of Anger is not new to mankind by any means. It is a part of us; it is a mechanism we use for survival mode. We will look at seven characters in the bible that had anger issues
In the book of Genesis Chapter 4, Cain, and Abel two brothers in the bible that offered up offerings to the LORD. Abel’s offering was received with favor by the LORD whereas his brother Cain's offering was not met with favor by the LORD. Cain became angry and GOD asked him why he was angry, and GOD even cautions Cain about the intent condition of his heart and not allowing sin to creep in. The next thing we read is Cain tricks his brother into going to the field and then he kills him. When GOD asks Cain where your brother is, he responds with I do not know am I my brother’s keeper.
The next character will be Moses The Israelite’s complained about their current situation, which Moses and Aaron took to the LORD. GOD told Moses to speak to the rock. Moses was frustrated by the children of GOD; he did not only speak to the rock he struck it with anger. That action by Moses led him to not being able to go into the promised land.
Another is Balaam and the donkey found in Numbers 22. Balaam was someone GOD used as his messenger to warn Balak against doing things to the Israelites. For the most part, Balaam was careful to follow the directions of the LORD. However, one time Balaam took it upon himself to visit Balak. GOD intervened by having an angel appear to Balaam’s donkey to prevent them from further travel. The donkey was obedient to the LORD, but Balaam became angry and beat the donkey because it refused to continue the journey. Balaam became shortsighted on what he wanted that he missed what the LORD willed.
Temper Tantrums/ Aggressive Anger
In 1 King 21 is the story of King Ahab trying to pressure Naboth to sell him his property that was close to his palace. Under the LORD’s instruction that Naboth land should be kept in the family, Naboth refused to sell the land. King Ahab made several attempts however Naboth was obedient to the Word of the LORD. King Ahab dealt with the matter by sulking and refusing to eat. His wife, Queen Jezebel inquired of the sulking, Ahab explained the matter, which Jezebel told him that matter will be resolved.
Jezebel devised a plan that Naboth be falsely accused and stoned to death. After this cruel deed had been done the LORD sent His prophet Elijah to let Ahab know that there now was a curse on him and his bloodline including his slave. Upon hearing this Ahab torn his clothes and wore sackcloth and fasted and humbled himself, in which the LORD refrained from bringing disaster on Ahab days but on the days of his son.
Temper Tantrums/ Aggressive Anger
The next person that dealt with anger was Haman in the Book of Esther. He had gained a high position in the Persian Kingdom, where other noblemen would bow to him in respect. There was one nobleman, named Mordecai, who refused to bow because he knew the dealing of Haman.
This fumigated Haman, that he wanted revenge on Mordecai. Haman devised a plan to have Mordecai and his people the Jews all killed. A plan that went as far as manipulating the king to give his consent to this heinous crime. Queen Esther, Mordecai's niece, seeks the LORD, fast and presence herself to the king on behalf of her uncle and her people and the plan backfires on Haman, who himself is sent to the gallows.
Temper Tantrums/ Aggressive Anger
The sixth person we look at is Esau. Esau's problem began in Genesis 27, where he foolishly sells his birthright to his younger twin Jacob because he was hungry. Later, Jacob plays trickery on their dying father and received the blessings due to Esau. The blessing Esau is left with is to live by the sword, upon that being his only blessing he swears to take vengeance on his brother. In the book of Amos 1:11, it refers to this strife between the brothers and how Esau for years pursued vengeance that it turned into rage.
Justifiable Anger/ Aggressive Anger
The last person we will look at is Absalom king David favorite son. His story is found in 2 Samuel 3:3 and chapters 13-19. Absalom's anger may have been first justifiable because his half-brother Amnon, had raped and rejected his full-blooded sister Tamar.
Because their father King David did nothing to Amnon, two years after the incident Absalom rage and anger seethed into a vengeful plot. A plot that lured his half-brother to his death.
Absalom flees from his father's kingdom in hiding for some years however David loved him so much he allowed him to come back home. Later in life, Absalom turns on his father by raising an army to try to unsuccessfully overthrow King David. David had a great love for his son and ordered that he not be killed.
Absalom death was not initiated by man but a freak accident. He was riding his mule under a tree, his hair got entangled in the branches, the mule ran off, leaving Absalom hanging in the air, helpless. David's general seeing the incident pierced Absalom's heart with three javelins.
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The Effects of Anger
Did you know emotions get trapped in our bodies? When we do not release these negative emotions, they do not spiral up to making us a better human being but cause us to go deeper in “sin” and anguish. It clouds our judgement; it causes us to put self-first and bring and causes destruction. Basically, negative energy takes us further away from GOD, who is love, light and peace.
We will discuss the effects of anger in each of the stories represented above.
Cain’s issue with anger was not taking responsibility/ownership. GOD spoke to Cain before his deadly sin, about Cain’s heart was not right. Cain chose not to fix it but rather to blame Abel for something Abel had played no part. Anger can cause us not to look at the reality of things.
Numbers 20:12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
GOD tell Moses what he did to offend GOD. Understandable Moses was frustrated with the children of GOD for the murmuring and complaining, Moses should have kept the faith and allow GOD to handle things. Instead, frustrated Moses took things in his own hands by striking the rock and not speaking to the rock as GOD had instructed which was considered disobedience.
Jeremiah 25:7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt
In the story of Balaam, he was so set on doing what he wanted that he ignored the beckoning of LORD. The situation was not going the way Balaam wanted, he knew he had dominion over the donkey, so he took his frustration and anxiety out on the animal. Balaam had control and anxiety issues and refused to hear the word of the LORD
Romans 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Temper Tantrums/ Aggressive Anger
The issue with Ahab was he was selfish and wanted control, He did not care what the LORD had instructed.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Temper Tantrums/ Aggressive Anger
Then next we deal with Haman, a man full of pride. Mordecai a man of same status did not worship Haman, he sought to have him killed. This pride is routed in insecurity, he felt that if others saw the position Mordecai took towards him, they would follow suit, making Haman look weak. Pride clouds your vision.
Jeremiah 17:10 - I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.
Temper Tantrums/ Aggressive Anger
We now come to Esau, one who made a bad choice to sell his birthright. This bad choice led to a domino effect of other things happening that were not in Esau’s favor. Even the blessing that Isaac spoke over him was one of living by the sword, to fight. Always having to fight can make you become bitter. Bitterness will limit what you produce.
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Justifiable Anger/ Aggressive Anger
We move on to Absalom, though he may have had justifiable anger to begin with he refused to let it go, it consumed him. He was consumed with the desire for revenge. The emotion desire like anger can be a negative emotion. Desire has a lower frequency than anger coming in at 125 mhz. If desire is not handled correctly it can lead you to unrealistic expectations. Revenge gives an access point to the devil.
These individuals allowed their anger to take them to a bad place which led themselves and others to receive negative outcomes. A place that did not represent GOD, and therefore brought upon themselves unfavorable consequences.
Solutions to Anger
We will continue to use the above characters to give alternatives to handling their anger.
Cain whose anger was birthed out of lack of taking ownership and responsibility. He sought the blame game. The solution is, realize you may not be able to control the situation or circumstances, but you have full control/accountability on how you perceive and the actions you take. You can choose to act upon or react, is your next step healthy or harmful.
In other words, do your actions move you away from the anger or keep you trapped in the anger.
Romans 14:12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Faith & Trust
Moses' anger had to deal with trust and taking things into his own hands.
He became frustrated and wanted to reprimand the children of GOD, even though GOD was showing patience with them. The only thing you can control is your actions. People operate out of their level of comfort, not yours.
Psalm 112:7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
Obedient & Calm
Balaam's issues with anger had to do with control and anxiety. Planning is what we do, getting us from point A to point B, however, we fail to consider the things beyond our control that alter, delay our plan. This now causes anxiety to kick in. We must realize the control we have is over ourselves, GOD is the only one in total control.
Psalm 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
Psalm 22:28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s And He rules over the nations.
Ahab's anger stemmed from selfishness and gain control. We were put on this earth to be a unit, to work together. Selfishness divides and seeks for the benefit of only one.
Control as was noted above, we all have limited control, only GOD has total control.
James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Colossians 1:17he is before all things, and by him, all things are held together.
Haman's anger was fueled by pride, which underlying force was insecurity. Pride is when you feel you are better than others. We must learn to deal with our insecurities instead of masking them.
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.
Esau's anger reflected his bad choice. Not willing to take ownership of his choice he became resentful which eventually led to bitterness. Accountability is defined as a willingness to accept responsibility for one's actions. How are accountable for the choices you made, without blaming others.
Romans 14:12 - So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Ephesians 4:31 - Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice
Absalom's anger was fueled by revenge and resentment. Revenge is defined inflict hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong done to (someone else). Resentment is defined as bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.
Proverbs 20:22 - Say not thou, I will recompense evil; [but] wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee
Luke 6:37 - Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Anger is something we all experience from time to time, so do not beat yourself up when you have an occasional episode. One thing we must recognize is with anger there is an underlying issue that must be dealt with to move beyond the anger. In the next section, we will discuss the steps to manage anger.
Steps to Managing Anger
The goal of managing your anger is to reduce physiological and feelings that affect your body, mind, and spirit. Anger is normal and should be given attention because it has merits. The issue becomes when anger controls you.
Below are steps that help you healthily manage anger.
- Do not be too quick to speak - Think about all the consequences before you express yourself. Be mindful of how the individual will receive your message. Try to take a silent moment before you express your anger - This allows you to try to calm down so when you speak it will be in a nonconfrontational way. This helps reduce escalation. Remember the spoken word can never be taken retracted. Forgiven maybe, once it has been said it is forever said.
- Breathe – taking deep breaths from your diaphragm reduces heighten negative emotions, it also returns the heart rate to normal. When you breathe from your chest it starves some cells from receiving oxygen that is needed to replenish them.
- Take ownership/responsibility – stop the blame game “you did” and speak in the first person “I”.
- Stop assuming and ask questions - We can rarely be 100% correct on what caused a person to say or do, the best thing is to ask their view on the matter at hand.
- Change the environment - the key is to remove hostility whenever possible. You can change the location or change the subject. Address the issue if possible when all parties involved are levelheaded.
- Write, write, write – If possible before approaching the person, write your feelings in a journal, write a letter to the person you don’t allow have to mail it especially if you feel it will worsen the issue; write a letter to yourself on why this is such an issue and what if the shoe was on the other foot.
- Talk to a neutral person - talking with someone helps you look at the different viewpoints. Sometimes we just need an ear to listen to us, just to get it off our chest.
We hope this article has helped get a better understanding of anger. Our lives have been interrupted by the COVID-19 among other things that are going on in society. Recognize we are social beings accustomed to physically connecting with others and this pandemic has caused all of us to operate from a different norm. Some can easily adjust while others are struggling with their new normality. Change presents challenges at different levels to different folks. We must try to have more empathy than anger for one another.
People are extremely fearful of what tomorrow may bring. Not everyone recognizes GOD is still in control and He is there with us every step of the way. Anger tears people apart and it divides relationships, however compassion unites and it highlights our similarities.
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