It was a “normal” day at our house. I was doing the dishes. The children were playing quietly in the living room. And then, a piercing, shrieking, wretched scream cut the silence. My toddler was screaming his head off because his older sister wasn’t doing “what he wanted.”
At first, I was calm, but as the screaming continued, I felt my face get red, my pulse race, and an uncontrollable need to let my own scream arise took over. Before I could suppress the scream, it erupted. “Why can’t you guys just chill out?!”
This wasn’t the first time this had happened. Confession – I struggle with anger. As a mom, that’s a problem. Here’s how I’m working on it.
My Day Starts With Quiet
Well, let me preface that. My day actually starts with online teaching in the “wee” hours of the morning while my children are still sleeping. By the time I finish, I usually have about an hour (sometimes 20 minutes) to myself. During this time I usually read Scripture or catch up on one of the many books I’m reading. Starting my day in God’s Word gives me the “weapons” I need to fight my battles for the day.
This uninterrupted (usually) time allows me to begin the day in a state of calmness and think about my day. I even contemplate on how I will handle my toddler’s tantrums when they arise. I know they will, but it helps to mentally prepare. When I start the day all scattered, I bring chaos into my children’s mornings as well.
When I wasn’t sure where to begin, I went through Make Over Your Mornings course from Crystal Paine. It was so helpful in showing me how to begin my day in a state of rest and calm. She even has an evenings course too!
I Plan For Meditation or Exercise
Research shows that exercising and meditation improves your overall health. This includes your mental health too. For years I had a daily 30-minute workout routine that I rarely missed. Well, then my 2nd child came along and that routine went out the window. It was all about sleeping when I could.
Now that my son is a bit older, there’s more time to work in meditation and exercise. I don’t spend 30 minutes like I want to, but I make time for a few minutes of stretching and breathing each day. It forces me to calm down and focus.
I Acknowledge What Triggers My Anger
I’m the type of person that loves doing things and getting them off the list. That has both positive and negative impacts on my life. I noticed that I was taking on too many things which left me frazzled and short-tempered. I forced myself to step back, take a look, and set my priorities straight.
I also had to ask myself an important question, “Who am I angry at?” Was I angry at my husband because he didn’t’ take out the trash? Was I angry at my children because they didn’t pick up the toys (for the 1000th time)? Or, was I really angry at myself for taking on so much that I lacked patience for my priorities? Once I established my anger trigger, I was able to communicate more effectively instead of keeping it inside for it to explode later on.
I Pause And Choose Peace
I noticed that when I lost my temper around my family, I was chipping away a piece of their spirits each time. So now, I’m working on pausing before I answer and practicing a peaceful response. It’s so easy to answer right away but sometimes a quick answer is dangerous.
Do you struggle with anger? What do you to help ease the struggles? Let me know! I’d love to hear.