Practicing Forgiveness When You Tend to be Angry

December 6, 2019
Anna Jankowska, LCPC

By Anna Jankowska, MA, CEAP, SAP, LCPC

Anna Jankowska is a mental health, addiction, and substance abuse counselor with over 17 years of experience and has specialized training and skill in working with individuals, groups and communities to improve mental health outcomes. NPI number: 1598843526

Being angry is something we can all identify with, whether it’s a situation with a family member, friend, a store clerk, or a representative on the phone who doesn’t give you the kind of customer service you feel you deserve. Many of us are great at managing our finances, our time and health, but not so great at managing our anger or even depression. When someone makes us angry and we’re in the moment of letting it simmer inside, it can be very difficult to let go and forgive the person or persons who led to that anger being ignited.

This article highlights the power of forgiveness and how embracing a journey of managing your anger can be a transformative experience.

Embrace the Practice of Forgiveness

Saying to someone “I forgive you” is not an easy thing to do for many people. Instead, we choose to hold onto the hurt that someone caused us, whether from a recent experience of years ago. Nelson Mandela, who endured 27 years in prison under South Africa’s apartheid government and was ultimately voted the country’s President in a democratic election, stated that “Forgiveness liberates the soul, it removes fear. That’s why it’s such a powerful weapon.”

Letting go of anger and adopting a mindset of forgiveness is a process and according to the Mayo Clinic, the following benefits can occur:

• Healthier relationships

• Improved mental health

• Less anxiety, stress, and hostility

• Lower blood pressure

• Fewer symptoms of depression

• A stronger immune system

• Improved heart health

• Improved self-esteem

Clearly, learning to practice forgiveness is a healthy way to live and enjoy a better quality of life. However, before we can learn to forgive, knowing how to manage our anger is a vitally important first step in the transformation process.

Learning How to Manage Anger

When we’re attached to feelings of anger and become frustrated or hurt by someone who has wronged us, it can be challenging to let go of our pride and admit that it’s time to pursue a path of managing our anger. According to Science Daily, “The term anger management commonly refers to a system of psychological therapeutic techniques and exercises by which one with excessive or uncontrollable anger can control or reduce the triggers, degrees, and effects of an angered emotional state.”

man feeling angry and upset

Committing to taking classes designed to help you manage your anger is an effective way to begin learning how to practice self-control when feelings of hurt or disappointment start to surface.

Anger Management Classes

Clinical Psychologist, Harriet Lerner, states that “Anger is a signal, and one worth listening to.” Exploring the signals associated with anger in a class-like environment provides an outlet to discover ways to manage our reactions once they start to materialize.

In examining why classes on anger management are beneficial, states that “The main objective is to help individuals understand and control their reactions before the onset of anger and during an actual episode.” Putting in the time to examine how we react to being angry is certainly a worthwhile endeavor for ourselves and the people we interact with.

Defusing Anger and Learning to Forgive

Whether taking anger management classes in a group setting with a trained instructor or through an online course, there are tremendous benefits to learning techniques on how to better control our emotions when feeling angry. Experiencing how to manage “anger issues” can positively influence our behavior can lead us on a path of committing to a practice of forgiveness.

Related Posts


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *