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Anger Management

March 19, 2008

One day a few months ago I was feeling very angry at someone.  No, it wasn’t you.  But I couldn’t stop fuming and having arguments with this person in my head.  I went to volunteer at the T.I.M.E.S. center that day and there just happened to be an article on anger management in the News-Gazette lying on the counter.  I read it and found its simple tips to be very helpful.  Here’s a few of them:

  • think about something other than what is making you mad
  • write out your thoughts and throw them away
  • exercise
  • don’t talk when you are angry
  • when you do talk, speak directly, don’t fall into the rumor mill
  • go outside
  • remember a calm time and place
  • give yourself a time out

Then I read Psalm 121 and found it to be even more helpful in calming me down.  Today I sang Psalm 121 again and I better understood two reasons why this psalm is so calming. 

First, it addresses the fear that often is behind our anger.  We get angry because someone or something is threatening our security.  But in Psalm 121 it is promised that the Lord will watch over your going out and your coming in from now unto eternity.  So chill.

Second, we often become angry because we are experiencing the frustration of a blocked goal.  In Psalm 121 we acknowledge that our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth and not from our anxious striving.

I encourage you to sing it.  Here it is in common meter from the Scottish Psalter. 

1  I to the hills will lift mine eyes.
       From whence doth come mine aid?
2  My safety cometh from the Lord,
       who heav’n and earth hath made.

3  Thy foot he’ll not let slide, nor will
       he slumber that thee keeps.
4  Behold, he that keeps Israel,
       he slumbers not, nor sleeps.

5  The Lord thee keeps, the Lord thy shade
       on thy right hand doth stay:
6  The moon by night thee shall not smite,
       nor yet the sun by day.

7  The Lord shall keep thy soul; he shall
       preserve thee from all ill.
8  Henceforth thy going out and in
       God keep for ever will.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2008 1:04 pm

    Wow- really interesting timing on this post :) Heh.

  2. March 21, 2008 4:52 am

    My wife and I both love Psalm 121. It was one of the readings at our wedding. Your post has reminded me it is one I need to commit to memory for times when the red mist descends…

    My favourite musical setting is Walford Davies’ Anglican chant. You can hear a sample of it (verse 1 only, alas!) here (taken from my favourite set of CDs ever).

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