Christian Counselor Directory Blog

Find a Christian Counselor

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Navigate Away from Anger

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 @ 8:32 AM

Galatians 6: tells us, "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

At first blink, it looks like a caution against anger; "DON'T EVER BE ANGRY YOU NASTY SINNER!" After a couple seconds, though, it looks different. It IS a cautionary statement, but also an acknowledgment that anger is natural. Everyone gets angry; it's what a person does with anger that matters -- to God, to those he loves, and those around her.

I have a client, call him Nathan. He is kind, passionate about his friends and loved ones, a great listener, caring, and giving -- would give the shirt from his own body to help someone in need. Nathan is in jail right now after he tried to help a friend. In the process of trying to rescue his friend from a crack house, his anger reached its boiling point, and he broke the jaw of a "bad guy."

Unfortunately, even though the crack dealer (bad guy) wouldn't dare press charges for fear his occupation would be under scrutiny, the D.A.'s point system determined that a violent crime had been committed, landing my client, Nathan, in jail for six months.

I could tell Nathan to -- "Breathe away your anger and frustration." Just inhale through your nose, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7; exhale through your mouth, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 -- which is a great strategy for high emotions in many cases. Still, when your anger is high, without a foundation of diffusion strategies, it is near impossible to walk away from that emotion.
Am I saying it's okay to "sin" by giving full vent to your anger? You are going to slip because you are human. When you slip, you will pay the consequences, much like my friend, Nathan. In order to keep from ALWAYS giving vent to your anger (or anxiety or fear), you need to lay a foundation of diffusion, humility, and forgiveness.

WHAT TO DO?
This means praying for humility DAILY; practicing "belly-breathing" so that it is THERE when you need it; memorizing Bible verses (so they are “hidden in your heart”); start with verses on forgiveness, peace, and humility.

When you build a strong foundation of peace, forgiveness, and humility, then you will be able to call on your "tools" to ward off and to diffuse those STRONG emotions. You can't expect to use a tool with which you have never practiced. Right?

Practice this daily: prayer, memorization, and BREATHING. With that foundation firmly in place, you can implement what I call the F.U.N. strategy...it is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy method for diffusing anger. In short, F = FREEZE; U = USE your belly breathing; N = NAVIGATE away from the source of your anger.

Check out my course on Freedom from Anger (Link below) to learn more about F.U.N. In the meantime, build a fortress of peace in Christ daily. Awake every morning to prayer and a devotion and/or Bible reading. Break up your day -- maybe at lunchtime -- by meditating on a Bible verse, an affirmation, or an uplifting podcast. Finish your day by recalling two or three things that went well; write them down in a gratitude journal. Thus, you are building a foundation in the morning, walls of peace to surround, you around noon, and a covering of gratitude every evening. You will find this fortress of peace a great beginning on your way to FREEDOM from anger. God's blessings to you!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Stillness...

Thursday, January 7, 2021 @ 6:48 PM

“be still and know…”

Psalm 46:10

I opened a book today and the is what fell out.

It makes me think about myself and the world around me today. Nobody wants to be still. Sure, it is a good idea in theory and we all say we are working as hard as we can to have the luxury to be still, but really, are we prepared when we finally have a moment? The answer I see is a resounding no.

What I see is a world that is covered in fear. Fear causes us to compulsively move faster because if we slow down, if we are still, we have time to really think of the things that keep us up at night; the Coronavirus, our kids health and wellness, our bills, the next presidential election, immigration, what am I going to make for dinner… as women we are concerned with both the large and small details of life.
mozambican-women-singing-farming-iniciative-by-shannon-wild-004.adapt.1900.1.jpg
A priest once told me that for years his habit was to wake up and watch the news because he felt that it was part of his commitment to serve. He wanted to know what was happening around the world to be informed and aware of all the suffering. Recently, due to logistics he was unable to do this and said that what he found was liberating. All that information was distracting him from the connections and care he could foster right in his backyard community. He now pays more attention to what is in front of him, focusing on helping those closest to him.

In Africa, there is a word Ubuntu. It means I am, because you are. When a neighbor has no food another neighbor provides, it is their way of life. In this country we have spent too much time separating ourselves. We take pride in our ability to be independent. We forget that we are a community that is connected by the same feelings, fears and world around us. If we could remember this tremendous connection maybe we would not feel so isolated and separate, even as our neighbors live a stones throw away.

Paying closer attention to our communities around us, our need for each other, allows us to start trusting. We need to know that not only our husbands and partners have our back but that our friends, families, neighbors, our church and our government have our back too as we have theirs in return. Fostering a trust in the community around us allows space for life to grow and expand. Expanding our ability to be a better mothers, wives, friends and humans. We could start to let go of our unrelenting fear.

Today I am going to bring flowers to a friend I have not seen in a long time, just to say hi. I want her to know that I have her back though we have not seen each other for a while. Today, my prayer is that we can all think a little about what we can do to foster connection in the communities around us. We are all living in the same spaces. We need each other and our separateness is not helpful in defining us. I am because you are…

Let us take better care of the ones around us.
Share

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Career Coaching group for young adults

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 @ 6:04 PM

Kerin Groves, PhD

Young adults in transition need support. Are you in school but worried about graduating? Have you already finished school and are wondering what to do next? Are you exasperated with job hunting? Do you wonder if you made a mistake? Are you fearful you'll never find what's right for you? Future planning and job searching is stressful, and you need focus, discipline, positive attitude, support, and self-confidence. We have just the crew for you! Dr. Kerin Groves, a professional Career Coach in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, hosts this weekly online career coaching group, just for young adults like you. It's a place to connect with your peers online every week to discuss, explore, complain (just a little), strategize, and encourage each other, plus fill your tank with advice and direction from a professional. Plan now to spend your Hump Day with us (Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 pm Central Time).

Breathe Through Anxiety

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 @ 4:03 PM

Just breathe.
Inhale...exhale.
Deep breaths; you can do it.

Sounds easy…but what if the pain, pressure, anger, depression, and/or anxiety is so intense that it feels like a gorilla crushing your chest, pinning you -- immovable.

Breathe...just breathe.

Emotions carry power. They empower you for good or break you when given control. Annabelle’s anxiety over her adult children is so intense that she experiences panic attacks when her son doesn't call every day.
John says that his children, "are a gift from God. He entrusted them to me during their formative years; I love them enough to allow them to make the good choices I know they can make – even if I don’t agree with those choices." John says that he dodges anxiety, first by trusting in God’s sovereignty, but also by realizing that worry is not useful. He says, “Anxiety does nothing to change the choices my children make or to make their situations any different.”
So, how do you STOP powerful emotions like anxiety, panic, even pain when they are already IN control? "Belly breathing" will diffuse the "fight or flight" mechanism that has taken control and caused the panic attack or even the escalating pain wracking your body. Please practice this process BEFORE a panic attack or strong emotional experience. Try practicing it daily. Here is how:
• Start by getting as comfortable as possible.
• Inhale through your nose, pressing shoulders down, expanding your belly, counting to 7 in your mind as you breathe.
• Exhale through your mouth, compressing your belly, counting to 11 in your mind as you breathe.
• Repeat this 4 times at first and increase to 8 as you get comfortable with the process.
Once your emotions have leveled off (fight or flight has subsided) take the focus OFF of the "trigger," or whatever has escalated your emotions. Go for a walk, bike ride, swim; read a book; use imagery to picture a better outcome; concentrate on every word of a favorite Scripture passage, for example Philippians 4:6,7 " Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." It’s nearly impossible for anxiety to escalate while meditating on a peaceful passage. If your mind tries to scoot back to the source of your anxiety – and it will – don’t panic; gently bring it back to the verse, or move on to a new technique. No matter what you do, though. . . .

don't forget to BREATHE!

You can find more tips for freedom from anxiety at https://joshua1nine.com/