Tag Archives: fear

You do not have to go through it alone!

The Valley of the Shadow of Death 1867 George Inness with Words 700Psalm 23:4 (NLT)

Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.

No matter how dark things may seem.  No matter how alone we may field.  We are not alone.  Even in the darkest valley, also known as the “valley of the shadow of death”, we can find comfort in the knowledge that God is with us.

This Psalm does not promise that God will pluck us out of the valley of the shadow of death.  In this Psalm, David, a great warrior and king, proclaims that he is confident that God will protect and comfort him as he travels through this valley.  And that God will provide everything he need (Psalm 23:5).

We do not have to let fear paralyze us.  God will guide us through these difficulties.  It is our responsibility to trust, listen and follow.

This time or situation in your life may be like a dark valley.  Take courage that others, such as King David in this Psalm, made it through dark times by trusting in God.  Many others share similar experiences.

You do not have to go through dark times alone!

Comments:

If you have an encouraging story (testimony) please share it in the comments/reply section.  It does us good to hear good news!

How can we successfully deal with angry people?

So, you are not a hot head.  But you have to deal with one or two or three.  Below are some ideas to consider when dealing with outwardly angry people—note: we will have to talk about the quiet angry types in another post.

[Most important: your safety!  If the angry person becomes abusive (or you believe it is heading in that direction) you should remove yourself from the situation and seek appropriate help.  What we are discussing here is anger that does not result in abuse.]

Anger usually comes from some insecurity, fear, guilt, sense of inadequacy, etc.:

Understanding this can help us to NOT internalize the other person’s expression of anger.  When we internalize someone else’s anger we tend to get defensive—at least this is true for me.  When we get defensive we can get side tracked from the real issues at hand.

Expectations: Do you have unrealistic expectations about the reasonableness of the angry person?

It is unreasonable to expect a person in the passion of anger to be completely reasonable.  The biology of anger does not support it.  The more angry the individual the less the reasoning center of the brain can operate.  The blood flow actually decreases to the reasoning center (pre-frontal cortex—the part behind your forehead).  Instead the body/brain puts its resources in to the fight/flight response.

Anger, fear, anxiety and alike all have a similar physiological response.  It is important that this balance be restored before attempting to engage in a reasonable discussion.  Justifying our actions—even if we are in the right—accomplishes nothing in the heat of the moment.

Post-traumatic stress responses can involve anger outbursts.  PTSD is not a means for excusing inappropriate actions.  However, it can be helpful to keep in mind that the stress and anxiety that accompany PTSD can help contribute to a shorter fuse.

Diffuse before Engaging:                 

In the heat of anger (our own or that of another) our goal should be to diffuse the situation before attempting to solve the problem(s) surrounding the event.  Time is an important ingredient in this mix.  People’s bodies need time to work out the rush of hormones that accompanies anger and the fight/flight response.

It may not be helpful to declare an official “time-out”.  However, some kind of separation in time and space should be considered.

It is important that the individuals involved reengage the issues when all have had an opportunity to cool down.  If we are not careful time and space can lead to avoidance and the underlying problems will never get resolved.

Get someone else involved:

I don’t mean that you should drag someone else into the middle of the argument.  Rather, when a relative calm has set in, invite someone to help mediate the discussion.  This person should be perceived by all involved as being relatively neutral.

Addressing their anger issue:

Yelling back, “You have anger issues!” In the middle of their outburst is not likely to be helpful. (I know, I have tried it.)  When all is calm it may be possible to discuss your concern for how they are handling anger.

However, in order to be able to successfully deliver this message, it helps if you actually care.  I have not found many people ready to accept a “critical” message from someone who does not care.  If that is the case, then try and find someone who does care to deliver the message of concern.

This is by no means a complete list of things to help deal with angry people.  What ideas or strategies have helped you deal with angry people? (Please share your thoughts in the comments section.)

Check out the first part of our podcast series on anger: “Anger!!! What Lies Beneath

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013 – Anger!! What Lies Beneath

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Anger affects more than just people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Some people just seem to be wired to be more volatile.  All of our life circumstances and experiences help us cope with the “stuff” that we encounter.  We can learn new ways of dealing with whatever we experience or feel.

People dealing with PTSD are often also dealing with deep anger.  Learning to “manage” anger is extremely important.  Part of that process is gaining insight to what lies beneath the anger.

In today’s episode:

  • Is anger “bad”?
  • Quiet vs. Loud Anger
  • Physical Impact of Anger (+ stress and fear)
  • Can anger be managed?
  • Analogies of anger: Diet Coke; lighter
  • The Fuel of Anger
  • PTSD and Anger
  • Taking responsibility

Some quotes on anger:

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Mark Twain

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha

From —   http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_anger.html

Yoda on fear and anger … 

“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate … to suffering” Star Wars Episode 1

http://youtu.be/kFnFr-DOPf8

Is anger “bad”?

No.  Anger is a normal human emotion.  It is what we do when we are angry that brings most of the problems.  It can have bad physical results on our health when it dominates our emotions.  Consider these words of wisdom, “And “don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Ephesians 4:26a (Holy Bible, New Living Translation).  Mahatma Gandhi made a similar observation, “Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep.”    It is what we do as a result of anger that gets us in the most trouble.  The Buddha on anger: “A man conquered by anger is in a mass of darkness.” Kodhana Sutta: An Angry Person

Loud vs. Quiet Anger (Aggressive vs. Passive)

Not everyone screams and shouts when they are angry.  Sometimes passive aggressive behavior is rooted in anger.  Also some people will hold it in and withdraw from relationships.  It can show up in giving someone a cold shoulder or a fake smile.  Anger may also be behind some self-destructive behaviors.  Some may quietly literally feed their anger with food.

The Biological Reality of Anger (+ stress and fear) 

Anger is a biological process…

Hormones and Steroids flood the body causing, among other things, a rise in blood pressure, decrease blood flow to the reasoning center of the brain (pre-frontal cortex).  All this is part of the Fight or Flight response—very much like stress and fear.

Can anger be managed?

Yes! (Don’t miss next weeks episode when we discuss strategies we can do before during and after we are angry.

Analogies of anger: Diet Coke + Mentos(TM) (thank you Mythbusters); a lighter

 Diet_Coke_Mentos_CC

Courtesy of Zan  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of Zan FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Fuel of Anger – What lie beneath?

Anger does not just happen.  It is tied to deeper emotions.  Most of us may rather admit we are angry than afraid.

PTSD and Anger

A great book on PTSD by Dr. Shay: “Achilles in Vietnam”
PTSD anger complicated by “What’s right” being violated.  Trust is lost …

Taking responsibility

People may push our buttons; but they are our buttons.

 Sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.  – Author Unknown

Check out some other resources:

How Anger Words  http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/anger2.htm

Understanding Your Emotions  http://www.wire.wisc.edu/yourself/Emotions/Understanding_emotions.aspx

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Is fear holding you back?

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Most people I know admit that fear affects their decision making in some way.  In a way that they feel usually holds them back from attempting to accomplish something new.  To overcome this fear it may not be enough to simply recognize its existence.  It is a start to recognize that fear is fueling an internal distraction; but all that might do is bring to your awareness that something is holding you back.

Many offer what appears to be a simplistic solution such as, “Just go for it!  Get over it!” Or they may share a cliché such as “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.  As true as these statements are, the often fall short of releasing someone, or equipping someone to move forward with confidence and competence.

It can be difficult to overcome a nebulas obstacle.  For many identifying and understanding the source of the fear can be an important part of moving beyond the fear into new areas of success.  This process should not devolve into an endless loop of self-pity.  It should be with the intent of addressing and ultimately overcoming the obstacle.  This process itself takes courage!

Some shrink away from this process are assert that this sort of what they may call “navel-gazing” as pointless.  If it turns into navel-gazing, I would agree.  If we become self-absorbed and stuck in the fear or the past we are not addressing and overcoming.  Yet if we do not face and deal with whatever reality is holding us back then we are not likely to be able to boldly move forward.

The first step may be to acknowledge and accept that there is some fear holding you back.  Don’t stop there!  Courageously and patiently move forward.  If you feel stuck, have the courage to reach out for assistance.  Sometimes friends can help.  If not, a counselor, mentor, pastor or coach can help identify the core elements that may be holding you back.

It takes work to overcome our internal obstacles; but the rewards are great.  When we overcome these things we are free to act; and even free to not act.  In our freedom we may find that our lives take on an entirely different direction then we expected when fear was guiding our thinking.

Some will not enter into treatment for PTSD, or any other issue, because of fear.  Fear that they will be seen as week.  Fear that the treatment won’t work.  Or many other fear based obstacles.  We can overcome fear.  For me, as my faith in God grows stronger fear starts to take a back seat.

Today is the day that can start to turn around.  If you need someone to walk this part of your journey with you contact me at david@hopeandrestoration.org

How have you overcome fear in the past?  Please share your experience in our components section (at the top of the post).