Idea List: Cooling Your Anger
February 2006

“Idea List: Cooling Your Anger,” New Era, Feb. 2006, 9

Idea List:

Cooling Your Anger

President Gordon B. Hinckley says, “If you have a temper, now is the time to learn to control it. The more you do so while you are young, the more easily it will happen” (“Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry,” Ensign, May 1998, 50). Here are some ideas you can use to better handle anger in your life.

  • Read in the scriptures about the Savior’s patience, love, forgiveness, and self-control. Strive to follow His example.

  • Be patient with others. “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Prov. 16:32).

  • Look for the good in others. Instead of pointing out their faults, compliment them on their good characteristics.

  • Don’t blame your anger on others. Anger is a choice. Choose to stay away from contention. (See Lynn G. Robbins, “Agency and Anger,” Ensign, May 1998, 80.)

  • Be a peacemaker. Remember the Savior said, “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention. … Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away” (3 Ne. 11:29–30).

  • Cultivate the virtues listed in D&C 121:41–42 that righteous priesthood holders should have, such as long-suffering, gentleness, and kindness.

  • Seek to understand others instead of becoming irritated with their behavior. Try putting yourself in their position and seeing things from their point of view. (See Gordon T. Watts, “Slow to Anger,” Ensign, Feb. 2003, 60.)

  • Practice self-control. Counting to 10 or 100 or taking a walk can give you some time to think before you react in anger.

  • If you are angry at someone, try praying for them or serving them with a pure heart (see 3 Ne. 12:44). It is hard to pray for someone and still remain angry at them.

  • Have a good sense of humor, and try not to take yourself too seriously. You can laugh your anger away before it even appears.

  • Say a silent prayer, asking Heavenly Father to help you react with love instead of anger or contention.

  • Even if you are feeling angry, don’t raise your voice or retaliate in some other way. Remember, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Prov. 15:1).

Photo illustration by Cary Henrie