How Do I Overcome Anger?


Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Overcoming anger is no easy task, especially when one has been hurt. It is possible, however. Our first task to understand is that anger is an emotion. Emotions are normal and not at all sinful. However, we cannot allow our emotions to rule our decisions. The evil one would like nothing more than for us to fall into what St. Ignatius of Loyola calls desolation–thinking that all is lost or hopeless and that nothing really matters anymore.

Recovering from anger takes time and when we are thrust into desolate times it is important not to make any decisions or take any actions towards others when we aren’t thinking clearly. Only after we heal and can begin to see the light again can we actually make a good, discerned decision.

So if you are angry about something, notice where your anger comes from and work on healing from that hurt. Talk to a trusted mentor, a counselor, a spiritual director or a priest from your parish or that you trust about your anger and work towards healing. Healing will involve feeling that emotion, but not allowing that emotion to rule your heart.

Originally published 2014

Mike Hayes is the Director of Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland and the host of 5 Questions with the Paulists. Mike is one of the founders of Busted Halo and has worked with young adults his entire ministry career in retreat, spiritual direction, and campus Ministry. He’s the author of "Googling God" (Paulist, 2007) and "Loving Work" (Orbis, 2012). Mike and his wife Marion live in Lakewood, OH with their dog, Haze.