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What's New:

  • Group Coaching Slots: It's back and better than ever! We have a few openings for our spring Walking in CORE Strength coaching group. If you have ever wanted to be part of an intimate and life-changing group – this is your chance! We have our kick-off call on Friday, February 23rd! Learn all the details at leslievernick.com/groupcoaching
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How to Handle Your Anger

By Leslie Vernick

When you think of anger, what image comes to mind? Is it a younger version of yourself at the mercy of an out-of-control parent? Maybe it’s more recent…the latest in a series of spousal tirades. Or, maybe the image that pops in your head is of yourself, losing it with your kids, your husband, or a bad driver on a bad morning.

The word anger can remind us all of memories we’d rather forget. But, it would be a mistake to think of anger itself as bad. Because it’s not. In fact, anger has done a lot of good for society. Anger has been the impetus for creating a national sex offender registry, the center for missing and exploited children, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), civil rights laws, and even America itself.

I work with women who have a right to be angry. They’ve dealt with infidelity, abuse, deceit, and more. What’s more, they’ve often received inadequate counseling from their churches which has served to embolden their abusive husbands. When living out this type of injustice day in and day out, it’s easy to give anger the keys to our mouth and our minds. But when we do, it leads to some pretty poor decision making.

The Bible has a lot to say about anger. James says we should be slow to become angry (James 1:19). Proverbs 29:11 says people who give full vent their anger are fools. It also describes a person without self-control as being like a city with broken down walls. Current events in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza have given us plenty of images what that looks like.

Here are a few practical ideas that will help when your temper is flaring.

  1. Pay attention to your body. Where do you feel your anger? In your belly? Is your heart racing, nostrils flaring? Remember, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19,20). Give yourself a moment before reacting in your anger. Take a few deep breaths. Count to 10. Plunge your hands in ice. Give your pre-frontal cortex (the thinking part of your brain) a minute or two to regroup.
  2. What about your automatic thoughts (ANTS). What are you telling yourself in your fury? Is it true? Breath again. Ask yourself and the Holy Spirit, is there another way to look at things? Remember, feelings are not facts…even your own. The facts of the situation may be provocative enough, but when we make up a negative or scary story like “she stood me up on purpose” or “My life is ruined because of what he did.” we make things much worse inside.
  3. Put things in perspective. Is this going to matter in five minutes, five hours, or five years? Is losing my cool and damaging these relationships in my rage really worth this fight? Always keep the bigger picture in mind. This doesn’t mean you sweep important matters under the rug but that you calm down and use your anger in a constructive way rather than venting your rage and end up being labeled as the crazy one.
  4. Again, Press pause. Counting to 10 (or 20) and deep breathing really does work. It gives you a moment to allow the front part of your brain some decision-making power when the emotional part of your brain is in fight-or-flight mode. During this time, stay curious about your anger. What is it about? What feels unjust and what do you need to do about it in a good way?

Anger can be used for good. But, remember, anger is often a liar. It says, “I’m right and you’re wrong.” It says, “I’m good and you’re bad.” It says, “I have the right to hurt you because you’ve hurt me.” You may recognize these beliefs in the abuser but do you recognize them in yourself?

If you’re struggling with managing anger, get help. Learn to identify and manage your triggers so you can begin to use this emotion to advocate for yourself instead of attacking others. Once you learn to do this, anger can serve a great purpose.

Our Walking in Core Strength Group Coaching program just opened its doors. If you’d like more information on how you can learn to manage your own anger or other feelings so that you grow healthier and stronger, even when angry, click here.

Book Giveaway

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Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy

by Leslie Vernick

Counselor and author Leslie Vernick has discovered that many people pray, “Lord, I just want to be happy!” With candor, Leslie reveals that readers don’t need new circumstances but a new perspective to discover true happiness. With biblical insight, Leslie guides readers to take simple steps as they…

  • recognize and change habits that, day by day, keep them from experiencing happiness
  • make good choices and learn from mistakes without beating themselves up
  • develop the skills that enable them to let go of negative and painful emotions more quickly
  • transform difficult circumstances so they can live with gratitude, joy, and purpose

Application questions help readers work godly thinking, as well as healthy skills and habits, into their lives and hearts. They’ll discover that, even if nothing changes in their circumstances, their inner chains can be broken and they can go free…into a new path of real hope and happiness.

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter! (Giveaway only available to U.S. residents)

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide name and email address.

The winners of “Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy” by Leslie Vernick are Laura B. and Andrea A.

Enter For Your Chance to Win

How Can I Heal When He’s Still Toxic and We Have Children to Parent?

By Leslie Vernick

Question: What do you do to heal when a person cannot get away from an abusive situation and person? She can’t get free because she must co-parent, and he constantly creates lies and havoc and stress through the kids. How can this person heal?

Answer: This is a common problem among the women we work with. You get frazzled and worn out trying to communicate, cooperate, and co-parent with someone who doesn’t do relationships in a healthy way. When you are married to someone who always has to be right, always has to win, and there is no compromise or mutual problem-solving, peaceful and cooperative co-parenting is impossible. He wins, you lose. He’s right, you’re wrong. Arguing only makes you look like you are disrespectful and unloving – especially when he highlights that narrative to the children, or it’s happening in front of them.

What People Are Saying About Leslie's Book “Lord, I Just Want To Be Happy”:

I've enjoyed reading this book immensely. Although I haven't stopped at the end of each chapter to answer questions, I plan to re read and do that very thing. It takes time, but I find when I get into a book, I just want to see what it says first, then take the time for personal inventory. Very good read!

LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS

Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.

Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.

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Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States