Tag Archives: Mental stretching

Dealing With Anger Before It Deals With You!

There is nothing wrong with getting angry, in fact it is a natural human response that indicates that something has annoyed, challenged or frustrated us. The problem with anger is when we allow it to take control and call the shots for us, often causing us to say or do something that we later regret and feel shame for.

9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. -Ecclesiastes 7:9

So the big question is: How do I deal with anger before it deals with me? There are a lot of different things that we can try, bunt from my personal experience, there is not a one and done remedy and usually it takes a combinations of efforts to get untangled from the web that anger weaves.

The most important thing is to make a decision before you are angry that you are not ever going to allow anger to call the shots. This way, you go in from a strong place, which is much better than beginning from a place of weakness. Below are a few other ideas that will assist you in dealing with anger before it deals with you.

There is the famous “Count Method!” You can either count to ten or count backwards, but I have found that many times, this seems to get me a little more angry???

Take A Breath! In fact, take several deep breaths – in and out. Our breathing becomes shallow and rapid when we are angry and sometimes taking a moment to focus on and change our breathing works wonders in calming us down enough to get back our control.

Go For A Walk! Walking is one of the best things we can do for a lot of different things, but taking time to walk when we are angry allows us to process our thoughts and gives us some time to gain that control back that is so easily lost.

Stretch Your Frustration Away! When we get angry, our muscles tense up, tighten and we become a big ole ball of negative emotions. When we are in this state, it is very easy for us to say or do something that we are sure to regret later. Stretch it out – you will be glad you did!

Pray! That’s right, take some time to talk to God and also some time to listen to God. Prayer is powerful and God wants to help us be victorious in every area of our life, so just by making and taking the time to talk and listen to God, you are moving yourself to a higher level of living. It’s also a great idea to write in your journal, this gives you creative space to shake free of the entanglements of anger!

Practice Gratitude! This requires a major shift in gears, but if you make it, it will totally change things and fast, In fact, I keep a gratitude list in my head and heart of top blessing that I have in my life that help to remind me of the things that really matter. Thinking through this list gets me grateful and moves me to a better place quicker than almost anything else.

Now there are a thousand other ways to deal with anger before it deals with you. I encourage you to find your top three to five and have them in your arsenal, ready to draw whenever anger decides to raise it’s ugly head in your life. You’ve got this, because you were created for so much more!


What’s In A Name?

My name is Michael Joe Harvell and I can’t think of a better name for myself.

One of my favorite country music singers is Johnny Cash and one of my favorite songs he sings is “A Boy Named Sue!” It’s a song all about a fatherless young man, whose father had named him Sue just before the father decided to disappear out of his life and into nowhere. The boy grew up hard, was made fun of, because of his name and had to get tough to survive. One day, he was sitting in a bar and met his Dad, the man who named him Sue. A fight ensued and son got the best of his Dad. The Dad said: “Before you kill me, let me tell you why I named you Sue!” “It was because I knew life was hard and tough and you were going to have to be to, if you were going to survive.”

Some times I wonder is the name making me or am I making the name and most days, I figure, it is probaby a little bit of both???

So let me share with you the story of how I got the name Michael Joe Harvell: I was born May 9, 1968. My parents could not agree on a name for me. My biological Dad wanted to name me: Ralph Maxwell Hiott III after himself and his Dad. My Mom wanted to name me Harry James Hiott; Harry after her favorite uncle and James after her Father. Neither would agree with the other on the name, so one day my biological Dad came to her with the idea of naming me “Michael Joe Hiott”, Michael after him, everyone called him Mike (I have no idea why?) And Joe after her, because her name was Martha Jo. So that became my name and a few years later, after a divorce, My Mom would remarry and the man she married would choose to adopt me, become my Dad and my last name would change to Harvell.

I have always felt I fit my name and my name fits me. I sometimes think that had I been named Ralph Maxwell Hiott III, I probably would have been a book worm, bratty and entitled. Had I been named Harry James Hiott, then I probably would have become a drugged up musician, looking for my next gig. Instead I was named Michael Joe and I really do feel like it’s who I am…

Michael in the Hebrew language means “One Who Is Like The Lord” and Joe in the American Dictionary means “An Average American”. I’ve always said this combination of names is my testimony in a nutshell: I am an average american, who is trying to be like the Lord…

So, I have enjoyed growing into being Michael Joe Harvell and have been blessed with a pretty amazing life, which I’m still living, learning and loving everyday…

Forgive Yourself!

We all make mistakes and sin. Everyone knows the feeling and frustration of failure. But our missing the mark is not the end of us and it is not the end of our lives. The God who created us, loves us and understands us better than we understand ourselves. He has made a way where there wasn’t away. God made a way for us to receive forgiveness and restoration as we learn from our mistakes, sins and failures.

Don’t allow the giant of guilt to beat up on you. Admit your failure, learn from it and receive God’s gift of restoration. If God forgives you, then who do you think you are to not forgive yourself? Forgiveness is making the choice to focus on love and let go of the guilt. It is not always easy, but it is always possible and life changing when we get it right.

The big battle is with our ego, because the ego tells me that I am what I have, what I do or what I think others think of me, so the continual temptation is to look down on or belittle others, at least in our mind, so we can feel better about ourselves, but when we do this, we can’t help but to bring the same conviction into our own lives. This game of judgment backfires and catches us in it’s flames.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” -Matthew 7:1-3

Fight against the temptation to judge yourself or others. Stop finding fault and start looking for what you and others are doing right. Focus on the good and the good will grow. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in self defeating trap of criticism and condemnation.

When I look for the light in others, I cannot help but to be reminded of the light in myself, which helps me to realize that it is through forgiveness that we receive peace and in peace we find true freedom…