Steps to Anger Management
Shobha and Pooja went to a movie in a theatre and sat beside each other. It was all fine between them, and Pooja occasionally peered at Shobha to confirm if she was enjoying the movie. However, after the film ended, Pooja found Shobha’s face very serious. As they came out, Pooja asked, “Is something wrong?”
“Nothing,” replied Shobha, flicking her cell phone on the ground and walking off.
After reaching home, Pooja politely asked Shobha what had gone wrong. Then, with a furious gaze, Shobha replied, “Towards the end of the movie, I saw your face thrice and smiled, but you didn’t even look at my face once. It was so insulting to me!”
Pooja was shocked to hear that. She explained that she was too engrossed in the movie.
It was not a new behavior. Shobha would often sob at petty things, at other times quickly get anxious, smells and sounds make her jittery, and she always assumes hate from a person.
She acts like an emotional snowflake to the degree that people feel on the inside she likes being disliked, labeled, and treated with contempt.
She is intensely reactive to situations or events that most people would ignore or brush off.
In a heated argument, she would prefer to use force to “shut the person up” rather than participate in conversation or debate.
Shobha believed no one should dare to provoke, oppose, or upset her.
Time and again, she has been explained very softly that she should behave normally. She also understands that she has some problems with her personality but finds it hard to change herself.
How should Shobha go about changing herself and managing her Anger? Let us hear what experts have to offer.
“It would be helpful to spot expectations and let go of them. One aspect of having anger issues is a pessimistic viewpoint that gives rise to negative expectations. For example, you may look for proof that “everything IS stacked against you.” In such cases, you’d be keeping yourself in Anger, which isn’t good for you.
It would be best if you became less fixated on the idea that some external change will make you happy. Instead, far better to be open to learning how you can change how you see everything and, as a result, how you feel.
For example, forcing someone else to change their behavior to make you feel better will only produce friction and relationship problems. Instead, a better relationship with yourself will bring you inner peace, lasting joy, and better relationships with others.
Finally, the factors that caused your anger issues will likely have been formed long ago and become deeply entrenched; therefore, “be prepared for the long haul.” That way, you’ll stay encouraged. Instead, you’ll continue learning what you need to become a better version of yourself: a more thoughtful, connected person.”
“I always suggest deep cleansing and focusing on mindfulness and distraction techniques. These can include tuning into the five senses using nature.
Go for a walk, look for three new sights, listen to two exciting sounds, and feel one attractive flower or another plant. Taking a mental time out during an angry moment will help you respond more respectfully and less emotionally.”
“My work with clients has made me get closer to understanding Anger in various ways. Anger has always shown up when the “agency” of a person is taken away.
To go more curious about what takes away one’s agency, it’s the systems we live in that make/practice norms. We can’t always go away from systems as it’s a way of survival for many of us. Then why do we go away from our own emotions that come alone? One of them being Anger.
When Anger can be allowed, respected, and given its place in our bodies, it just becomes easy on us. So the first step is to become easy on Anger and not see it as a negative term that one needs to do something. It’s an emotion like happiness felt within our bodies. It needs acknowledgment to help the Anger, not destroy oneself or others.
E.g., An uninvited puppy in the room runs all around, and the moment to attend to it, it’s easy and finds its way.”
“Are you someone who gets triggered easily? Are you someone who feels that your temper is hijacking your life? Do you think things are out of control?
If your answer is Yes to any of the above, read on!
Anger is a highly normal emotion, as normal as happiness or sadness. It is just a way of telling you that a situation is unjust or threatening!
Everyone experiences Anger! Anger towards your kid, your spouse, staff, or your boss! The degree of each varies & the reactions to each are different too. It becomes problematic when the frequency or severity interferes with relationships, work, or mental health!
When you get angry, you might feel that everything is out of your control & it is very little you can do to tame the beast! But you have more control over your Anger & emotions than you think. Taking 100% responsibility for your life is critical.
Your response to a situation can make or break it, so choose to respond rather than react to a problem. Certain events are out of our control, but every outcome you experience in life results from how you reacted earlier. As Jack Canfield said – You have complete control over three things in life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize & the actions you take!
In my opinion, Anger is
A - A
N - No
G - Gain
E - Emotion
R - Rising
Anger could be easily managed by following the below! These simple hacks will help you move from a state of Anger to CALM -
C - Cognitive restructuring
It means to change your thoughts instantly. The most effective three-letter phrase – UP UNTIL NOW can change the game! For example, instead of saying things like “I am unlucky & this always happens to me,” rephrase it to “I am unlucky up until now” & notice the energy shift!
A - Awareness & Acceptance
Listen & be aware of all your triggers & reactions to them. Then, understand the root cause of the Anger.
L – Laughter
Adding some humor to the situation also helps in managing Anger! Doing something you enjoy will also help you pivot from Anger to a better place emotionally.
M - Muscle relaxation
Try stretches & breathing exercises to calm your nerves. Be more aware of each breath!”
“Leave me alone!”
“I am fed up with you now!”
“You are useless.”
“I am stupid to continue with you.”
“Please stop making me angry.”
The above sentences are used by us when we are angry. The tone used to convey our thoughts show the intensity of our aggressive behavior, and the message is passed that we are mad.
Anger is the mixture of many other negative feelings like being, Annoyed, Irritated, Frustrated, Insulted, Harassed, Betrayed, Disgusted, and Furious, etc. Unfortunately, we cannot show all these feelings independently, and Anger is noticed. Therefore, it becomes necessary for each one of us to understand the cause of Anger and try to deal with it.
For example :
“leave me alone” states that the person is irritated and needs a break.
“they have made my life hell” states that the person is being harassed/disgusted.
“Oh God! Just take me off,” states that the person is going through guilt/betrayal.
Instead of dealing with Anger directly, try to identify the shadow feeling behind the cause."
“Humans experience a wide range of emotions, and Anger is one of them; however, Anger has a bad reputation because it may harm self or others if not appropriately channelized. Moreover, chronic and frequent Anger can impair an individual’s physical, psychological and social health along with their relationship with others.
Anger management is a process wherein an individual learns to understand the message behind one’s emotions and express them more healthily without losing control.
It comprises skills to identify anger triggers and following signs within oneself to mindfully express the feeling with the least harm to self or others. Then how do we manage it?
Firstly, one needs to understand Anger as an emotion, its purpose, and, more importantly, if it’s a genuine emotion or just a disguised one.
Secondly, identify your internal and external triggers to manage them before it escalates.
Thirdly, one needs to learn and use skills to channel the energy within (e.g., Slow belly breathing, splashing cold water on the face, or doing an intense exercise) and, after that, plan a mindful, assertive and easy way to communicate the true feelings.
An excellent way to manage your emotional health is to consistently engage in self-care activities like a healthy diet, exercise, and practicing hobbies.
Suppose Anger is having a long-term negative impact on your overall well-being and relationships or is leading to dangerous or violent behavior. In that case, it is highly recommended to see a Psychologist who can help you manage the Anger and lead a more fulfilled life. "
“Anger Management is a misleading term. Anger, like any emotion, provides us with necessary information about our environment and relationships. Rather than managing Anger, we need to pay attention to it just the same as all our feelings. The best way to approach this is with an attitude of compassionate curiosity for both ourselves and our clients.
Anger is a protective emotion that can supply us with a charge of energy and motivate us into action. Sometimes our Anger is in response to hurt or a perceived threat of abandonment or rejection. Suppose the level of Anger is more significant than what would be reasonably warranted by the triggering event. In that case, chances are we are looking at a historical wound or trauma that still requires some healing. The level of charge can be indicative of the depth of the damage.
The first step in ‘managing’ anger is acknowledging it when it appears. It is there for a good reason. It is there to protect us and keep us safe. We do not have anger issues; we are not broken; we are intelligently adapted to our current or historical context. However, sometimes the way we have organized ourselves around an often-challenging family of origin story can be self-limiting in new environments and relationships. So what is our Anger telling us? Maybe it is as simple as “I’m scared of being abandoned (again).”
As therapists, we must be patient and curious and facilitate a gentle exploration of what is beneath the Anger. Then, when the vulnerable part finally shows up, we can employ some nurturing and understanding and thus provide the client with the missing experience. It may be as simple as mindfully holding a safe space with a loving presence while the tears flow.”
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