If you know that your anger is causing you problems…
and / or causing other people problems, then maybe Anger Awareness Week could be the trigger for you to do something about it! How about setting aside five minutes each day this week for some serious, quiet consideration of just what is going on?
Think about how YOUR life would be improved with more calm and more control in it? How would you be feeling, thinking and behaving differently from how it’s been lately? And write down any specific ideas that you come up with.
Think about and write down specific ways (big or small) that life would improve for OTHERS if you were calmer and more in control of your angry feelings and reactions.
Think about how even small changes in the way YOU react would cause OTHERS TO REACT IN A CALMER AND HAPPIER WAY.
Think about how much you would like some of these things to happen and the extent to which you would really like these changes to be in place. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 means you’re really not bothered at all and 10 means that you desperately want things to be better, where are you now on that scale?
So if you have got this far, I am assuming that you have decided that you really do want to make some changes so you may need to take a few extra minutes for Days Four and Five.
Are you an exploder?
When people have difficulty handling anger it’s generally in one of two main ways … the first way is to fly into a rage at the least provocation … quick to explode and way out of proportion to the trigger … at this point they’re quite unable to see or listen to reason … probably causing a situation to escalate … and things can very quickly get way out of hand … unsafe for all concerned … they’re sometimes called ‘exploders’
Or are you an ‘imploder’?
The second main way (sometimes called imploding) is to bottle things up, stuff anger down, letting it fester for weeks or months or even years until suddenly it explodes dramatically when you and others least expect it … sometimes with frightening consequences. Continual suppression of strong feelings may mean that eventually it is expressed over something quite minor with an aggression that can cause physical damage, emotional damage, relationship damage and damage to health … both yours and others
So have a think and discover how YOU have been handling things up to now …
Allow yourself to think back about how you have been dealing with anger and see whether you can identify one type of reaction or the other … Have you been an exploder or a ‘bottling-things-up’ imploder? Or maybe even a bit of each?
So have a think around where all this anger comes from? You may have learned and copied your responses from parents or those around you … as children do … or it may be that you were never allowed to express angry feelings so you learned that the only way to manage them was to bottle them up and keep them secret to avoid being punished
Or could it be that something bad happened in the past that caused you to be very angry and you were never able to resolve it and it has simmered under the surface waiting for any opportunity to flare up and vent your feelings on the nearest available person?
Think about how YOU learned your way of handling anger? Did you learn that exploding over very little was OK? Or did you learn that bottling up your feelings kept you out of trouble? Or was it something else?
So you now may have some ideas about how it developed … and how it was maintained … or you may only come to know that after you’ve thought about it a bit more … either now or come back to it another time
But … as you stop and think about it now … does it seem to you that your old way of managing things is no longer useful or relevant in your present day life?
Whether you have discovered that you tend to be an imploder or an exploder it would seem clear that neither way is really helpful … You can learn a very short and simple trick of calming breathing to take back your control of your feelings.
Go back to Day One and Day Two and come up with AT LEAST ONE WAY that you could express your anger but do it in a more controlled way… before it escalates … and AT LEAST ONE WAY to manage your responses to triggers in a calmer way… and put it in place.
If you feel that you would like some more help with this process, you can take the next step in learning to let go of those unwanted feelings and develop more appropriate ways to manage your anger check out my audios here
We have audios for adults, teenagers and children.