I know I’ve talked many times about anger but it remains one of the most popular issues faced by my clients.
For this reason, I’ve decided to give you a re-boot, re-fresh, whatever you care to call it with my top 5 things you should know about anger. Here goes…
- Anger is a physical reaction to a thought or feeling. It is NOT an emotion. When we say we “feel” angry we are feeling the physical effects of anger, such as clenching fists, headache, clenched stomach and a general need to “fight or flight”. The single best way to deal with this reaction (which is the same as the anxiety reaction) is to BREATHE!!!! Oxygen helps to dilute the hormones that our body has created and helps it to return to normal levels. See my post on breathing techniques here
- Anger often comes from a lack of control somewhere in our life. We feel that we are unable to change something and this often makes us feel stuck which can lead to an anger reaction. An example may be where we allow a person or situation to really “get to us” (note the wording here, because we have control as you’ll see later). Address areas of your life where you find yourself getting angry – try and write down what’s bugging you and spend some time analysing why you feel the way you do – don’t forget to be really honest!!
- As mentioned before, we are ultimately in control of our own anger. Our anger belongs to US because we create it! Blaming others only serves to re-enforce angry outbursts. This is perhaps the only golden rule of anger if we truly wish to manage it. Until we take responsibility for our anger, it will always be something we are at the mercy of. Take control today by accepting responsibility for your own anger.
- Get to know your anger – keep an “anger” diary for 7 days and note when you became angry. Make sure you add as much detail as you can such as time, place, who you were with, had you eaten, etc. After 7 days, track back over the listings and see if you can find any patterns. You may also want to look for key situations, times etc. so you can build a picture.
- Remember that anger is GOOD when used as a force for good! We only have to think about campaigns like #BeKind #BlackLivesMatter #MeToo to see that anger, when directed, can be a powerful tool for change. Don’t try to chase your anger away, it’s better to acknowledge it and make friends with it. This way it can be your assertive ally rather than your destructive enemy.
For more about Anger, why not try my short course for just £9.99. You can use it for yourself or as a coaching tool when working with others.
Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, walking and Yoga and Meditation. Find out more here
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