One of the biggest misconceptions of anger management is that it will completely delete anger from your emotions like a virus from your computer. But no matter how much anger management we do, we can never completely stop feeling angry. The keyword in “Anger Management” is Manage or “control reactions and respond in a socially appropriate manner” according to GoodTherapy.org. We must strive to control our anger in order to maintain peace for ourselves and others. Here are 4 quick tricks you can do every day to start maintaining your peace.
1. Anger Management 101: Stop SHOULDING
One of the most common sources of anger I come across is a habit we all have been guilty of: shoulding. When you “should” on something you are creating a preconceived expectation of what that something “should” be doing in a given situation. For example, your son should be doing the dishes after dinner instead of playing video games. Now you are angry that you have to remind him for the millionth time to do so. We can even “should” on people or situations whom we have not expressed our expectations with. Especially when people or situations violate our common courtesy, ethics, or unwritten rules we live by. Remember, it’s a common courtesy for someone to wash their hands before they open a bathroom door. It’s not a law. Change that thought in your head saying “That guy should…” or “My son should…” to “It would be nice if they…”. This will stop you from being invested in the outcome of situations which can trigger your anger.
2. Don’t Act Off Lack Of Facts
We all have our own perceptions towards information. These perceptions are created from experiences to help us process information very quickly in order to make decisions fast. While this process is in our heads to allow us to make split-second conclusions in life-threatening situations, they also can fuel us to get angry for a false cause. In just seconds of meeting someone, we can perceive someone’s behavior as threatening, aggressive, rude, or insubordinate. For example, someone who naturally speaks in a high pitch or a high volume voice may seem to be trying to argue with you. Or maybe you are triggered by your employee not answering an urgent email from you when they actually they never got it. Before your anger surfaces, review your facts of a situation and also your past biases towards the decisions you made in a similar situation. Make sure you know what the person’s true “intent” is not just the action. You might find that while someone in the past might have been proven to ignore your emails on purpose this may not be the intent of that person who didn’t receive your last email. By knowing the true intent of the actions that trigger our anger, we can stop our anger before it even begins.
3. Take Care Of Your Current State
Often times anger outbursts can be a perfect storm of being in a state work exhaustion, sickness, sadness, drunkenness, and stress. Especially if these states are a constant. When we are in an extreme state like these our response to anger can be amplified. It’s important to recognize these factors in order to understand any new reactions we have with anger that is unusual. Changing habits and lifestyles to reduce these variables can help you control your anger immensely.
4. Record Your Anger
Typically when we are angry often, we can find ourselves proud of it. The actions we do in this anger can make us feel tough or powerful even if they are destructive and costly. One of the best ways of seeing the dangers of this satisfaction is thru the eyes of the people around us. Seeing ourselves in our anger from a different perspective can be some of the best motivation to get control of it. Try recording yourself or tell others you trust to record you when your anger is bubbling to the surface. This can also be very valuable to review this footage with an Anger Management Coach to customize a plan to get full control of it.
At Renaissance Counseling Center, I can help you one on one or in a class on how to harness your anger for its true purpose. Your anger was never meant for you to destroy. It was meant for you to survive and thrive for your true purpose.
Click below to get started with one on one Anger Management!