Time Out: Recognize, Retreat, Relax, Return: Self-awareness and insight can teach us to be attuned to how we are feeling and to monitor our actions and behaviors. Can we learn to listen to our inner voice and take a step back for a while to cool down before returning to our interactions?
I Know Exactly How to Hurt Them With my Words, But I Won't: Are we going to continue to hurt others with our words as perhaps a past caregiver once did to us, or can we learn to be more gentle with those we love to avoid the unnecessary hurt?
Do Something Different: The definition of insanity is saying the same things over and over again, but expecting a different response. Can we change our terminology and use more pleasant and caring words or is our vocabulary limited to only hurtful words.
Turning Down the Heat: Anger cannot
only make a person physically "hot under the collar", but produce "hot" thoughts that can exacerbate the anger. Make a strong attempt to calm down so that your body physically feels cooler and work on thinking "cooler" less intense thoughts.
Don't Jump to Conclusions: Irrational doubt, unreasonable mistrust, and excessive suspicious can lead one to assume the worst which can feed anger. It's better to think through situations and examine the facts before verbally attacking someone - you could be wrong.
Don't Make a Bad Situation Worse: As bad as some situations may be, they can always be worse. Try to look at and deal with the problems as they are and be aware that "fueling the fire" can often make the situation more difficult to solve.
How do you Justify Your Anger?: Oftentimes people justify their anger by blaming others for getting them enraged. Can we ask ourselves what role we played in a particular situation and how much responsibility is ours for the problem?
Notice Your Other Feelings: Anger is, at times, a "runaway" emotion and can often mask other feelings. Can we identify other emotions we may be experiencing along with our anger that can help to identify how we may really be feeling?
How to Relax in the Middle of an Argument: What are some strategies that can be used if someone starts an argument with you? If your standing, sit down; if the other persons voice is raised, lower your tone and slow your speech down; listen to the other person and respect what they are saying; do not make faces or other negative gestures, etc.
Why am I so Critical of Others?: Excessive criticism in the middle of an argument can often make a bad situation worse and if we're always overly critical it can become a habit. Try not to "nitpick", call others names, "grumble" under your breath, or make comparison of others that could escalate your problems.
Looking for the Good in Others - A Healing Medicine: Do we ever stop and think about another person's positive qualities, skills, and talents or are we only interested in badmouthing and disparaging them?
Praise: Praise is finding the good qualities in another person. Some examples of praise are: acknowledging another person's accomplishments, their quick thinking ability, appearance, morals/values, creativity, concern for others and animals, or any other positive aspect about them rather than a negative trait.
"I" Statements: "I" statements are forms of communication that focuses more on how an individual is feeling as opposed to blaming another person for making the individual feel a certain way (For example say, "I feel angry when you don't listen to me" as opposed to "You make me angry when you don't listen to me").
Apologies Made, Apologies Accepted: How difficult is it for you to apologize after an argument or to accept another persons apology? Knowing how to apologize and accept apology can help diminish anger and begin to normalize a situation.
Be Willing to Compromise: How do you see compromise? Some people see it in terms of "losing" if they don't "win" it all. A compromise basically amounts to in order to get something we give something. How does this work for you?
Keeping Things in Perspective: When you are bothered by someone's behavior, it may be good to try to put the situation in perspective. Ask yourself, "Is it life threatening?" or "Is it trivial?" "Is it very serious?" or "Just annoying?" This may help in determining how we approach various situations.
Understanding the Other Persons Feelings: Can we show empathy or put ourselves in another persons shoes or is it difficult to "trade places" with another person and see life from their perspective?
Letting Go of Your Anger: Anger, like feelings of happiness, can linger for a while even after the experience is over. Take care of yourself after an argument and give yourself time to cool down by going for a walk, resting, or just being alone until your body begins to feel "normal" again.
The Secret Attraction of Anger: Some people actually like the feeling that anger can produce: power, adrenaline, superiority, etc. Be careful not to fall into the trap of being "addicted" to anger. Like a drug, it can cause many problems in your life.
Forgiving Those Who Have Harmed You: Can you begin to forgive those who have harmed you? Can you ask God for help in giving you the strength to forgive? Can you not carry around resentments toward the other person for the harm they have caused? These are some questions you may want to consider in the process of healing.
Doing More Good Than Harm: How would you answer this question, "Do I do more good than harm in my interactions with others around me or more harm than good?" This question can help to make us aware of our behavior around others.
In this 3-part article on Anger Management, we have looked at anger Prevention, Containment, and Resolution in the realm of Actions, Thoughts, Feelings, and Spirit.In order for any Anger Management program to be effective, awareness of what we do, think, feel, and who we are all come into play. Awareness can be the prompting factor that helps us recognize when anger is getting out of control.
Awareness is the ability to feel, to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns. To the extent that we can be aware of these qualities in and around us, and the context in which we connect to the world, will play a major factor in the development of our anger.
Awareness of our Actions speaks to how much insight we have into our behaviors, awareness of our Thoughts gives us a view into our cognitive capacities and what may preceded our actions, awareness of Feelings let's us know when we are angry, happy, frustrated, and calm and awareness of Spirit gives us insight into our knowledge of ourselves and our place in the world. If we can learn to be more aware of the world in and around us, we will be in a better position to demonstrate self-control in compromising situations.