Anger is an arousal in the body coming from fear, frustration or hurt. Some people like to call anger an emotion, but it isn’t. It is simply that arousal you feel when people do or say things you do not like, or when they cross your boundaries.
Teaching anger management classes each week, I know how much folks like to blame other people for their own anger, and, especially for their own outbursts.
It is SO easy to think you have someone to blame for your own words and behavior, isn’t it? It almost feels like you and your life would be perfect it if just weren’t for all the other thoughtless, ignorant, stupid, annoying other folks! That’s what children say. Grown-ups hopefully know better! Unfortunately, most don’t. They are still looking for something or someone to blame. So, let’s look a a few key issues that can certainly help you to understand anger and what to do with it that will not ruin your relationships, your criminal record or your health.
BECOME AWARE OF THE AROUSAL AS SOON AS IT BEGINS
This is something you have to train yourself to do.
- Notice when you feel the first flush of anger, the first rising of temperature within your body.
- Watch for your breathing becoming more shallow and your vision narrowing.
- Notice tension rising without yourself and your shoulders rising to meet your earlobes.
BECOME AWARE OF YOURSELF IN THESE SITUATIONS
- Know who triggers you and what particularly about them triggers you.
- Know the triggers and practice what you will do…BEFORE the circumstance arises again. (HINT: Removing yourself from the situation with a promise of return is a very good start.)
- Reflect on the patterns in your life and notice when you are likely to become angry.
- Take stock of your boundaries and express them. (Many people have anger issues with people who continuously cross their boundaries, HOWEVER, they have never recognized the fact that they have never been pro-active enough to actually TELL the other about their boundaries and what their preferences are.)
- Ask yourself how much you like yourself when you either stuff your anger or explode?
- Are you justifying your anger so that you do not have handle past issues, hurts or frustrations?
DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO DEMONSTRATE WHO YOU ARE
- Do you want to spill venom over unsuspecting victims?
- Do you want to damage or destroy your relationships quickly, or systematically?
- Do you want the supposed satisfaction of telling people off or telling them “like it is?”
- Do you want to allow your anger to rule your life?
- Are you willing to look inside yourself to find the sources of anger and eradicate them…or, at least, learn how to manage them?
- Are you willing to give up the explosions?
- Are you willing to acknowledge that you may be stuffing anger and getting sick, often?
- Would you like to solve your anger issues?
When you’re ready–or if you’re sharing this with someone you wish would be ready–to learn to manage anger in mature ways, consider taking an anger management program, either through individual counseling or group classes.
You don’t have to be the victim of your own anger…or continue turning others into victims of it, either!
If you’d like help with this, you can contact me directly at RS@SowPeace.com .