The first step to dealing with anger is to understand the process that goes on.
The Anger Cycle
We all get angry. It’s a natural human emotion. In fact it can be healthy to get angry and it let’s us know that we or someone we care about has been treated unfairly.
The important thing to know about anger though is how to manage it because if we don’t then we can hurt ourselves or others.
We can cycle through emotions (graphic below) and go though many stages when dealing with anger.
Background Factors – you may not have slept well and are feeling particularly grumpy
Trigger – something happens which triggers a rush of emotions
Diffuse the Situation – now is the ideal time to intervene and prevent an escalation with distraction or calming techniques
Escalation – if no intervention occurs or is the wrong intervention, the emotions escalate
Explosion – emotions can’t be bottled up otherwise they explode like a bottle of pop
Damage Limitation – remove any objects from the area which could cause harm and take yourself away from the situation
Diffusing – try calming techniques to reduce the anxiety
Recover – take time to return emotions to normal
Remorse – feelings of guilt over outburst, support needed
Bottling up anger can lead to an explosion of emotions and also cause physical problems by storing all of these feelings.
Taking your anger out on others can lead to trouble with the police.
So how do you find the happy medium?
Well the first step is to acknowledge that you feel angry. Once we acknowledge our feelings, it often goes some of the way to ease them.
Then look at why you are feeling angry. What happened?
Then get practical. What can you do to not feel angry? Is there anything constructive you can do to deal with the issue that sparked the feelings?
If not, scream or punch a pillow. Let that anger out.
Dealing with Anger
You get a sudden rush of heat to your head and feel tense in your stomach when someone hits your car. You feel angry – acknowledge that and know that it is OK to be angry.
Why are you angry? – It’s caused damage to your property. It could cost you money to repair. It’s making you late to your meeting. You have to deal with insurance companies and lose your no claims bonus.
Get practical – Ring work to tell them you are going to be late. Assess damage. Get insurance details.
Still angry – get back in your car and scream!
Now this doesn’t take away the fact someone has hit your car but it has stopped worse problems for occurring. If you’d not managed your anger you could well have punched the other driver, then the police would have been called, you would have been even later to work and maybe have been charged with assault PLUS you’d still have a damaged car and need to deal with the insurance company.
Managing your anger isn’t about not being angry. It’s about being in control of your anger to prevent things from spiraling and getting worse FOR YOU.
If you or your children/step children suffer with anger issues, book in for your free initial consultation where we can discuss practical ways to help them/you manage their emotions in a more healthy way.