When it comes to anger, there are ways of calming ourselves and managing anger safely and appropriately. There are many things that we can do, and each of us needs to find what works for us. You will hear some say “Take three deep breaths.” or “Count to ten backward.” or take a break and excuse yourself from the situation for a few minutes while you regain control. All of these are really about pausing and thinking about what your goal is in this relationship you are engaging.
For others when they are beginning to feel the signs of anger coming up in them can have a phrase or something they say or ask themselves before responding to the other person. The way that we talk to ourselves has an effect on whether we begin to calm down or if we are just stoking the fire. Being careful about the kind of words we use will determine which direction our emotions will take us. Some self-talk can magnify our feelings of frustration or disappointment while others can lessen the amount of stress we feel.
Describing the situation as the worst, disastrous, life ending, horrible, or terrible versus a challenge, inconvenient, a setback or an opportunity for growth will determine if the situation will disable us or if we find a way of recovering from the stressor and go into problem-solving mode. Our thinking and our words are powerful when it comes to our emotions. Thinking more positively and getting into problem-solving mode will help us to get calm and manage our anger appropriately.
All of these suggestions are a practice that we can choose to begin. They may not work the first time we try because we have not mastered that skill yet. With practice and changing our mindset along with choosing who we want to be is just a couple of ways of managing our anger. There are other things to consider that we will discuss next week in our discussions about anger management.