Use Anger to Your Advantage
Anger has a negative connotation because it isn't common knowledge as to how to healthily cope with anger. Anger is a part of human nature, yet people are shamed for feeling angry.
You have every right to feel what you are feeling.
And I also understand that it is important to cope with anger in a healthy way. Below is a step-by-step process on how to cope with your anger in a healthier way.
1. Analyze your anger
Is your anger a problem? (read my blog post to understand if your anger has become a problem)
What does your anger look like as it escalates from a level of 0-10?
What consequences of your expression of anger?
2. Identify triggers
A trigger is a stimulation (could be a person, place, thing or situation) of a behavioral, emotional response.
Take the time to think about what triggers you. Could be a person, place, thing, situation, thoughts, emotional state.
The best way to deal with triggers is to either avoid them or prepare for them.
Once you have identified your triggers, prepare yourself and how you will react once faced with those triggers.
3. Communicate with friends and family about coping with anger in a healthier way together.
"Time Outs". Communicate with your spouse, parent, sibling, child that once one person feels that their levels of anger are escalating or heightening, to call a “time out” (or another safe word that you both agree on). Once this person has called “time out”, both people take 20 minutes (if you need more time that’s fine but communicate it) to calm down and then reconvene and complete the conversation. And I must point out if it is a difficult conversation, take as many “time outs” as needed to be in a space to talk to your loved one without the negative consequences of hurting the relationship with your anger. Have the conversation about the safe word before any arguments happen, because when you are in a state of anger, you can only really say “time out” to prevent any more escalation. It may sound silly to break in the middle of a conversation but think about how many times you aren’t able to feel heard in a heated argument or that you regret what you said or did. This will also create a sense of safety within the relationship because you are telling one another that, “I value you and don’t want my feelings of anger to jeopardize our relationship and I also want you to hear my needs and wants”
Communicate about your triggers with your friends and family to help prevent any emotional response.
4. Find ways to calm you down when you are in a state of anger
Whether it be deep breathing, going for a walk, cooking, cleaning, exercising, taking a long bath, or anything that you can think of that calms you down, that is also easily accessible to do when you are in a state of anger. Remember your list of calming techniques and use them.
5. Keep an anger journal to consistently evaluate your relationship with anger and how it affects your relationships.
Describe what triggered your anger.
What were your thoughts and feelings before and during the episode?
What was your reaction?
Looking back, would you do anything differently?
What did you do during this episode that you did well? Highlight your progress during the anger episode. This is important to remind yourself of the changes you are making.
Please let me know in the comments how this helped you. If you would like a more detailed blog post on a specific area of the process. Good luck on your journey!