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I am a positive spirit. Others can approach me without fear. I will confront my anger with love. I will pause in the moment and reflect inwardly to gain the calm that will avoid conflict.
What is Anger
When we look at this topic, “Anger,” often our first instinct is to push it away as we see anger as a bad thing. Is all anger bad? Can anger be a productive emotion? In this lesson, we will explore these questions and share with you some tips on how you can use anger to create positive outcomes in your life.
Let’s start by asking, what is anger? Its primal nature is very natural; an emotion that protects us from danger. It gives us a shot of cortisol and adrenaline, which enables us to fight or take flight. Anger can arise when your moral meter registers. It can be our body’s response to tell us “something is not right here” It’s important to look seriously at the situation that has caused your anger.
Before allowing anger to consume you, it would be healthy to ask yourself a few questions. Why am I getting angry right now and is this really what is making me angry?
Sometimes anger is our knee jerk response to what is happening. When we look a bit deeper into our anger, we may realize the emotion is really sadness; or the situation has triggered us to remember a painful event from our past.
Changing the Path of Anger
The energy from anger can be re-directed in a positive way. Have you ever thought of anger as a gift? The gift is not actually the anger, the gift is the freedom to choose to use your anger as a form of self motivation. Let it be a driving force in your success! It can be a powerful means to obtaining a desired outcome. Below is a video that will explain an empowering tool in anger management responses. The key –a) don’t give away your power and b)protect your mind.
Anger Management: Protect your mind!
Dr. Christian Conte, a Level V Anger Management Specialist, describes a powerful metaphor and a practical technique to help you rethink and manage your anger.
Taming the Angry Giant
Anger is like a fire in you. In the beginning anger sends a message to you to move or to heal an old wound you are keeping. If you hold onto your anger it will burn you. It was never designed to be held over the long haul. The purpose of this emotion, anger, is a tool to inform and motivate you. Anger is similar to fear in that it sends an alarm… “run.” Holding anger inside you for a long time will make it toxic in your body. It turns from anger to rage. If your anger gets out of control, it can block all other emotions and the ability to think clearly.
When we talk about your awakening, one great start towards it is the realization that you, and you alone, are responsible for your actions. When something happens that threatens to rob you of your inner peace, ( a situation which in the past would have resulted in anger and even rage) the awakened you will stop, breathe, and look more closely at circumstances preceding that event. If you fail to pause, breathe and assess, you may fall into a negative cycle of behaviours. We all need to identify what lies beneath our anger.
Identifying and Healing
Triggers and Patterns
Identifying the causes or “triggers” as well as the patterns of your behaviour can be very liberating. Knowledge is Power, so knowing what triggers you to feel sad, angry or upset gives you power over those emotions.
1.Make a list of all the things that move you away from your peace. What makes you sad, angry, frustrated etc.
2.Once you have your list, look for common trends.
For example, if you have been pushed away by several people in your life, rejection may be a trigger for you. Look back in your life, go back to the first time you felt rejected. Did a childhood friend end their friendship with you, or did one of your siblings or parents reject you? Often, the things that we have issues with as adults, stem back to our childhood or early adolescence.
3.Now that you have your list, start with the smallest item.
For example; “a friend embarrassed you in public”. We can’t understand the behaviour of others or why someone hurts us. It may even have been unintentional on their part. Again, we only have control over our own behaviour. How we respond.
- Our next step is acceptance.
Acceptance doesn’t mean that the other person’s behaviour was acceptable, or right.
Acceptance is you saying even though you do not like what happened, it happened. Acceptance is the beginning of letting go. If finding total acceptance is just too hard at first, try to find a small piece of the event to accept. This is the first step towards acceptance. Remember, acceptance is never weakness.
5.The next step after you have accepted is to apply your willingness to let this go.
6.The last step is to send love to the entire event or person. Imagine a beam of light from your heart surrounding the situation or people involved. Healing our wounds can take time, and the process can bring up lots of emotion. Don’t try to force yourself to heal, it’s important to go at your own pace. The key is to love yourself during the process. Every step you make is a small victory.
This list may be helpful in identifying where you are vulnerable. Ask yourself, “What do I need?
Do I need to be –
Accepted, Respected, Liked, Understood, Needed, Valued, in Control, Right, Treated Fairly, Given Attention, Comforted, Free, Peaceful, In balance, Consistent,
Do I need to feel – Order, Love, Safety, Predictability, Included, Challenged.
Another way to identify your weaknesses and vulnerabilities
is to keep a diary/workbook
· Take time to record separate events that made you angry or frustrated
· Write what caused you to react.
· Was there a warning sign to indicate your anger was growing?
· What was your response?
· What was the outcome?
· How did this make you feel?
Review your findings
Was there a pattern, a repeated behaviour?
Write how you could react differently to achieve a desired outcome.
Take your time in writing your response. Think about how reacting in a desired way can lead to a positive outcome. We have heard of the “time out” method. Time out is simply removing yourself from the occurrence/event before you escalate. It will give you time to breathe, calm and regroup. Doing some deep breathing can help to calm the angry giant.
It is not always easy to find and follow the positive choice. It takes work to climb to the top, but once you reach the top all the hard work is done and its an easy slide back down to a neutral space.
At first glance, the negative choice may appear the easiest. We slide into it with no effort at all. However, on the other side of that choice is a lot of hard work to get back up hill to the neutral position.
Three Step Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution is an essential part of gaining closure to any situation. When there is closure it makes it easier to let go. Taking responsibility for your actions can open the lines of communication.
1: Step out of your comfort zone. Address, with the other person, what is bothering you. This can make you feel vulnerable but if the other person is open, this may be a very rewarding experience.
2: Use “I” statements. This tool will allow you to communicate what is upsetting while minimizing blame.
3: Acceptance. Acceptance is not putting you in the wrong, nor does it make what others did right. It allows you the freedom to move forward. The need to be right stems from your ego and blocks the path to acceptance. Set your ego aside.
1.Complete the “ identifying, healing triggers and patterns” exercise.
2.Write a letter to the person that you felt hurt you or made you feel less than your perfect self. Write down exactly what you want to express to that person. When you are done – DESTROY IT and DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE SEND IT. This is YOUR catharsis, your release of pent up emotions. Do not leave your writing where someone else might find it.
3.Set some goals. The more you focus on goal solutions the less you will live in the problem. In no time, your life will reflect your desired outcomes.