We have discussed anger cycles in our lives, and now we are going to look at one way to begin nipping these cycles in the bud. The first step is to cease the blame game.
Venting only provides short-term alleviation from anger, and doesn’t really solve the problem. Neither does distancing yourself from a loved one, or retreating. Staying in the situation, even when difficult, and changing how you talk and react will help. Instead of reacting in anger, analyze what is really bothering you. Switch from blame mentality such as “You always do this” to self-aware consciousness by owning your emotions in your communication style such as “I feel sentences”; thus, finding ways to handle any situation that may arise. Simple to say and harder to do. However, it is this gradual change that will bring you both self-mastery and power, as well as ultimate change.
Let’s focus on the first part. Oftentimes, the situation angering us results from the perception that our needs are not getting met, or we feel frustrated over a situation we are “stuck” in. If it is a situation where you can look at what these needs are, then you can find a way to state them to your partner, or family member, etc. This alone may be difficult to do, and will take practice; but remember you are doing it for them as well as yourself.
Are you upset that they are not spending enough time with you, or trying to understand what you are going through? Instead of retreating into your usual anger cycle, try stating it clearly—“I feel I am going through a lot, and you are not understanding what that is. I know that is my problem, but I would appreciate it if you would spend more alone time with me, or ask me questions about what is going on.”
Notice that these sentences took the blame off of the other person—you were talking mainly about what you were feeling, with no accusations involved—and you clearly stated what you needed.
These are called “I sentences,” and help lessen accusation and provocation. Help them smooth out a bit by changing your tone of voice; practice not yelling, for instance, and take a deep breath and breathe whenever you feel like yelling or insulting. Remember that long-term, it will not help. Will the person meet you halfway or not? That is of course up to them. But you can change how you react, and leave the door open for them to change as well.
HH4Heroes Anger Management Strategy #3
Silence is golden. When we are heated up, we are not always aware or in control of our words and our actions. A simple tool to diffuse your boiling pot is to simply be still, breath slowly and mindfully counting 1-2-3 at least 3 times before you respond. Our words are like bullets. Once they leave the chamber, they can never be retrieved. This intentional pause will give you time to collect yourself and prevent doing something or saying something that you will later regret.
We will address dealing with other sources of your anger in the next blogs.
Remember…happiness is an inside job!
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Independent filmmaker, author, happiness coach and speaker Lisa Cypers Kamen creates these blogs to entertain, enlighten and educate our service men and women along with their families as well as support our troops. To contact Lisa, email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out her websites at www.harvestinghappiness.com , www.hh4heroes.org & www.harvestinghappinesstalkradio.com.
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Harvesting Happiness for Heroes is a pending 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation. Our mission objective is to offer support services to Warriors and Warrior families challenged by Combat Trauma, PTSD and post-deployment reintegration issues. HH4Heroes offers Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, as well as retreats for Warriors to decompress from battle and understand the tools available for them to adapt their military skills to civilian society.
Harvesting Happiness & Harvesting Happiness for Heroes provides positive psychology coaching tools to facilitate greater well-being. This communication is provided for education and inspiration. This communication does not constitute mental health treatment nor is it indicative of a private therapeutic relationship. Individuals desiring help for trauma, addiction and abuse related issues or other psychological concerns should seek out a mental health professional.
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