We mentioned earlier that part of ending the anger cycle is working on some practical ways we can respond to the situation. Part of this deals with blame as well. When blaming someone else—whether they deserve it or not—you lose the power to change yourself. As you may experience now, it can help to start changing how you respond; ending your own cycles and patterns, and using “I sentences” to clearly state your needs (as discussed more in our earlier blogs). However, another part of that is addressing what you will do.
It will take more than talking. When you are not completing the old cycle (reacting to your partner/family member reacting to you), then they will be more likely to listen to your requests, and need to deal with their own emotions and anger. They cannot use your cycle or reactions as a crutch any longer.
Say your spouse, for instance, has a problem with retreating, and you tend to go after them emotionally in anger. Try this time to give them some space, after clearly stating your needs in a calm “I sentence” structure. Fill your life up with friends to talk to about your problems, and activities that help bring out your creativity, and give you a way to physically vent your angry energy. This will provide a safe place for your spouse to then talk to you, calmly, about what is going on. And they may, in fact, realize their own needs for these discussions; within a compromised middle ground for both of you.
And if there is a practical problem that is frustrating you, that they “should” be working on, for instance, then fix it yourself—especially if your tendency is to complain or shake off responsibility. If they have not been gardening, for instance, then plan out some time to handle the garden yourself. If part of the problem is they are not doing things right, then step back, hold your breath, and let them do it their way. They cannot begin to step up to the plate if you do not extend some faith, and accept that they will be doing it their way and not yours. They will still be accepting responsibility—spending more time with the kids, or cleaning more for instance–and more so once the cycle is broken and they feel less criticized and angry. Give your partner or family member or friend space to make their own mistakes, and receive some of your acceptance. Cycles will be broken, and anger will begin to dissipate.
HH4Heroes Anger Management Strategy #4
Creatively and Safely Kick Some Butt. It is inappropriate to be physically aggressive with another person in anger. Ever. You do not get to hit, scratch, spit, dominate, threaten or demean another as a means of dealing with your anger. It is never acceptable. It has terrible long-term side affects that will cause irreparable harm to those you love and may land you in a location worse than your “angry place” called jail. The good news is there is another ways to physically expel some of that pent up aggression. It is called strenuous physical activity. For example, martial arts classes are particularly good because in them you learn self-control and mental awareness, get all the physical aspects of the fight such as contact, increased heart rate, adrenaline rush and a workout without the downside risks of assaulting another. Another simple tool is using a pillow to privately pound out your rage on a bed until you’ve exhausted yourself. Release is what we are after not destruction.
Some of this involves some hard lessons, perhaps. Changing your own pattern, changing your expectations, having patience, and forgiveness. We will talk more of that in the future. Remember, keep practicing, until change comes and anger dissolves.
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 email@example.com 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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