Archive for November 17th, 2011
Are fear, anxiety and anger interfering with your peace of mind, relationships or career? Remember that anger and resentment can influence your objectivity and judgment. So, if there is a real question about whether you are having a problem with anger, you might want to consult someone who knows you well.
You may decide that there actually is an issue with anger. If it is minor, temporary or limited, then professional guidance may be unnecessary. A good strategy for addressing such an anger issue may be to work on it on your own. In that case, you may find it helpful to read these tips for anger management. You may find that you are best anger management therapist for your particular issues. On the other hand, you may choose to consult an anger management psychologist or another mental health professional at some point.
I’ve tried to find and select the best anger management techniques, concepts, and advice that are appropriate for self-help purposes. These suggestions are drawn from my experience as a clinical psychologist, adapting a variety of treatment strategies for reducing and resolving anger.
The techniques and tips for anger control are conceptually grounded in the practice of clinical psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, humanistic psychotherapy, holistic counseling, and body psychology. If you have found other exercises or techniques that have helped you to control your anger, please send me an email.
Here are my top ten anger management tips:
- Commit yourself to written goals. Written goals will create a sense of commitment, focus, and direction. Writing things down, when you are angry, is a useful way to get clarity, control, and to get away from upsetting emotional states.
- Plan to distract yourself or do something positive rather than getting angry. Avoid getting sucked in to negative states of mind. Plan to contest and dismiss automatic negative thoughts as soon as they appear.
- Work towards cultivating a positive psychological orientation towards people and life. Expect that people will usually like and respect you if approach them in a friendly manner. Do nice things for others to get away of a negative mindset. You’ll feel better, especially if you prepare yourself to accept some disappointments.
- Make an anger challenge list and work it daily. What kinds of angry thoughts or behaviors do you want to control? Where do anger issues emerge, e.g., the workplace, at home? Precisely what things in your world trigger anger responses? What happens next in your mind to trigger anger: fear, anxiety, hurt, resentment? Plan on how you will respond to these triggers in a more appropriate way. Work with the items in your anger challenge list one at a time. Start by mastering the easier items and gradually work up to the harder ones. Review your goals at the beginning of the day and your progress at the end of the day. You may feel that making progress and achieving change seems to be slow. Do not get discouraged or give in to feelings of failure. Reinforce yourself for any effort in the right direction.
- Rehearse for success, not failure. Identify your anger triggers, the circumstances and inner emotional states that lead up to and set off your anger. Imagine positive behavioral solutions. Imagine asserting your point of view in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. Decide in advance how you will respond to predictable situations that anger you. Use natural breaks and transitions in your schedule to prepare for success. For example, during the commute home, clear your mind and relax. Then, anticipate your usual domestic anger triggers and imagine how you can respond constructively. Plan proactively to reduce others’ stress at home.
- Practice emotional self regulation all day and everywhere you go. Don’t confine your anger management efforts to the most troubling target areas. For example, if you have problems with anger management at home, you should not permit yourself to arrive home irritated from work or the commute and ready to quarrel. It’s more effective to resolve resentments as they arise and practice anger control all day so that you are ready to respond constructively to provocations in your priority target zone, e.g., home.
- Here is an anger management exercise to enhance your sense of well being, emotional security, and connectedness. If you practice it often, it will help you to be less vulnerable to the fear, hurt, and resentment that so often drives anger and aggression.
Take an inventory of things about yourself, your relationships, belief system, and your world that give meaning, happiness, or make you feel connected, secure, and alive. (Alternatively, you can create a catalogue of positive memories for the same purpose.) When you are upset, draw from this reservoir of positive thoughts and memories. They can be used to evoke positive feelings that push out negative feelings or preempt an anger response.
- Reduce unnecessary exposure to negativity, anger and violence. Feelings are contagious. To a degree, we become what we behold. So steer clear of angry people and pointless, negative gossip. Pass on violent video games, TV, and movies. Avoid demoralizing reading materials, angry music and political talk shows. Avoid the compulsive pursuit of “cheap thrills” that feel good in the moment but leave one feeling worse and even ashamed later.
- Calm your nervous system. Each day supplies new opportunities to be calm or to be upset. We can choose to focus on upsetting news and minor disappointments or inconveniences. Alternatively, we can prime our nervous systems to be relaxed. We can choose to take the time to “stop and smell the roses.” We can work at calming ourselves with experiences which are beautiful or meaningful.
Listen to soothing music in a pleasant setting. Read the writings of people who emphasize connection rather than deconstruction or despair. Be affectionate, hug often, sleep close, and make time for sexual lovemaking with your partner. Employ caring, non-sexual touching whenever you can. Develop mutually supportive friendships with people you like and resonate with. Get enough good nutrition, exercise, breaks, and sleep. Reduce or eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and the like.
- Read up and learn more facts on anger management on line, at a library, or a bookstore. Engage in anger and stress reducting activities. Select strategies and techniques for dealing with anger which intuitively make sense to you. Attend seminars or workshops. Consider attending Stephan Stosny’s excellent 3-day anger management boot camp for individuals and couples. I find emotional self-regulation techniques for anger management skills, taught in Dr. Stosny’s books and anger management boot camp, to very effective.
- Anger control strategies and conflict management. When you are dealing with difficult situations or people who evoke unproductive anger, there are three basic anger control strategies for conflict management to choose from:
- You can try to control the problematic situation or people. However, focusing on getting others to change is often unproductive. You are just as likely to get angrier. It is usually better to try to resolve the conflict by thinking it through from multiple points of view and partnering with the parties who have a stake in the outcome. It is only in genuine emergencies that we may need to bull our way through.
- You can try to change the way you manage yourself. Often, the most effective anger management strategy is to change something in you. First focus on examining and overcoming your own negative thoughts. Learn your anger triggers. This will help you to achieve better control of angry feelings and allow you to think clearly about how to resolve the situation in your best interest.
- You can change your location. That is, you can take a break, leave, and or delay engaging. Sometimes a good tactic is anger avoidance or delay. Practice avoiding occasions of anger until you can control your angry reactions well enough to deal with the situation effectively. For example, if you are getting furious during a conflict with your spouse, you can suggest: “We don’t want to fight over this. Why don’t we take some time to think about what will work best for both of us and meet back here in ten minutes (an hour, etc.)” While you are on your time out, try to calm down and change the way you handle your anger. If you can overcome your own upset, you might be better able to partner on a solution.
Sometimes general anger management tips, advice and readings may not be enough to clearly understand what causes your particular anger and how to control it.
You may need to find an experienced anger management specialist to provide focused counseling and guidance. An anger management psychologist can provide insightful perspectives, as well as coach you in practical anger control techniques.
I relate to my clients in a collaborative, candid, and compassionate manner. I am interactive, engaged, and responsive. I understand that my clients need to feel comfortable, to choose the goals, and the pace of counseling, and to communicate in their own manner.
My approach to individual and couples anger management is professional but down to earth. It focuses on achieving practical results. I never lose sight of my clients’ strengths and potentials. I am fully committed to improving treatment outcomes and advancing my clients’ growth and successes in life.
This anger control strategy draws upon useful clinical perspectives from the psychodynamic and interpersonal psychology of anger. I also employ family systems theory to help a couple or family to understand the cause of anger issues, to find healthy ways to express anger, and to greatly reduce the necessity for dysfunctional anger. I find anger reduction techniques, adapted from cognitive behavioral therapy and emotional self regulation training, to be useful in putting meaningful insights into action.
Finally, goal-focused coaching and anger control training are also helpful for problems with anger management in the work place. These include, for example, anger control skills for handling difficult subordinates, managing intimidating supervisors, or dealing with anger over job loss.
A multimodal, solution-focused approach generates effective anger management strategies. This collaborative method creates opportunities for treatment breakthroughs and improved outcomes.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )