We all have moments that we struggle with anger. Despite our best intentions, sometimes the typical coping skills just don't work! Here are 5 simple strategies that may help you!
PREPARE! You are the expert. Take the time to identify your common triggers. Who are the people, what are the topics or situations that tend to result in anger? If you take the time to identify and prepare for your triggers, you will be able to reduce your experiences of anger, either through minimizing the frequency, duration, or severity of your anger.
BE PROACTIVE! What are your warning signs? How do you know you are starting to get angry. We don’t have to wait for the house to burn down, we can prepare for the possibility and have an emergency plan for when we see smoke. Your coping skills will be more effective if you use them before you have reached your breaking point.
ASK YOURSELF, WHY? When you start to feel angry, take the time to understand why. Is it really the person in front of you, or is it the fact that you didn’t get enough sleep? Is it that they didn’t listen to you, or was it that they didn’t anticipate your needs? This will help to make sure that you are not misdirecting your anger, and will help you to better communicate your feelings.
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL? When expressing your anger, make sure you understand what your goal is, and how to best achieve it. If you want your kids to listen better, screaming at them may not be the best approach. If you want them to have a healthy dose of respect for you, think about how you can funnel your anger into assertiveness and confidence.
WHAT DO I NEED? Pay attention to your needs. If you are s
omeone who needs to get the excess energy out (i.e. so yelling, throwing, etc. feels good to you), then find a new way to meet that need (i.e. go for a run). If you are someone who needs space, explain to the other person that you need to take a break. Don’t ignore your own needs, find a way to respond to them in a healthy and appropriate manner.