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Managing Anger Through Self Awareness

May 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 98

One tool I like to incorporate in my anger management classes is developing self awareness of the dynamics surrounding ones anger. Another important tool taught is how to retreat and think things over (key word here is think), also known as taking a time out. Understanding your triggers and what escalates your anger is the first indicator that tells you when to retreat. There are some rules to follow during the retreat time, however one of the most important is to reflect and thus develop a self awareness into your anger issues.

Your thoughts have everything to do with your anger and your thoughts are going to help you understand the dynamics of your anger. When you encounter an episode or escalate in response to a situation or person, take time to figure out what is causing the escalation by asking yourself a series of questions. What is triggering me? Why am I really getting angry? Am I trying to control an uncontrollable situation/person? What am I really feeling? Reflect on the situation, explore other feelings that are coming to the surface and become aware of your thought process as well as physical reactions. When we start becoming more aware of what escalates us, we can use this to not only plan ahead, but to also learn how to cope more adaptively in the future. For example, if you find that high stress causes your anger to escalate, find other ways to lower your stress. If you learn that feelings of rejection trigger your anger, talk about your feelings with someone through assertive communication. Either way, when you become aware of the dynamics of your anger, it makes it that much easier to manage it. Every time you experience an angry episode you should reflect on it and gain more insight into yourself.

I have had several students in my anger management class tell me their anger issues have subsided by just coming to classes and admitting (beginning of awareness) their anger has caused problems. When they develop this self awareness into their anger, they tend to find themselves no longer having major anger problems. Remember, anger management is not about getting rid of your anger, but being able to manage it so it is no longer a problem in your life. Work to gain insight into yourself and develop that self awareness. When you do this, it makes using other anger management tools much easier.

Daybreak Counseling Service Shannon Munford MS 855-662-6437

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