You have no doubt noticed that everyone gets angry at some time or other and it can cause all sorts of difficulties as well as getting you into some real bother.
I wonder if you also noticed that when you get angry it not only affects your mind but your body too.
Perhaps next time you feel yourself getting angry you might notice how your heart pumps faster and your muscles tense and how you are probably holding your hands in a fist or maybe you have a clenched jaw. You might even have a tummy upset or notice that you are trembling or shaking and perhaps have sweaty palms.
It is likely that, as a child, if you had a so called 'tantrum'or you showed anger in any way, perhaps because nobody was listening to you or maybe someone was criticising you unfairly, you were probably told off for behaving so badly and possibly sent to the naughty step!
However, anger is a sign that something is wrong, whether it is because you are feeling fearful, annoyed, disappointed, stressed or resentful AND ... when something is wrong it’s best to find a good resolution.
So let’s do a bit of exploring.
I mentioned earlier about how you might notice some of the warning signs to rising anger such as your heart pumping faster, or maybe you are tapping your feet, but what about other signs that come before the physical symptoms i.e. what pushes your buttons /what are your triggers?
Maybe you find yourself getting angry when somebody is criticising you or perhaps it happens when you feel threatened or maybe it’s because people are always interrupting you, or perhaps they might be rude or inconsiderate towards you/others or maybe demands are placed on you which are too high for you to meet.
These are your triggers!!
Of course there might be other triggers such as a traffic jam on the way home from work or the bus always being late or maybe it’s because others are not doing their share of the clearing up after dinner. Whatever the trigger is or the button that is being pushed try and find out what it is because this is somewhere you can start your journey towards overcoming anger.
So now that you have found out what your triggers are as well as some of your warning signs have you thought about how you might get your anger to work for you.
Hmmm but that’s not always that simple. Nothing ever seems to be as easy as it sounds. So as you can imagine, you are likely to have to put some effort into this next section.
Lets have a look at some ideas on how
you can get anger to work for you.
1. It can be a platform for change
This, is probably the most obvious one, that you can use your anger as a platform for change. YES, change does have to come from you however, change can be both beneficial for you and for those around you. It comes from within you and you will probably have to work hard at it because it isn’t an immediate quick fix process. With some patience, support and understanding it can be very positive and beneficial.
2. Use it as a motivational tool
Frustration can lead to anger and this anger can in turn motivate you to get something done.
3. Protect yourself
Letting the other person off with their rude & critical remarks, irritating phrases and bad behaviour doesn't mean that they have won, but more that you have been able to protect yourself in being able to manage their remarks and behaviour. Again, this can be hard work, for you, and yet also it can be very rewarding. Yes, you are doing the work but look at what you will be achieving.
4. Use it as a negotiation strategy
If that boss of yours has been digging in at you with critical and difficult remarks then you might try using your strong energy as a negotiation strategy. This isn’t as simple as it sounds and yet it can be a great tool for those who can learn to use it effectively.
5. Resolve problems.
As previously mentioned anger is an indicator that something is wrong so you can use your anger as a warning for you to take a step back and think before proceeding.
So there you go, a few tips to get you started on making that anger work for you. Remember that not all of them will suit everyone, as we all have to find what works for us as individuals but maybe there is something here that can help you and you can explore it a bit further.
And to end this blog, if you find yourself struggling with anger on a regular basis then maybe it is time for you to look deeper into that anger with the help of a professional.
Don’t struggle alone!
If you want further information on how counselling can help you to explore the various aspects of your anger and gain more tips and strategies then contact me, Julie Kuhn, to make an appointment