[Sticky] Skills to help manage Anger
Everyone gets angry now and again, and thats okay. It is an emotion often evoked by certain situations such as a fear of being attacked, being in stressful situations, past/childhood experiences, being invalidated by others and feeling frustrated. However, anger and any other emotions we experience should never be seen as negative. For example, by feeling angry about something can motivate you to create positive changes, identify potential dangerous situations and contributes into helping you identify why you are hurting and what factors influence this.
Often when we feel angry, we can start to feel hot, heart beat gets faster, start to feel tense, feeling dizzy, and shaking/trembling. Along with this, you may also experience the urge to scream, shout, hit something/someone and often, these urges may be acting upon if your anger outburst is uncontrollable.
If you feel overwhelmed by feelings of anger and it is interfering with your daily life, it is important to recognise the trigger(s) that often evoke feeling of anger within you. When you recognise your trigger(s), you should think about different way in which you can react to the situation rather than acting out in anger.
Below is a technique called STOPP you can try to help manage your anger:
Stop and take a step back - Do not react straight away. Just STOP, take a step back. Remember, you can not take back things you have said, so think wisely before acting out on your anger as words can often be more hurtful than actions.
Take a breath - Inhale and exhale deeply, 3 times in a row. Firstly, inhale deeply for 5 seconds, then exhale. As you exhale, Naam Japo by saying "Vaheguru". Focus all your attention on your breathe and the soothing sensation you experience as you Naam Jaap.
Observe - What are you feeling right now? What thoughts have you got going through your mind? Do you have any urges? Are these an accurate reflection of the situation you are faced with? Are these thoughts/feelings helpful in resolving the conflict or situation I am faced with?
Perspective - think about the bigger picture. Is what you are thinking a fact or opinion of the situation you have encountered? Try and see things from someone else's point of view. Is there another way of interpreting this situation?
Practise what works - What is the best thing to do in this present moment for yourself and others around you and the situation. What are the short term and long term consequences of what you decide?
Have a go at practising STOPP and let us know how it goes by commenting below😊
How do you currently manage your feelings of anger? Please comment below with suggestions, or any questions, worries and concerns you may have. Remember, this is a safe space where we can help and support each other 🌺
Thank you for this insightful post.
I think an important aspect of dealing with anger, is being able to actually recognise when we are angered. Many times when an event leaves us feeling angry, we have time to dwell upon what happens. We have time to manage our emotions, whether positively or negatively. Under different circumstances we might react impulsively with anger by snapping and/or lashing out, and it's not until we later reflect upon events that we realise we were acting under the influence of the red mist. By that time however, we might have said or done something we regret. Of course these are not mutually exclusive. If one is feeling angry particularly over extended periods of time, the chances of lashing out are probably higher.
So with this in mind I absolutely agree being to recognise our triggers is very important, as is implementing strategies such as STOPP in anticipation of feelings of anger.
Hi Avnee thanks for taking the time out to respond and offer your experience. You're completely correct about the need to recognise the anger before we can change it. It's really difficult isn't it. Over time however like you said once we notice triggers we can begin to have an awareness of our own physiological sensations and thoughts to hopefully prevent a repeated and vicious cycle of anger. Our favourite word for using skills like this is often practice practice practice as behaviour change can be so difficult. Would love to hear your thoughts on other topics too.