Sunday, July 1, 2012

Anger Management

                               Things to avoid

File:Angry Penguin.svgventing
saying things you will regret
throwing objects
self-harming (you are just re-enforcing the self-hate)

16 Things You Can Do
Seek Warmth-take a hot shower,hold a hot water bottle,hold a cup of tea in your hands(but not so warm that its uncomfortable)

Delay-helps arousal decrease
count slowly to ten minimum,aim for 30-50 as Penn and Teller said "the person may be so impressed by your counting skills they will hit themselves in the face for you" =P

Exercise-running or brisk walking can help

Try the half smile,where you practice in front of the mirror not smiling completely,just a small smile.Think Mona Lisa.=)
File:Mona Lisa face 800x800px.jpg  anger irritability BPD borderline personality irritability self hate hatred  irrational intense rage throwing screaming relaxation distract management half smile DBT dialectical behavior therapy Relax-Listen to calming music,take deep breaths,this free meditation is helpful Meditation-Anger, Depression, Resentment other relaxation exercises can help including cardiac coherence

Distraction-take your mind off the thing that's making you angry.

Opposite action-Do something that is the opposite of what an angry person would do pet your cat gently,avoid trying to say things you will regret (if you feel you cannot do this leave the room excusing yourself politely and continue the conversation later),watch some funny videos,help someone.

Some questions you can ask yourself might help.

  • Will what is making me angry matter in ten years?
  • Take a few minutes to think about these : Would I be capable of doing the same thing that my friend/colleague/teacher.... has done which made me angry,be honest with yourself ! Did they do this on purpose?
  • What can I do to find a solution to this problem which is making me angry.
  • Am I angry because I am scared I will be abandoned? If so,asking the person what their intentions are can help you gain perspective on a fear that is probably not based on what is actually happening.( experiences of rejection predicted greater increases in rage for people with BPD than for healthy controls.)*

Sucking on hard candy can help but shouldn't be done too often because of the sugar...This works because of the sucking reflex you were born with that is linked to feeling calm and that it makes it difficult for you to talk and gives you some time to calm down,do not bite the sweet.Try pure licorice sweets,dried raisins/pineapple/mango for a sugar free healthier option.

Look after your vulnerabilities-are you hungry,thirsty,lacking sleep,had too much caffeine/nicotine/alcohol/cocaine/tranquilisers(eg.Valium) these can all affect your mood.

Do you have an untreated mood disorder? Mood disorders can make you more irritable.

Take a time-out,take some deep breaths excuse yourself politely and say you will discuss things at a better time,then walk into another room/exit the building...

Try to think of the consequences of what will happen if you give in to the urge of hitting/screaming/cutting....try to focus on the healthier ways(see above) that you can express/deal with the anger.

Once you have calmed down it is easier for you to have a meaningful conversation.Think about it,which way is better:
screaming "you a55%41e! I hate you!! or "I find that I am less angry when you are considerate and help me with the housework"
More tips on Effective Communication

Emotion regulation can happen in 3 steps,this is useful if you feel an urge to hit someone or something.
1) Label how intense your anger is- are you annoyed,irritated,mad,irate,enraged?
think: "I feel__________"

2)What caused the anger,did you stub your toe or did someone hurt you?
"I feel__________because________"

3)What can help you be calmer ? You could ask for something nicely,try to have a calm discussion about what hurt you...if they refuse you can think about what you can do to help you deal with the situation.Try to use he word "I" instead of "you" as it makes it sound less of an accusation.
"I'm furious" sounds better than "You make me furious"

Try to stay focused on resolving the issue that made you angry in the first place instead of wandering from one issue to past issues where the person hurt you...

This is a lot to take in but with time and practice you will know what skills you find helpful in different situations.Anger often seen as a negative,destructive emotion as it makes the other emotions more painful but it can be useful to motivate you to change a situation that is negative.
If you are feeling chronically angry you probably will need to get professional help.

Sources: The DBT Skills Workbook,a very good easy to read workbook for anyone with overwhelming emotions.
Images-Wikimedia Commons
Anger Management for Dummies

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