You have now read information regarding new ways of thinking, communicating, and even breathing related to managing your anger. Hopefully you have already begun reducing the frequency and intensity of your anger, morphing unhealthy learned expressions of anger into newly learned healthy expressions.
But what about the times you want to smash a plate into a wall? What about the times when you only see red?
While it is true that acting out aggressively can provide relief from anger, it usually comes with negative consequences and rarely completely gets rid of your anger. It is a reactionary response that does not usually solve a conflict long term. Lashing out violently can damage relationships, trust, and even your sense of self, as it may lead you to feelings of shame, guilt, or even fear related to your own loss of control.
Instead of going through that cycle, try to plan in advance a time to release aggression before it arises. The rush released from physical aggression, such as yelling or throwing or kicking, can be released from other physically demanding activities, such as running, biking or swimming.
Self-Control, Keep It Simple!
Remember the previous section about self-control? It takes practice to remain level headed in a hot situation. Know that you are capable of controlling yourself and your reactions to emotions.
In times of mild annoyance, see if you can trace back the annoyance to find your trigger(s), notice your thinking, and then see if you can take a step back. Try to view the situation from a new perspective. Try to see the situation as simply as you can, break down the details to simple facts, taking it to a rational place. Now notice how you reacted to these facts. Are you shocked that something happened? Are you afraid? Are you threatened by something?
Practice doing this in day to day situations that have very little emotional charge. This will make it is easier to do in times of severe outrage.
If violence still feels like it is ready to come bubbling up to the surface, give yourself a break. Instead of going to another room, as you read in section 18, take a power walk. Redirect your need for physical release someplace else, do something that allows you to feel the release of that building energy. This release can free up your mind, allowing yourself the room to resolve the issue while planning to do something different next time this sort of thing occurs.
Continuously take effort to decrease your anger. Take time to go for a run, to create some art, to power walk up a hill, even if you just have a few moments to spare. While doing these activities be aware of the way your body feels. Is there a similarity to the way you feel when you show unhealthy displays of anger or turn to violence as a reaction? Find your way to release this energy in a healthy way that carries no risk of hurting others or relationships. Notice that these tasks are different than the previous tasks that concentrated on relaxing, keeping calm. These tasks are all about being pumped and blowing off steam through exertion and challenge.
Keep up with positive self-talk. You can control your anger. You can keep your cool in a situation. Write down situations when you kept your cool. How did you feel? Why did it happen?
Write down situations when you didn’t keep your cool. That’s okay. It is easy to fall back on previously conditioned habits. Write down what you could have done differently, take time to learn from the situation.
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