To better understand how to stop before losing control, let's look at the cycle of anger. First you have a trigger event. This would be something like feeling disrespected or used, or someone interrupting you in traffic. This is followed by negative thoughts. These are automatic thoughts that appear in your mind right after the trigger event. Then you have an emotional response to your thinking, even if your thinking is not rational. The next step in the cycle is the physical symptoms. Like a racing heart, sweaty palms or even tense muscles and clenching your jaw. Then you have the behavioral response of shouting, cursing and arguing or even crying.
So, with this cycle, you have things in your head that lead to behaviors. There are different places in this cycle that you can change to address anger. This video is focused on behavioral response.
Technique 1: practice taking 3 deep breaths before responding. This gives you the opportunity to resist attacking automatically. Many times the anger response is impulsive and if you could have waited for even 5 seconds, you may have had the control to say nothing hurtful that you cannot recover.
Technique 2: develop canned responses to controversial topics. If you are always surrounded by people who like to enter into political discussions and their opinions are opposed to yours, you already want to know what to say to close the conversation or make it clear that you have no comments.
Prepare a couple of statements that you can use for any topic or situation that you know triggers it. If someone tries to repeatedly involve you in the conversation or activity you are avoiding, use the broken registration technique where you give the same answer. You don't need to create another answer, so they get it this time. Saying the same thing in the same tone sends a stronger message that you want to say what you said.
Technique 3: Develop statements that diminish the situation before getting too angry. These would be statements like
I need to take a break
I need a break, we can talk later
Or the classic, maybe we should agree not to agree with this
These are canned statements similar to statements without comments, but the purpose of these statements is to stop a conflict in which you have already participated but acknowledge that it is getting too hot for you and is about to explode.
This is where it is useful to know what your physical symptoms are when you start to get angry or angry. This is step 4 in the cycle of anger. Are you starting to sweat? Does your chest get hot? Knowing this about you can help you recognize when you are on the path of anger and know when to use this technique.
Technique 4: stop and observe your anger. Examine it as if it were someone else in the room looking at it. What do you look like? Do you look intensely angry because you are throwing things? Or do you seem insolent and excited? Are you talking out loud or reflecting in your head? When you disconnect from your anger and observe it consciously, it takes away your energy. This gives you time to avoid lashing out.
Technique 5: use detours. Suppose you move away from the situation, by using the third technique of closing things with a timeout statement. Do something to distract yourself, such as listening to music, taking a short walk or even coloring. Coloring complex drawings is a popular technique to reduce stress.
Anger affirmation meditation
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Disclaimer: All information on this channel is for educational purposes and is not intended to be specific / personal medical advice from me for you. Watching the videos or getting answers to comments / questions does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. If you have your own doctor, perhaps these videos can help you prepare for discussion with your doctor.
Video credits to Dr. Tracey Marks YouTube channel