10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice

I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.

What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.

There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:

1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.

2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.

3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.

4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”

Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:

  • 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.

  • 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.

  • 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.

  • 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.

  • 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.

  • 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.

  • 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.

  • 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.

  • 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”

  • 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How can I control my anger against my child?

I always dreamt of having a child - I wanted to love someone in the way that I was never loved. I now have my beloved daughter. She is three and a half and beautiful, but she makes me so angry and I can't cope. I know that having a child is demanding, but she makes me despair. I don't hit her but I can feel the build-up of resentment towards her, even though I know this isn't really about her. My parents hit me and I resent them for it - I could never do that to my child. However, I am frightened by the wave of anger that comes over me when I know that she is probably just behaving as a child.

It isn't just our behavioural responses to our child that affect their behaviour but the emotional content of those responses. These emotions are known as projections - feelings from within us that are linked to our own pasts and histories and that we then project on to our child. In effect, we emotionally dump on our children while all they are doing is responding as a child who is developing and learning the rules of the game of life.

I wonder whether, through your analysis of your relationship with your parents, you are left with an understanding of your own history that has left you feeling uncomfortable? These are the feelings that to some degree you have been projecting on to your child. Except that you are taking responsibility for that, so your daughter can carry on being a child. I congratulate you for doing this - it is tough, but is also an essential part of parenting - not using your child as your emotional outlet. You are tolerating the difficult feelings like an adult and not making them your child's problem.

When you find yourself in a situation with your child where you acknowledge that their behaviour is stirring up such intense emotions in you, try to step back and begin to question your behaviour. In doing that, you will start to build an awareness of how your own emotional issues are being keyed into by your child - many people would say that their child “knows which buttons to press”. These buttons are our insecurities and emotional vulnerabilities, but is it fair to blame a child for pushing them? Do we honestly believe that they are scheming in their little mind to get what they want by profoundly upsetting us? No, they have learnt because we have taught them that certain behaviours give us the greatest problems and in those situations we are likely to give them the most attention.

It's a mismatch of behaviour and interpretation of behaviour. And the projection comes from your own belief systems about yourself as an adult. If you believe you are a failure, or not good enough, or even worthless, you label yourself in a negative way. The moment your child does something wrong, or something that embarrasses you, or keys into that sense of “I'm a failure” or “I'm out of control” or “I am a terrible parent”, then you will go into meltdown. It becomes about you, when actually children are supposed to make mistakes. If your child's mistake compounds your negative beliefs about yourself, which are in turn linked to your own childhood or difficulties in your life and relationships, then your child is going to find themselves in the path of a huge response that is completely mismatched to their behaviour.

It's important for us as adults to accept that we can at times project our own inner feelings outwards, and a very good receptacle for those feelings can be children. It is easy to fall into the trap of pushing our anger, sadness, pain, frustrations and stress on to them and make them responsible for it, rather than taking responsibility for these feelings ourselves and understanding what they are really about. You have this insight already and you are stopping yourself hitting your child - this makes you a good parent.

My advice is to monitor these situations (keep a diary) and work out the specific triggers that set you off.Then, when you see situations about to occur, employ a range of creative distraction techniques when possible. When this is not possible, ignore the difficult behaviour and distract yourself (count backwards from 100 in threes; sing a song).

In the most difficult situations, use the “time out” method, whereby your child is separated from you for three minutes (one minute for each year of life in a safe place such as a bedroom). This allows them to learn that the behaviour will not be tolerated, gives you time to calm down and reduces the chance of hitting. Once you have managed the behaviour, do not bear grudges; move on with the day and praise them for every wonderful thing they do.

Finally, find support about your own history, either through talking about your feelings with those you trust and are close to or by having psychotherapy.


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