ANGER & ANXIETY MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES from Hara Estroff Marano
Take three deep breaths. When you are angry, your body becomes tense. Breathing deeply will ease the tension and help lower your internal anger meter.
Change your environment. The quickest way to uncouple yourself from an ongoing source of anger is to take a five-minute walk to get some fresh air. Stuck in traffic? Take a mental escape by turning up the radio and singing at the top of your lungs.
Know why you feel angry. Track down the clues about the kinds of things, situation, people and events that trigger your anger. Anger often masks our deepest fears. In an anger-making situation, ask yourself what deep fears it might be stirring in you.
Let go of what is beyond your control. You can change only yourself and your responses to others, not what others do to you. Getting angry doesn’t fix the situation and makes you feel worse. If someone constantly arouses your anger, focus on the troublesome situation and brainstorm solutions.
Express yourself. Be sure to think first and use measured tones and words that are not emotionally loaded. In a non-confrontational way, state that you are angry and identify the situation that makes you angry and why it ticks you off.
Be cautious. There are situations in which expressing your anger holds danger. Having a jealous or abusive partner is one. Vent to a friend instead of the person who wronged you. You may wind up with some solutions you never imagined.
Be assertive, not aggressive, in expressing yourself. Assertiveness requires speaking in an effective, nonviolent way towards a constructive goal. It may help if you rehearse your response before delivering it.
Make positive statements. Memorize a few positive statements to say to yourself when your anger is triggered. They will remind you that you can choose your behavior instead of reacting in a knee-jerk way. For example, you might say: “I can take care of my own needs” or “I am able to make good choices.”
I remember making a report on Asserting Yourself in my Advanced Communication Techniques class 5 yrs ago. Maybe my instructor thought I could use a little bit of self-assertion, because I really don't suck up to her that much, even if I do actively participate in class discussions more than her average student. I guess I *do* have to assert myself more, especially that I usually wait for things to topple over when I should be venting en pronto. Either I just clam up, or blow it all off at some unsuspecting individual when I'm pissed. But don't worry, nowadays all I just want to do is curl up & die.