“It Is Not What Happens To You It Is How You Respond To It ! “
We are all humans and humans have emotions, lots of emotions. One of the strongest emotions we have is anger. And it is crucial to learn how to live with anger. Since we can not have a surgery and get rid of our emotions we need to learn to cope with them on a daily basis. Without emotions life would be quite meaningless and boring but when we don’t know how to cope with anger, love or jealousy they could bring catastrophic outcomes. The source of anger is irrelevant in a way because there will always be things that will annoy us. You can’t escape from that and expect everything to go perfectly well. But you can change your reaction to anger. You can choose to react in a way that short circuits that poisonous tension within you and cut the high voltage before it takes control over you and makes you act in a way you end up regretting terribly. Here are few quick anger management techniques to help you handle anger and to keep your cool.
Step #1 : Observe your anger building up and get ready : do not react immediately
You will absolutely know when it is coming, it is a matter of not reacting immediately. You are driving and another driver doesn’t stop at stop sign and you almost end up hitting him/her. You are furious, all you want is to roll down the window and curse at him. Even that will not calm you down, maybe you want to chase him and do the same to him. The first few seconds of anger is very important. So just stop instead of reacting, do not retaliate! Your ego will force you to do so but you should know that all your ego causes is trouble anyway. So just try to stop and do not act. That will give you some time to do the right thing .
Step #2 : Take a mental video of the worst case scenario Yes you heard it right. Now you stopped and the next step is to create a video on your mind in which you follow where your anger takes you and what could possibly could have happened if you did so. For instance just before you opened the window and cursed at that guy / girl , create that video with a possible worst case scenario and hit the play button . On your mind have yourself act in the worst way, for example in the mental video you roll down the window and swear at him/her then the driver swears at you and you get out of your car so the driver with a gun at his hand. He shoots you right in the head and you are dead or he just shoots you on the leg and pumps the gas leaves you there. People come to help you and you end up in the hospital and rest for a month etc etc. Or you just chase him with your car and hit him behind and the cops come , your insurance skyrockets and you both end up paying a big fine and lose the driving licenses for a year. Just use your creativity and come up with the possible worst case scenarios and run them on your mind and that will make you feel like you have already been there . This is a very powerful technique because by the time you are done with the video your anger will be short circuited . You will not feel as angry as you did few seconds before , it will be gone because you have already released that emotion on your mind hypothetically except you will not have to deal with the horrible consequences of your actions you took on your mental video. It might take some to to apply it properly but once you excelled this anger management technique you will be able to control your anger before it controls you in your daily life.
Step #3 : Remind yourself, it is just today
Some days everything just goes wrong. Your boss is angry , your wife , husband, child gives you a hard time. Your car breaks down when you have to rush for an important meeting. Everything just goes wrong and it becomes really hard to keep your cool and act calmly. Those days remind yourself that it is just today, tomorrow will be a different day and days like this happened in the past and will happen in the future and you will survive. That will give you hope and help you relax so that you can have the power to survive the day.
Step #4 : Exercise and let the steam out
Steer your tension coming from anger into a different activity and release the tension by hitting the gym or taking a walk by the river. Anger creates this tension inside you, you want to punch someone and break things and you have this insane energy stuck inside so you need to let it out and exercising is one great way of releasing that stuck tension stuck inside you. Body and mind are connected as you go and hit the gym and run or go take a long walk around the river listening to a favorite song of you , it is guaranteed that you will feel better.
Step #5 : Reward yourself every time you keep your cool against anger
Now it is time to program your brain in a way that you feel really proud of yourself when you don’t fall in the trap of anger on a daily basis over little things and achieve to remain calm. It is a process to apply these steps , you will not be able to stop yourself immediately when you get angry and maybe you will say things you will regret. What matters is to stop as soon as you recognize the pattern and steer the situation towards the correct direction before it gets out of hand. And when you are able to do it you should reward yourself so that your brain becomes more prone to acting the same way next time it happens. Remember Pavlov’s Dog Experiment ? We are animals in shoes, we behave the same way and as long as we program ourselves the right way we can handle anger or any kind of strong emotion without them getting out of control. So every time you do the right thing and create the mental video and take a walk, exercise and successfully short circuit the anger and release it treat yourself. Buy yourself an amazing dinner. Go get those pair of shoes you always wanted. It doesn’t have to be about ” buying ” something. But just do something you really love to do after your successful attempt. That will motivate you and make it a second nature for you to act in the same way automatically next time. You won’t have to think about every single step consciously after some time, you will just find yourself doing the right things naturally.