Ripping Loose or Calming Down
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VARIOUS TECHNIQUES

Learning to Relax - This is one technique which is used to reduce the intensity of angry feelings. It may involve the use of relaxing imagery or deep breathing. You could try to look for courses and books which allow you to practice relaxation techniques. These techniques are important since they will allow you to calm down any time you start to lose your temper. Another way to describe this technique is "taking a time out" or getting a breather. Younger people would probably call it "chilling out".

If you feel yourself getting angry, walk away from the person or thing making you mad and start taking a series of deep breaths that come from your diaphragm and will clear out your lungs. Keep walking around and breathing deeply til your head clears of the feelings of rage. This technique permits you to get a clearer perspective on the situation before you tackle it head-on.

Cognitive Restructuring - This term means you have to adjust how you think. Angry people have a propensity to swear or use very colorful words which are indicative of their inner thoughts. People who are angry will find that their thinking may become quite larger-than-life and too spectacular. When you are practicing Cognitive Restructuring, you could opt to use more rational thoughts instead.

In Cognitive Restructuring, try to avoid words such as "always" or "never" when referring to yourself or another person. (For example: "You always wind up breaking something when you come around." Or perhaps: "You never remember to cook the rice properly.") Such descriptions are not accurate and only help to make you feel that you are right to be angry - that there is a lack of solutions for the problem. Using these words also serve to alienate and humiliate the very same people who might have been able to provide a solution to your problem.

You might tell yourself repeatedly that becoming angry will neither resolve the situation nor improve the way you feel - it may, in reality, make you feel bad afterwards.

Since an angry person may turn irrational fast, in Cognitive Restructuring, logic is used to defuse an angry situation. If you are angry, just tell yourself that you are simply going through a rough time that day, that the world does not have you on its hit list. This allows you to maintain a more balanced perspective when you feel yourself getting angry.

Angry persons also tend to demand things (such as agreement, appreciation, fairness and willingness for things to be done the way they want.) The difference between a normal person (who simply asks for such things and is disappointed when turned down) and an angry person is that the latter makes demands, then becomes angry when rejected. Through Cognitive Restructuring, angry people are led to realize that they are being demanding and encouraged to change their expectations ("I demand") to desires ("I would like".) This way, they may be turned down and feel hurt, disappointed or frustrated - but they do not become angry. Certain angry people resort to anger to prevent feeling hurt, yet the hurt remains anyway.

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