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
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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