May – Emotional – Week Four – Activity: Manage Anger
Anger is a normal emotion that can cause problems when it is not handled correctly. We feel anger when we perceive unfair treatment, or are threatened or prevented from reaching our goals. When we handle anger correctly, we correct unfair treatment without harming others.
Emotions and the brain
- The amygdala (primitive brain) has an instantaneous response to fear or anger
- Chemical flooding creates physical reactions: increased heart rate, fast breathing
- Analytical thought takes place in the cortex
- When anger takes over, the brain is unable to access rational thought
Ways to manage anger
- Learn to recognize the physiological responses that come with anger.
- Take a mental pause to insert thought: Notice – Think – React
- Practice deep breathing and other calming techniques before proceeding.
- Be aware of and express the feelings that are underlying the anger.
- Don’t take things personally (see the 4 agreements)
- Strengthen your self-esteem.
When someone else is angry
- Psychology Today …The body takes about 20 minutes to return to normal after a full fight/flight response
- Conflict Resolution Emergency Kit
- Dale Carnegie-say “I understand you’re upset. We’ll talk when you feel better.”
- Mayo Clinic
- The Amygdala Bypass System at Changing Brains
- Anger Management at Helpguide.org
- Anger Management at Mindtools.com
- Anger Management Techniques at Mentalhelp.net
- Printable Dealing With Negative Emotions
- Shifting Emotions Exercise (pdf) and audio at University of Minnesota
- This Emotional Life – Anger
- “How to Control Your Anger Before It Controls You” by Albert Ellis
- “Taking Charge of Anger” by Dr. Robert Nay
This week if I feel anger, I will notice physiological changes and take a mental pause to understand what caused the anger and how to respond. I will practice deep breathing and other calming techniques. I will use a worksheet to analyze a situation when I was angry.
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