How to be less angry
New year, new me, right?
NO, not for me! But: I do have a specific goal for the next year. In 2018 I've been focussing on my personal happiness and especially maintaining it. In 2019 I want to focus on something different...
I myself am a person with a lot of patience when it comes down to my job (working with special needs kids and teens). But somehow, even when they totally p*ss me off, I still can stay calm and I never loose my temper.
When I'm at home, I just never succeed at staying calm. I can get pretty upset sometimes and then I just scream and scream and scream. Sometimes, my temper gets so high, that I want to actually punch someone.
I'm not saying that I'm a super agressive person and that I yell at people daily, but still: it's not a habit I'm proud of. So this year, I want to change that. I did a lot of research about it and I'll share everything I know with you guys.
I did this research first profesionally (for my job). I work with kids with behavioral problems and I had to do some research about this matter to learn about my job more. Now that I have this professional knowledge and experience, I finally want to implement some of these steps in my personal life too.
So let's get onto the steps that I learned, to control your anger.
1) Find out what makes you angry.
The first step in every healing process is to acnowledge the issue that's been underlying your feelings. In order to work on your temper, you must learn to know what are things that you can get mad about. For me, the most frustrating things in my life are agressive people. If you're agressive towards me, my first instinct is to be agressive back. This ofcourse is not the best reaction. You can't beat "hard with hard". It will lead you to nowhere.
By this, search for the basic emotion that's underneath this feeling. We have 6 basic feelings. These are: happiness, fear, anger, surprise, disgust and sadness. It doesn't always have to be the emotion of anger, that's triggering you to actually get angry. For me, it's always sadness. When I'm sad, I get angry. I reflect my sadness on other people.
2) Try to recognise triggers.
If you finally know what your true feelings are and why you're getting angry every time, then try to find out what the small, daily triggers are, in order to get mad. These can be things people say to you that most of the times upset you, things you feel inside your body when you're getting upset, things you're surrounded by... It's basically a summum of all the small things that are piling up during the day, that are making you explode at the end of the day.
3) Try methods like relaxation, meditation, mindfulness.
.... and try to use these methods even while you're super mad.
For me, meditation helps most but it's up to you to find out what helps for you. If you thing that meditation is too much for like... crazy old catlady's with messy hair, then just try to listen to relaxing music... That might help as well.
4) Find your personal and healthy way to express emotions, even the hard ones.
Expressing emotions is very personal. Everyone has their own way of dealing with stuff. It can be helpfull to: start writing about it, start drawing about it, try dealing with it by working out,... You just need to try a couple of things out, to find out what you're comfortable with. For me it's writing. It's clearing my mind while I try to organise my thoughts by writing them down. You might have know this before, since I use my blog also for this matter :).
5) The other person's needs.
This is one aspect of my personal theory, based on what I learned in school. In discussions: search for what the other person needs. Also: make sure to find out what you need yourself! This is based on the Nonviolent Communication Theory of Marshall Rosenberg, my fave orthopedagogical author.
The theory is created to bond more with your clients, especially the hard ones to handle. You start from your love for the other person. Love is the basis of everything. Then fully accept the person's personality, to be able to love them unconditionally.
Rosenberg says that if we really want to communicate better, we must first start from love. Then we need to accept the personality of the other person and then we focus on our new way of communication. We must ALWAYS try to find out what the person actually needs. If perhaps, you're having a real, big fight with someone you love, it's better to focus on what you're fighting for, than on focussing on the angry feeling themselves. We must learn how to seek for what the person is needing, what he or she is missing right now so that he or she won't be upset again the next time. We need to learn how to ask for this properly.
If you want to learn more about this subject, then I'd reccommend you to learn more about Rosenbergs' theory itself!
6) Learn to stop before you explode.
Learn to chang the subject ,learn to distance yourself from the situation, walk away, count to three, do some sort of movement or a yoga pose to distract your body... it's all good prevention!
For me it's mostly helpfull to just walk away and come back later. I learned a couple of my student's this too. An orthopedagogical tip for you and kids here: use a stop-card. Each time, your student/client is about to explode, give them (or learn them to recognise the situation in order to be able to give the card themselves, to you) this stop card. The card symbolises that a person is going to explode and no talking whatsoever will help anymore. If you as a teacher/ caregiver, feel like exploding, then just give the kids the card, and go outside to take a breath. After a couple of seconds, minutes you can return.
7) Learn to control your thoughts.
For this one, I'd probably need another blogpost to explain it all. BUT I managed to deal with stress with this technique. Basically, each time when you notice negative or agressive thoughts, tell yourself that you're having these feelings again... recognise the facts and then focus on something else. It's okay to still have those feelings. Not having these feelings, that would be bad, you know. But it's important to learn ho to deal with them. I literally tell myself: "Steph, come on, you're making yourself sick again, stop thinking about it and go on.".
8) If needed, search for help.
It's totally okay to go to a therapist to help you out. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help. It takes courage, it's not about weakness!
So these were all the things I selected before that have opened my eye about this subject. It took me a couple weeks to write rhis blogpost, because I wanted to have enough time to do my research.
Do you guys have any extra helpful tips?
Thanks fo reading this blogpost, have a fabulous day!