September 21, 2011

Cool Off

Chill out.
Anger happens.  Bad things happen, irritating things happen, mean people happen, stupid people happen.  And, when those things happen, getting angry is a normal, natural response.  In order to not allow a negative emotion to cause havoc we must decide how to react when the emotion creeps in.  We may not be able to control when we experience an emotion, but we can control what we do next.

This approach to anger management is not to prevent anger.  Instead, we can get angry whenever we want.  But there are healthy ways to handle the emotion of anger and there are unhealthy ways.  An unhealthy way would be to show that anger to people that would think negatively of your anger.  Exposing anger to a boss, a significant other, a colleague, normally doesn't accomplish anything.  In the cases when showing anger is impossible, one strategy is to hold the anger in until we can get to a safe spot to be angry alone.

That's what cooling off is all about.  When something bad happens that makes you angry or frustrated, leave the situation as soon as possible to be alone and let the anger work itself out of your system.  Once you've cooled off, you'll be ready to interact with the offending person in a more effective and productive way.

Cool Off

Task: Escape a situation that provokes anger without displaying anger.

Info: Just get out of there ASAP: head to your meditation spot, head to a bathroom stall, head outside for a walk.  Don't reveal to others just how angry you are until you've had some time to cool off and consider the situation with a level head.  Then, feel free to communicate any remaining issues with the people who caused the problem in a more constructive way.  This isn't about holding emotion in, it's about allowing emotion to fade before addressing the problem.

Goal: Temper your temper with some time alone.

What do you think?  Is this a good way to manage anger?  Are you in the "don't hold it in" camp?

No comments:

Post a Comment