Anger Management Techniques

William DeFoore

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1. Breathe deep and long breaths. Be sure to open your belly and breathe deep into your abdomen. You may not know it, but when you're angry you're panicking. This will help you to calm down.

2. Walk outside and look at the sky while you're doing your deep breathing. This will help you to put things in perspective, and it can have a soothing effect.

3. Do some stretches. When you're angry your body gets tense and rigid. The stretching will open up some of the tight areas of your body and get more oxygen flowing to your brain and help you clear your thoughts.

4. Get some paper and start writing. Write about how mad you are and why. Don't be nice, reasonable or rational. The point is to get your anger out on the paper, to purge it from your mind. Keep writing until you feel some relief or release, and don't stop until you do. For more help with this type of exercise, check out this book.

5. Write about what you have to be grateful for, what you appreciate about your life, your self and (if you can) the person you are mad at. For help with this, look for the good things inside and all around you, right now.

6. Imagine that you are at the funeral of the person you are mad at. What would you say. What would you miss about that person if they were gone?

7. If you know how, pray. Pray for God to guide you through this dark time. Pray for the grace to see the beauty and vulnerability in the person you are mad at. Pray for the wisdom to see beyond the view of the person or situation that makes you so angry.

8. Imagine that you are the person you are mad at. Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the situation from their viewpoint. How do you look to them? Is that how you want to look? Decide who and how you want to be and act as if you were that already.

9. Remember a time in your childhood when you were afraid, hurt or angry. In your imagination, embrace that child, saying “It's okay. I'm here. You didn't do anything wrong. You're a good kid. I love you just like you are. I'm not going to leave you. " Then take the child (your child self) out of the situation to a safe place where s/he can relax, heal or even play.

10. Think about your values. What is the most important thing in the world to you. Who are the most important people in the world to you? What kind of person do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered? Decide that you are that person and you are living by your values, and act as if it were so. This is the fastest way to change your emotions, and it puts you in touch with your true nature, the way you were designed to be.

REMEMBER, inside, you are a good person who wants to help. Think, act and make decisions from that good person that you are, and you can't go wrong!

William G.DeFoore is a counselor, executive coach, speaker and president of the Institute for Personal and Professional Development. As the originator of the Goodfinding audio program, newsletter and website, he has also been on the faculty of the Wellness Program at Cooper Aerobics Center for fifteen years. He has 34 years of experience in helping people achieve healthy, happy relationships.

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