“I’m actually pretty aware when I’m getting angry-when my face starts getting hot and I can’t catch my breath. The problem is I can’t seem to stop it.”
Sound familiar? For many of us, anger soars out of control because we don’t notice the physiological signs of arousal before it’s too late.
Your brain’s main function is to keep you safe, and it is likely to provide you with a flight-or-fight arousal as soon as you perceive a situation to be threatening.-which is often the case when anger is aroused. The brain response is quite automatic, and you have to take very specific actions to communicate that the threat has passed, thus turning off the arousal. Only then can the limbic system within your brain that controls this arousal begin to switch off.
Why are some situations so aggravating? Why is it sometimes hard to just forget about it when someone fails to do something you expect? Maybe you become enraged when a loved one does something you feel is disrespectful. Some things just really get to us. Lets look at why certain things make us so mad!
When the children do not listen to you or your partner ignores you, it is difficult not to follow the normal course of action, which may be to get fairly angry or hostile. But, if we begin to try on some “reality testing”, it just may make all the difference in how we approach our loved ones.
What is going on in your world? For instance, if your partner is ranting away on Facebook and you think, “He/she must be talking about me,” immediately tell yourself to STOP. Using a quick phrase or mantra will shift your thinking so that you can carry out the next step, which is transforming beliefs. Ask yourself, “What evidence do I have that my partner is talking about me?” You can continue to ask similar questions until you conclude there is nothing left to ask. Once we believe someone’s actions are in line with our beliefs or moral code, our physiological responses lessen to a 3 or 4 out of 10 (10 is the danger zone) and our mood changes from anger back to status quo.
When you begin to practice the transforming beliefs exercise, you will come to understand that we make errors in how we interpret situations. You do have control over how you handle your anger. Read more ways on how to communicate your anger effectively, here. As always, leave us a comment on our Facebook page.