37  10 Ways to Deal with Anger

Welcome to happiness isn’t brain surgery
with Dr. Snipes. This podcast was created to provide you
the information and tools Doc Snipes gives her clients so that you too can
start living happier. Our website DocSnipes.com has even more resources
videos and handouts and even interactive sessions with Doc Snipes to help you
apply what you learn. Go to DocSnipes.com to learn more. I’d like to welcome
everybody to happiness isn’t brain surgery with Doc’s Snipes: Practical
tools to improve your mood and quality of life. Today we’re going to talk about
ten ways to deal with anger we’re coming up on the holidays which is supposed to
be a time when everybody is happy and Footloose and fancy-free but it’s
actually one of the most stressful times of year for a lot of people whether it’s
because you’ve got so much going on or because it brings back bad memories or
there are a lot of reasons people can get in a funk during the Halloween
holiday season and anger is one of those funky emotions that may come up so let’s
talk about how to deal with it and hopefully help you have a more happy
holiday season so I want you to think about what things trigger your anger it
could be if somebody starts criticizing something about you your choices that
you’ve made the way you raise your kids the way you keep your house what you
look like whatever it is that tends to get people a little irritable you may
get angry if you don’t get a promotion or if you’re in a relationship and you
get dumped or if someone is just inconsiderate to you you may get angry
other things that can trigger anger include things like your car breaking
down you know we all have things that trigger our anger and the average person
has 15 anger situations per day so you know don’t think that you’re unusual but
it’s important to recognize all of its little things that trigger anger it can
be little anger like irritation and frustration or it can be huge anger like
rage but all of those things add up and kind of drain your system over time so
it’s important to be aware of them and try to deal with them as they come up so
you don’t have suddenly this explosion of anger and hatred and meanness come
so what’s the first thing you can do and people look at me a little cross-eyed
when I tell tell them this but when you get angry
thank your anger just kind of say thanks for the heads up that there may be a
threat because anger is your body’s way of saying that it perceives that there
might be a threat of some sort it doesn’t say that there is it says there
might be an anger is part of your fight or flee so when your body perceives a
threat it says either fight it or you know get the hell out of there well
we’re talking about anger today so Bank your body say you know what thanks for
the heads up and then you can look around and figure out is there actually
a threat is there something to get upset about or did you miss perceive something
so just kind of look around but if you fight with your anger and or you stew
your anger and you feed your anger and just talk to yourself and oh that
shouldn’t have gone that way and grit your teeth you’re feeding the anger
you’re giving it energy which is gonna make it grow so just think it and move
on the second thing you can do is make a choice about the best way to use your
energy to get closer to your goals you only have so much energy are you going
to use it being angry and irritable about the fact that your car broke down
or you woke up late or the power went out last night or are you going to let
those things go so you’ve got energy to do the things that are meaningful to you
I mean how meaningful is it to stay angry about the fact that you woke up
late doesn’t do any good or it’s dark outside or even if somebody is unkind to
you how much good does it do how much does it help you move towards your goals
to stay angry at them you’re giving them your energy you know just kind of
imagine that your energy is dollar bills and you’re just handing them money the
longer you stay angry at them it’s taking away from your energy bank so you
figure out what is the best way to use your energy to help you get closer to
what is meaningful in your life and what’s important to you and a lot of
times you’re gonna look and you’re gonna go well that person’s just not that
important to me or that situation
doesn’t mean that much sometimes it is something that’s consequential like your
car breaking down so you’ve got them two choices and sometimes people will say
you’ve got more than that you can choose to save miserable work but we’re going
to talk about the to change choices today you can choose to change the
situation do something about it like call a tow truck give your car broke
down or change your response to the situation let it go accept it and don’t
feed it so if your car breaks down you know you could get all angry about it or
you could just have that anger for a moment cuz you know all of a sudden your
plans have changed say thank you you’re right this is not really what I intended
for today I got a drop back and punt and then let it go don’t feed it with anger
then choose the next logical steps calling a tow truck getting the car
fixed whatever it is the same thing when people do things to get you angry
whether they say something or do something figure out a does this
situation even need to be addressed is it worth addressing is this person worth
my energy is this situation worth my energy if it is okay then do something
about it figure out how you’re going to address that situation and talk to that
person or resolve it if it’s not worth your situation worth your energy maybe
that person has always kind of been sort of irritable and cranky and negative and
nothing you do at this point is going to change how they act then you’ve got to
figure out how can you handle it so you can survive and I’m thinking about those
family gatherings and stuff we all have that one family member who is just a
negative Nelly well you let it get to you and get you
angry and get you stressed out or do you decide that you know that’s just the way
that person is and that’s more their stuff than mine so I’m not going to give
them money from my energy bank I am going to just let it go and not feed it
it’s hard I’m not saying it’s easy trust me I know but it’s a choice and every
time you start to feel that irritation creeping back in
mind yourself that visual see I’m frugal we’ll use that word cuz it’s much nicer
I don’t like giving people my money so if I envision myself handing somebody
money from my energy bank it kind of jolts me out of it and I’m like oh uh
that’s mine anyhow so there is an old tale and it
circulates on the Internet but I’m gonna kind of briefly tell you here inside us
there are two Wolf’s one is hurtful filled with anger jealousy greed
resentment and feelings of inferiority the other is hopeful and filled with joy
peace love acceptance kindness and truth which Wolfe survives they’re constantly
battling and the answer is the one that you feed so the feeling that you is
going to survive is the one that you feed if something bad happens and you
get angry you’re feeding that anger if you take a step back and have compassion
and you’re just like Oh bless your heart then you’re going to feed an entirely
different animal and you can remember that little phrase when something
happens you know sometimes you just got to shake your head and say bless your
heart and that gives you a chance to kind of get reground it okay so number
three examine the alternatives sometimes people will do things and their
intentions are good but they are just gonna irritate the crap out of you so
you may need to take a breath and back up and say let me look at it from this
person’s point of view you know maybe somebody’s doing
something and they’re trying to be helpful and they’re just really greeting
on your nerves you know just take a breath and say okay let me take look at
it from their perspective maybe they were trying to be helpful and again
think about relatives you always have that one that’s in there maybe you know
that relative who wants to get you married off and she’s always trying to
set you up with people and just drives you up a wall well okay you know you can
get irritated but if you take a breath and you say alright let me kind of look
at it from her perspective she’s trying to be helpful even though she’s not
hearing me I say I don’t want to be fixed up right
now she’s trying to be helpful so another thing you can do is take a
both/and perspective two seemingly opposing viewpoints can both be right
you know so when whenever something bad happens or something happens that you
don’t like or somebody has a different opinion say okay can their opinion be
true and my opinion also be true and 99% of the time yes you can find some way
that they both can be true so figuring out how to find harmony when two
seemingly opposing viewpoints clash so for example if somebody is in recovery
and people are telling telling the person you can’t ever use drugs again
they’re horrible for you they almost killed you and the person is like well
yeah you’re right however it was also the only tool I had that helped me
survive until I had other tools so that can be a both/and you know if you’re in
a relationship that maybe your friends don’t think you should be in but for
whatever reason you are not ready to get out of it you have your reasons for
staying in it they have reasons that you should be out of it both of you are
probably probably have some valid points so it’s a both/and perspective and you
just kind of have to agree that you are both right however you have the choice
about what you’re going to do make lemonade is your next option when
something bad happens try to make find something good in it you know maybe your
car breaks down well sometimes when that happens to me or something bad happens
to my car I’m running late I kind of think well maybe that was the way the
universe’s way of keeping me from being in a car wreck or something so okay I’ll
make lemonade if maybe you took a job that you thought was going to be your
dream job and it ended up being horrible and you ended up leaving it or you’re
stuck in a bad job you might look at it and say okay this
is not what I expected it to be it’s you know and I’m frustrated that I feel like
I got misled or whatever the case is however what are the positives I’m
getting out of it I’m still able to put food on the table I’m able to do this
that and the other thing so try to find the benefits it may not be something you
know the lemonade may not be strong enough to make you want to stay in that
situation forever but it may help it be more palatable kind of like a spoonful
of sugar helps medicine go down number six take a walk when you get
angry that fight-or-flight reaction kicks up your stress hormones so you’re
in your breathing increases your heart rate increases alright well what is
usually going on when that happens and you’re involved in some sort of activity
so you’ve got all this and we’ll call it for lack of a better term nervous energy
kind of going on inside you right now because your body’s prepared to fight
its says there might be a threat so I’m going to call everybody all hands on
deck well if you get out and walk around and use up some of that nervous energy
it can help you get reground it so you can have a clearer head adrenalin
usually takes anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds to get out of your system so if
you walk around for about five minutes and get away from it now if you’re
walking around stewing on it all you’re doing is feeding that wolf you need to
get out walk around look at something else
think about something completely different to give yourself a time to get
those stress hormones out of your system so you can think more clearly and be in
what we sometimes call the wise mind number seven know your triggers and have
a plan we all have triggers things that make us
feel angry things that make us feel threatened so what are your triggers
rejection is usually a big one if you perceive that somebody’s rejecting you
or rejecting your ideas or rejecting the way you do something you may get angry
or defensive when fail at something or you perceive you
failed at something or you perceive an injustice you may get angry if there’s a
loss of control you know you get dumped or you don’t get a promotion something
happens that you were not able to control you can get angry and that can
go to everything from you know your car breaking down on you to getting a flat
tire to the elections to you know what happens at the drive-thru when you get
your lunch what types of things you know if you want to look in these three
categories what types of things generally trigger your anger and why why
do you fear rejection so much you know what is it and when we get down to
self-esteem we’ll talk about how to address that why do you feel fear
failure or why does failure make you so angry look at failure as a wow I just
learned how not to do that again you know failure can be perceived as a
negative but you can also look at it as a learning opportunity I heard somebody
say one time if you’ve never failed then you’ve never stepped outside your
comfort zone so failure can actually be a positive learning opportunity and recognizing that you don’t have control
all the time now some of us tend to like more control than others just
temperamentally but other people have a more of a need for control because they
felt in the past they’ve experienced abandonment or trauma or something else
recognizing that today when something happens and you feel a loss of control
it may trigger some of those feelings of abandonment or whatever and figuring out
how to deal with those is going to be really important but in the short-term
have a plan if you feel rejection if you are triggered if your anger is triggered
in some way have three ideas for things that you can do that can help you not
hit that panic button that can help you de-escalate the situation
walk away change the subject take a breath you know any of the other things
that we’re talking about have a plan for how to handle it
especially going into the holidays when you’ve got family reunions and you know
Thanksgiving dinner and everybody’s around and if you get set off what can
you do in that situation if Uncle Bob is drinking too much and he says something
unkind to you what can you do so it doesn’t turn into a big hoopty-do at the
Thanksgiving dinner and yes it’s the responsibility is on Uncle Bob for
saying something inappropriate that’s true however you have a choice for how
to use your energy and whether you let it kind of turn it into you being the
bad guy so have a plan for how to deal with it have a plan going into some of
these reunions and meetings and anything if you know somebody’s going to be there
that tends to push your buttons have a plan for either how to avoid that person
or how to deal with them so they don’t ever even start pushing your buttons
number eight is prevent vulnerabilities and during the holidays we can feel like
we’re pulled at both ends financially timewise not get enough sleep when we
are sleep-deprived we tend to be more irritable when we are using stimulants
especially because we’re sleep-deprived and we’re drinking too much coffee we
tend to be more irritable when your blood sugar gets low you tend to be more
irritable and when you drink alcohol you tend to say things it’s a disinhibitor
so you tend to be less inhibited about what you say and what you do so you can
get angry a little bit easier if somebody says something to you while
you’re under the influence you’re much more likely to fly off the handle then
if you hadn’t had that substance in your system so get enough sleep watch your
stimulants I’m not gonna say don’t use them because you know you also don’t
want to have a migraine in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner but watch them you
don’t want to be pounding back energy drinks right before you go in
um pay attention to your blood sugar some people will not eat for 48 hours or
24 hours before Thanksgiving dinner so they can gorge themselves well that sets
you up for going into Thanksgiving dinner having low blood sugar and while
you’re waiting around and everybody’s Gathering being more edgy and irritable
so think about that you know do you need to have a glass of milk or whatever it
is that you can do to keep your blood sugar stable and try to avoid the
alcohol if there is if you’re in a vulnerable situation number 9 write it
down and talk it talk again later if you’re getting into an argument with
somebody if you’re irritable and you decide this is something I really need
to address but if I say one more thing it’s I’m gonna regret it you know
hopefully you’re not getting to that point but if you feel yourself building
up say you know what we need to take a break go somewhere write down what
you’re thinking get everything out you know if you’re
thinking hurtful comments write down the hurtful comments get everything out and
then shred that piece of paper get rid of it so once you get it out of your
system then you can go back and write down more appropriate things to talk
about your talking points so to speak and censor out the hurtful hateful
unhelpful stuff so you’re not jabbing at the other person and remember when
you’re talking over an issue when you’re angry at somebody do one thing at a time
listen to what they say paraphrase what they said kind of repeat it back to them
to make sure you understood then say what you’ve got to say and don’t pull
out a list of done me wrong you know just one thing at a time until it’s
handled and then move on to the next thing and number ten is sort of a
preventative sort of thing work on your self-esteem because a lot of things that
trigger our anger have to do with those fears of rejection if we fear that if we
fail at something people are going to reject us we feel that if we’re not good
enough or we’re not pretty enough or we’re not this or not
at that people are going to reject us if you work on your self-esteem then you’re
able to be okay with the fact that nobody is gonna like you all the time
and not everybody is gonna like you just I said it it’s right not everybody’s
gonna like you and even those people who do like you ain’t gonna like you all the
time and that’s okay because you’re not gonna like everybody all the time so
look back over your anger triggers figure out you know whether it’s you
fear rejection being judged failing in some way not being able to control
somebody else’s opinion of you and think about you know if I felt good about
myself if I didn’t need their approval if I wasn’t afraid that they might leave
or reject me how would my life be different you know yes they could be
important to you no doubt however dr. Seuss says it best
and I’ve said this one before those who matter don’t mind and those who mind
don’t matter so if you like this podcast subscribe on
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