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  • Jim Hoadley, LPC

The Most Important Words in Anger Management - Part One

When facing the disruption that anger can bring into our lives, the words we say--especially those that we say to ourselves--can have enormous impact.

These are powerful words that you can use to create awareness and prompt change in your behavior:

Part One.

YES. Yes, I have a problem with my anger. Yes, I lose my temper. I'm ready to work on it.

BREATHE. Long. Slow. Deep. Breaths.

CALM DOWN. Tune into my body and slow my heart rate. Take long slow deep breaths. How many? As many as it takes to calm down.

SLOW DOWN. Consciously slow my speech. I am more likely to lose my temper when I am speaking quickly.

SIT DOWN. Not on the edge of my chair. Sit back and relax.

OF COURSE. I will find myself in difficult and unfair situations every day. I am going to get provoked every day. All day long. That's life. The best way to deal with irritations and annoyances and unfairness and provoking that is part of life is to stay calm.

LEAVE EARLIER. To avoid time pressure situations that could lead to losing my temper.

STAY HUMBLE. Me, and all the people around me, are safer if I am humble.

NO BIG DEAL. Say this over and over at least a thousand times to slow down the train that is moving me down the track to lose my temper.



YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT. Look for the grain of truth in what the other person is saying.

SHORT AND SWEET. All texting. All voicemails. Thank you. Love you. See you soon.

I'M WORKING ON IT. Instead of the word, "try". Implicit in the word, "try" is failure,

IT'S NOT WORTH IT. Not worth the pain, misery, suffering, shame, depression, loneliness, sadness and anxiety that comes with losing my temper.

HOW AM I DOING? Ask the people who have witnessed me losing my temper.

EVERYBODY HAS BLIND SPOTS. We all have annoying traits and habits we cannot see.

CALM IS A SUPER POWER. In difficult and provoking situations, calm is more likely to save the day.

FOCUS ON THE CONNECTION. Making a connection with others is more important than anything else that's happening--like convincing them that I am right.

OBSERVE RATHER THAN REACT. Practice non-judgmental awareness as if I were talking to a friend.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THAT. Learn more about the other person's perspective.

LET ME THINK ABOUT IT. Taking more time to think logically and rationally about a situation will help me stay calm and create safety for myself and others.

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