These days, anger seems to sit right below the surface, for quite a few people. Finding a more constructive release for that anger can be quite the challenge.
Now, anger is a normal emotion and all of us feel angry every now and then. When it’s used well, anger can be the fuel that drives effective and useful action. But if you use it badly, it can result in needless pain, destruction and frustration. Very few situations get remedied successfully with explosive anger.
How you express your anger is especially important if you have children around, because whether you like it or not, they will use you as a role model as they learn how to handle their own strong feelings.
Even if you were raised around people who routinely blew up and lost control of themselves whenever they got mad at each other, you can learn to do it differently yourself. You don’t have to lose control, just because that is all you’ve seen in your life.
When you feel that your rights are being ignored or that someone is treating you with disrespect, assert yourself calmly, politely, but firmly. When you do, you will be giving your children a wonderful example to follow and you will feel good about your ability to take control of your feelings instead of letting them take control of you.
Daily mental rehearsals, where you picture the way you intend to behave, will help this new behavior become almost automatic for you. Affirm yourself in words as you create these mental pictures, saying something like, “I handle potentially stressful situations quietly and calmly, even when I feel angry.” “Before I say anything, I take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and compose my calm responses as the air leaves my body.”
If your intention is clear and you use mental rehearsal daily, you will be very pleased with the results. Everyone else will notice, and their estimation of you will rise, as your confidence in yourself goes up, as well. It’s a win-win all the way around.