Monday, March 09, 2009

The Anger Diet

Here are 10 steps to control anger, Dr. Shoshanna calls it "the Emergency Technique."
I paraphrased some, the spirit (and the difficulty) remains the same.

1. The moment you notice you're angry, even a little bit, stop everything. Stand or sit completely still. Breathe deeply, become as silent as you can. Count your breaths until you get to 10.

2. Put this situation in the largest possible context, preferably the context of your entire life. Realize that whatever it is, its not the end of the world.

3. Allow for the possibility that you are wrong. You will come up with a 1000 reasons why you are right, as the anger builds. You will think of why you have a right to be angry. Society encourages us not to be a doormat, to get what is right for us. Realize that we can never know or clearly see the entire situation.

4. Understand that the other party feels justified in their own perspective.
Pretend that the other party might actuallly be right and that you don't need to be right. There are plenty of other times that you can be right; you can be right another time.

5. Remind yourself that the other person is not necessarily trying to do you wrong or make you upset. Anger is all about how you perceive what is happening ~ the story you tell yourself.

6. Realize that a lot of the time anger breeds paranoia. The other person might think that you are trying to do him/her wrong, and might just be defending themselves. If you can, picture that the person is saying what they are saying to try to help you, even if it doesn't seem like it.

7. Imagine something that would make you feel compassion for the other party, for instance, that they are suffering or have recently experienced a loss. When we feel compassion for someone, it is impossible to be angry with them.

8. Forgive the person for having made you angry.

9. Forgive yourself for having been angry and for acting however you did.

10. Think of a way you could turn the situation around and make an enemy into a friend. Think of how you can help this person.