Anger is often expressed in an explosive manner. In order to explode pressure is often built or applied. This can happen when something is introduced to trigger an explosion. Here are three simple questions you can ask yourself to relieve pressure in a situation that normally triggers an angry reaction so that you can remain calm, respond appropriately, and enjoy peace of mind.
1. Can I accept this? Is this something that I can otherwise accept under normal circumstances? A few examples of things that might cause you to feel angry when you normally wouldn’t include being hungry, tired, and/or feeling alone because you’re dealing with pressure that you haven’t shared with anyone else. If this is the case then find something to eat (maybe keep non-perishable snacks with you to prevent becoming too hungry), make sure you receive adequate rest and if you’re feeling tired then wait until you ARE well rested to evaluate the situation further (sleep on it), and if pressure from something unrelated like school or work is bothering you then find a healthy outlet to relieve that pressure such as taking a walk, working out, or confiding in a friend or loved one.
2. Can I change this? When asking this question it is important to remember that we only have power over ourselves. If I’m upset that my partner leaves dishes in the sink rather than rinsing them and putting them in the dishwasher, even after I’ve asked or even angrily demanded that they do so, then clearly this is something that bothers me and not them. If it bothers me that much then I can rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher since I’m the one who finds it unacceptable and it’s disturbing my peace of mind. This won’t be easy at first but it will make for a much more peaceful and enjoyable time at home, and it’s a simple way to improve your relationship.
3. Can I leave it? If I can’t accept something, and I can’t change it, then my last option is to leave it. Leaving it can be temporary or permanent. I may leave it temporarily in order to calm down. I may determine that this is something I’ll never be able to accept or change and I need to leave it for good.
These questions are asked in a specific order. When you’re feeling triggered simply remember “ACL”:
Change it, or
If you would like to develop tools to manage anger and enjoy peace of mind, please book a session with me.