If you take an anger management class you will learn how to analyze your anger in 4 steps. This is very useful for people with an anger problem. It helps them to begin to see the patterns in their behaviour. Once you have analyzed you anger and recognized the patterns then you can change to become a calmer, happier person.
Here are the 4 steps to analyzing anger problems:
1. Work out what the triggers are for your anger.
Before each anger outburst things happen that are triggering your anger. Finding out your triggers is important. After each angry episode write down these things:
Who you were with?
Where you were?
What you were doing?
What you were talking about
What happened around you?
When specifically you realized you felt angry?
What you were thinking?
2. Then you need to work out how you interpreted the things that happened.
Write down a timeline of what you were thinking during the whole interaction.
Write down your thoughts exactly as you said them in your mind. Then write down how you interpreted what happened. How you explained what was going on to yourself. You may have thought “I can’t believe he said that, what a pig!” and then you may have interpreted what was said like this” He thinks I’m stupid!” That is an interpretation of what happened.
Interpretations are often incorrect, but they influence how you behave. This kind of interpretation will increase anger. A different interpretation “He must be having a really bad day to say something like that. He must have misunderstood what I meant” will not make you angry. Interpreting other people behavior is very common in people who have anger management problems. Writing down and analyzing your thoughts will help to break this habit and reduce anger
3. Write down how you felt after each thought and each interpretation. Often this is very difficult at first. Angry people tend to avoid feelings and have trouble naming the feelings they have. They often complain that only feel anger and depression. This is part of the anger cycle. Writing down feelings will help. Anxiety and social anxiety are two of the common feelings that people with anger have and don’t recognize. Learning effective anger management techniques can help you begin to overcome these problems.
4. Next go back and take a realistic look at the triggering events, the thoughts and interpretations. See if you can come up with alternative, realistic reasons for what happened. Do this only when you are not angry so you can try and be objective. Seeing that there may be other explanations for peoples behavior is important. This exercise will help you to see how your thinking changes when you are angry.
Analyzing anger outbursts will help you to identify anger triggers, thoughts and interpretations. Then you can learn how to change these to live a calmer, more peaceful life. Effective, proven anger management techniques are available and taught in anger management classes. These classes are now available online, in convenience and privacy of your own home.