We all know the feeling of being down to our last nerve. Where do you find yourself losing your cool and your emotional balance? Is it in traffic, on the job or on the home front? Mobile anger management is a growing challenge. Angry drivers are endangering themselves and others during the daily commute.
This morning, I found myself creeping along three cars behind a big yellow school bus. The driver of the second car responded to our snail’s pace by honking his horn, revving his engine and shaking his fist. Rather than calming him, these actions appeared to escalate his anger, plus, they did nothing to impact the speed of school bus. Whether anger and stress happen to you most frequently in traffic, on the job, the sports field or on the home front, one thing is certain – you will not be making friends or influencing others when your emotions explode all over them. Avoid ruining relationships by applying what I call the A.C.E. Approach to anger behavior management.
ACE stands for Awareness, Clear Thinking and Enlightened Actions. Start by being aware that you might have an anger issue. Think about this week’s stressful situations by using the six suggestions below. Then take enlightened action to keep control of your anger and keep your cool.
Six ACE Anger Management Tips
1 Find ways to calm and soothe yourself:
2 Practice deep-breathing exercises, visualize a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself. You can also pray, listen to music, journal or do yoga:
3 Step back from situation or picture yourself in that scene: (a) Stepping back: Carry something that serves as a reminder to step back from the situation and get your anger under control. For instance, you may want to keep a small marble, a rubber band on wrist, or a scrap of paper with your tips written down. (b) In the scene - What if you had done the same thing?
4. Think carefully before you speak so that you don't end up saying something you'll regret: Count to 50. Sing the A, B, C song to yourself.
5. Use "I" statements when describing the problem to avoid criticizing or placing blame. For instance, say "I'm upset you didn't help with the housework this evening," instead of, "You should have helped with the housework." To do otherwise will likely upset the other person and escalate tensions.
6. Don't hold a grudge. Forgive the other person and ask to be forgiven. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want. It may take some time and repeated effort to put these tips into practice when you're facing situations that typically cause you to boil over.
In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to remember your coping strategies. Most of the anger management tips can be practiced on your own, but if your anger seems out of control, is hurting your relationships or has escalated into violence, you may benefit from seeing a counselor or an anger management professional.
Margaret Ross is president of Visible Strategies Communications a Business Marketing Consultancy specializing in a online reputation management and business marketing and Founder of the Kamaron Institute, a premier management consulting and educational consulting firm, advising leading companies and educational organizations on issues of strategy, organizational dynamics,bullying, personal development, and communications. Ms Ross, a business marketing expert and parenting expert, is a frequently featured guest on America's top radio shows. Follow Margaret on Twitter www.twitter.com/kamaron_org