Anger management feels like a tough concept to break down sometimes, with lots of “dos” and “don’ts”. If you’re anything like me, understanding some of these high-level concepts can be difficult. But the good news is that it’s not as difficult as it seems! Let’s explore one of the big components: Emotional Regulation.
What is Emotional Regulation?
Simply put, emotional regulation is recognizing that you’re feeling a certain way and having the awareness to stop yourself from directing that emotion at someone in a negative way. Sounds super easy! Said no one ever.
Regulating, or controlling, our emotions is possibly one of the most difficult things to do, but it is possible. There are a lot of ways to achieve emotional regulation, number the number one way to start understanding and improving your anger is to have self-awareness.
What is self-awareness?
Let me paint a picture for you: You’re in the car on the way to grab dinner. You’ve already had a long day, dealing with work or kids or other responsibilities. You’re tired, you’re cranky, maybe even a little hangry. Your spouse or partner says that one. thing. that just really sends you over the edge. You can feel the anger starting as your jaw clenches. Maybe your face is turning red. You’re clenching the steering wheel and the urge to stop the car and demand that they get out is strong.
You’ve been practicing self-awareness.
You pause, because you know that you’re heading into territory that you don’t want to go into. You already know what this argument will be like. So instead of reacting to your spouse’s comment, you take a deep breath. Maybe you tell them you need a minute, because you’re angry and you need to calm down. Or maybe you tell them you can’t talk about this right now but give them a later time when you’ll be ready.
In this scenario, self-awareness allows us to see what’s happening before it happens. It allows us to stop, feel the emotion, and make a choice about whether we will continue with harmful behaviors or pull back and find another way to handle the anger. It also helps us to know what our “triggers” are – the things that can make us feel these sudden, intense bursts of emotion – and to get out ahead of them. Self-awareness puts us back in control.
Anger can be a normal emotion, but what sets us apart is how we deal with it. This is one of the many tools that our program will help you with. When you join Peaceful Battles, you’ll learn how to recognize your patterns and how to change for the better. You’ll learn that you don’t have to stay stuck in your old ways. We want to help you, and all you need to do is take that first step, and reach out to us today.