Mindfulness and Anger Management

Mindfulness and Anger Management- Guest Article

We all have moments when things slow down and we are suddenly very present for life. We often have this ‘tuned in’ experience when we are in nature, or it it may happen when we are highly focused on some activity, or sometimes it occurs when we are simply relaxed and available for whatever is going on around us.

The word ‘mindfulness’ evokes images of spirituality and eastern religion, but surprisingly mindfulness is just the ordinary human capacity to be fully present. It is mindfulness that allows you to be here long enough to read these words. You can be mindful of the wind, the taste of your evening meal, a conversation with your partner, or the various sensations in your body.

When we are spinning in thoughts of the past and future we are not at all present, and our mindfulness has faded. When we check out from the present moment in this way, we spin off into a mental world and we lose our center. We lose touch with our body and emotions, and we become susceptible to stress and anxiety, and various conflicted emotions, such as anger. Fortunately mindfulness is natural to human beings, and as such we can train it and strengthen it.

This is where mindfulness meditation comes in. Since it was first introduced to the western world in the 1960’s mindfulness meditation has been incorporated into a range of modern day applications. For example mindfulness is utilized in corporate environments, in various forms of psychotherapy, athletic training, medical care, educational systems, stress reduction, and yes, anger management. Whole departments at major universities such as MIT are now dedicated to the study of mindfulness and its application to a broad spectrum of contemporary issues.

It is safe to say that mindfulness is a 2500 year old anger management methodology. Extensive research shows that mindfulness is helpful with anger management issues in a variety of ways. Studies show that mindfulness decreases rumination associated with anger, it increases cognitive flexibility, boosts emotional well being, and improves overall satisfaction with life. Modern science is increasingly showing what the ancients have known for millennia, that mindfulness really works.

A Mindfulness Anger Management Exercise: Working with Uncomfortable Feelings

A common issue found in individuals with anger management problems is a difficulty dealing with uncomfortable feelings. We become hyper sensitive to life’s loose ends, we are triggered by the slightest inconvenience, and we have a low threshold for anything edgy or uncomfortable. The following mindfulness anger management exercise can help.

-Choose a day and set your intention to notice whenever you feel uncomfortable.

-Throughout your day, every time you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in some way, simply notice what you do with your body. Do you start fidgeting and bite your fingernails, does your chest tighten up, or do you clench your jaw, or maybe you hold your breath?

-Take a notebook with you and write down what you notice. The idea isn’t to try and change anything, just simply notice what you do and write it in your notebook.

This ‘paying attention’ is a form of mindfulness, and it will shine the light of awareness on how you avoid uncomfortable feelings. That light itself is enough, change will come naturally from your simply being present, so don’t get in the way by trying to change anything. Just notice, write it down, and let it be. That’s it.

Once you’ve tried this for one day then you can apply it any time, and gradually you’ll become more and more familiar with your patterns of avoidance.

Craig Mollins is long time student and teacher of mindfulness, and specializes in a mindfulness approach anger management. You can learn more at his website, mindfulnessangermanagement.com

AngerCoach Show – Episode #9 – Managing Expectations

This months episode discusses the benefits of managing your expectations. Learn what your expectations are, where they come from and understand how the world around us influences our expectations. When we understand these things, then we can better adjust what our expectations are when it comes to our lives, our relationships, our families, our possessions and our jobs. If we find ourselves frustrated by these things then it’s possible that we have formed unrealistic expectations about these goals. By adjusting our expectations to more realistic levels, we can avoid the anger that comes from being let down, and we will find ourselves living happier lives as a result.

Please note: This anger program and these anger tips are not meant to substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or advice. If you have intense, serious or chronic anger problems, or you have to deal with someone else who does, you should immediately consult a mental health or medical professional for help.

Introducing: The AngerCoach Mobile iPhone/iPod Touch app!

The AngerCoach Mobile

We are very excited to announce the release of the AngerCoach Mobile iPhone/iPod Touch app available in the iTunes app store!

With the pace of technology catching up to our busy schedules we feel this new platform is the ideal way to deliver the timely and practical content the AngerCoach provides. People of all ages and backgrounds can access these useful anger management tools in the palm of their hand. Not only does the app provide skill building tools for the 8 tools of anger control, but it provides an easy way to monitor your progress and access constantly updating tools for 6 unique anger zones.

Click here to download the app via the App Store, and remember to tell us what you think!

Gratitude Skill Important For Anger Control

Learning to respond instead of react to frustration and anger triggers is anger tool #3  in our “tool kit” of anger control strategies. An important skill to use this tool is the skill of being grateful for things in your world and in your life. It is almost impossible to be angry and grateful at the same time. But, it is very challenging to be grateful when you look around and see only negatives in your life. You want to ask yourself: “what should I be grateful for exactly?”

Being able to answer that question for yourself is a major step toward anger control and increased happiness in your life. Following are some resources to help you do just that. We begin with a Budhist quote:

“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it were real, so he escapes the suffering.”

– Buddha

We continue with a concept promoted by David Block, creator of the “Gratitude Balls” to be squeezed whenever you feel depressed, angry, or discouraged. We hand out these balls to participants of our local (Southern California) anger management classes. David recently organized  The First Gratitude Tour of San Diego: Here is his you tube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7NKhHGIlzM

Finally, we turn to the master,  Deepak Chopra, who teaches you how to meditate in order to get in touch with gratitude which he believes is the quickest way to “get in touch with your soul.” His video can be seen also on you tube at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIXIwdhOmSM

Research backs up the claim that being grateful leads to increased happiness! Try it and see if it works for you!

Dr Tony
www.angercoach.com
www.angercoachonline.com




Federal Employees need Anger Management Too Sometimes

I recently received a referral from an employee for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS employees often face very stressful situations, depending on their job function and can find learning skills in anger management to be extremely helpful. Homeland security is one of our nations top priorities and therefore can be an equation for stress for those that are in high demand positions. The employee who we are currently seeing for executive coaching will be taught a series of tools from our highly acclaimed client workbook “Anger Management in the Twenty-first Century”. We will focus on improving empathy and emotional intelligence, stress management, assertive communication and managing expectations. Anger management skills improve relationships and sharpen ones ability to have more positive interactions.

Posted with permission from
Ari Novick, Ph.D.
AJ Novick Group – Anger Management

Quick Anger Tip 19 – Raise your mood before dealing with an anger trigger

It is a known psychological fact that the level of your mood determines the perception you have of your world. In a high mood you see the best fat burner for women world one way: In a low mood, you may see the exact same thing quite differently.

To better manage your anger, try to shift your mood before dealing with the anger or stress trigger like they say it on the venus factor diet or problem that is before you.

Typical ways to elevate your mood might include getting more rest, eating properly to adjust your blood sugar level, exercise, listening to mood elevating music, meditating, connecting with friends, or having a spiritual or religious experience.

The important thing to remember is to take time to elevate your mood before instantaneously reacting to an anger trigger at a time when your mood may be down.

Outwardly Expressed Anger Affects
Some Women’s Heart Arteries

In The Science Daily:

“While previous studies have shown that anger and hostility, in and of themselves, can increase risk of heart disease in men, little of the research has included women.

Results of a new study, conducted exclusively with female subjects, suggest that anger and hostility alone are not predictive for coronary artery disease in women, but women who outwardly express anger may be at increased risk if they also have any of several other risk factors: age (risk increases as women get older), history of diabetes and history of unhealthy levels of fats (lipids) in the blood”

Spousal Anger May Shorten Life

In a recent edition of “Stress Scoop”, research shows that happily married couples are healthier and live longer, possibly because they have less stress.

“…a recent study showed that even if spouses usually get along well, the stress caused by a brief argument can slow healing of a surgical wound by as much as a day.”

“If such a short spat in a lab can have such effects, one can only wonder what the response would be to a full-fledged fight at home lasting hours or days.”

Holiday Stress Leads to Anger

Learning to deal with stress is one of the eight tools that is needed for anger control.

Learning to deal with holiday stress is even more challenging because of the time crunch around the holidays and the need to deal with relatives who might not always be exactly at the top of your Christmas list.

Here are some tips to deal with holiday stress that should help you get through the season more comfortably:

1.Catch your stress early. Notice physical signs of stress such as muscle tension, voice getting louder, or behavior becoming more disorganized.

2. Make Necessary Life Changes to reduce your stress. Shop earlier. Get more family support. Take time off from work. Request more civil behavior from family members.

3. View Stressors Differently.For a stressor to cause stress in our lives, it has to be perceived as a stressor. Work on how you see things and try to see them in a different light. (Hint: this really works well with obnoxious family members: try seeing them as “limited” than than “irritating.”)

4.Stress-guard your life. Eat right. Exercise. Sleep well. Take care of yourself emotionally. Get your needs met. Have a good time.If needed use Garcinia Cambogia and get fitter and stronger.

Aggressive Response Triggers More Road Rage

According to new research published by the Response Insurance Company:

Fully one-half of drivers who are subjected to aggressive driving behavior on the road respond with aggression of their own, thus risking a more serious confrontation.

when a driver gets the finger, is cut off or tailgated, 50% of the victims respond with horn honking, yelling, cutting-off, and obscene gestures of their own.

“Road rage is a two-way street,” noted Ray Palermo, director of public relations for Response Insurance. “It takes two people to fight. So, if you are subjected to aggressive driving, often the best way to ensure it does not get any worse is to just ignore it.” You can read more about this here www.firststepdetox.com

Download a free podcast on how to deal with road rage and aggressive driving by clicking here.