Anger Management Tips and Techniques: Trigger and Hot Buttons
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Martin Hogg
3rd August, 2010
The biggest issue with anger management is to know where to start, so I am going to take you through a couple things I have found most effective over the last few years working with hundreds of angry people who want to control their temper.
The first thing to look at is to recognise that we all have 'hot buttons' or 'triggers' that make us angry. Sometimes one word can trigger us into a huge rage. This gives other people huge power over us. I particularly dislike 'wind up merchants' these are people who delight in getting others wound up
The consequences are often that we end up excluded in trouble, or injured. Some people may use these triggers to 'wind us up' deliberately and enjoy seeing us get angry. You are not a sideshow, or an exhibit so don't give them the satisfaction.
If you can somehow free yourself from these triggers you will be making a big step in starting to mange your anger.
Recognise that some people and some places increase the likelihood of this trigger being pulled (or the button being pressed). You could try to avoid these people and places.
Recognise the anger building up in you and make a sharp and powerful exit or tell the person 'I am not going to give you the satisfaction of seeing me get angry, you're not worth it'
Use humour - 'that old one' 'I love you too' 'yeah, yeah' They won't get so much fun out of winding you up if there is no reaction.
Speak to friends to gain their support- ask them to intervene before you lose it or help you walk away
Remember that it is more powerful to not get in to a big reaction
Some people are left with a lot of anger inside themselves and I have known people punch walls and even self harm as a result. This is often because the anger is often held inside. One of the best ways to deal with this is to do something physical. This could be a fast walk and run, a bike ride, swimming, press ups, hitting a punch bag or something similar. For some people they need to run for an hour, others get away with squeezing a stress ball.
Some people get a great benefit from working one to one with a counsellor because there is something going on for them that is causing them to be angry. The counsellor can give them time and space and talk about this.
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