Anger Management and Self Love
Many people beat themselves up when they react in a situation with anger and lashing out. This can increase an angry reaction and make matters worse. You’re here because you know that anger can destroy your relationships and do harm to others, but it does immense damage to you as well. Without a doubt, anger management and self love go hand in hand.
Self Love is a gentle way to nurture yourself while you grow and change in the direction you have chosen for yourself. If anger is getting in the way of your goals, relationships, and dreams for yourself, it might be time to try some strategies based on loving yourself.
Where to Start
When I work face-to-face with my students, we list out emotion words that describe our anger. Using a scale from 1-10 we decide where each word ranks. For example, a situation that is a 1 would be something that causes us mild irritation. But a 10 is a situation that might push us to violence.
We then associate circumstances, in our lives, that bring us between a 1 and a 10. It is important for us to realize that a 10 is a situation where your life is literally in danger. Many people hit a 10 because their body and mind might feel a major threat, but in reality they are not at risk of being physically harmed.
Overall, the first place you start is recognizing what situations are causing you the most anger.
After ranking angry situations, you can begin to recognize your triggers. You will notice your anger more and be conscious of it when it comes up.
At first, you might still lash out when you get angry. This is natural because your wiring in your brain is used to driving you to act a certain way. With any behaviors, you sometimes need to notice them after you act them out before you can begin to catch yourself during your reaction. The growth process will look like this:
- You will still get angry and overreact or lash out, but you will remember soon after that you have a goal to stop behaving this way.
- After reflecting, you will identify what triggered your anger and will make a plan for next time.
- During the next situation you will recognize your anger reaction DURING the reaction.
- If you are practicing self love, you will be able to see that you are growing and changing by being conscious of your anger sooner this time.
- Again, you will reflect and identify any new triggers you haven’t already noticed.
- After some time, you will notice your anger before you react with angry behaviors and you will remove yourself from the situation to go take care of your anger.
With this in mind, you will need some techniques to help you work through all of these steps and beyond.
Techniques for Anger Management
- With a Self Love Emphasis
To work through the stages listed out above, you will need tools. These tools can be applied based on your own preferences and what works best for you. After all, you are unique and will need to bring awareness into how you learn the best.
Connect with Your Anger – You are made of many different parts. You have an amazingly generous part of you, the kind and gentle part of you, the funny part, and also this angry part. While recognizing your triggers and anger, you need to connect to this part of you. You might need to do some inner child healing, or therapy to understand this part of you and not avoid it. You might even need to start working on communicating your boundaries.
It is not the anger that is the negative part of your experience, it’s the energy that blocks you from connecting to your anger that causes negativity. Connect so you can heal.
Labeling Your Emotions – When you are angry, you can google words for anger and start to label the anger with different words. You might find that you are disappointed, frustrated, betrayed, etc. Labeling emotions is a powerful tool to help calm your nervous system and get you ready to problem solve.
Meditate and/or Journal – Taking time with yourself to meditate during times when you are not angry, helps to prepare your mind for times when anger arises. Journaling can also help you to release some of the anger, if you do it when you are first noticing that there’s a problem. Doing these things in times when you are calm helps you access these strategies in times when you are angry. After much practice, you will be able to remove yourself from the situation and process in a way that’s best for you.
Overall, you will not be able to fully get rid of your anger. Anger serves a purpose in survival situations and is a natural part of you.
This part of you needs acceptance and love. When you learn to step away from a situation where you might do something you regret, you will gain time with yourself. Consequently, you will start a conversation with yourself about what you deserve and how you can be healthy. This will begin to impact your relationships in a loving and encouraging way.
Dr. Autumn Thomas