In French, there is an expression that says:
Il faut tourner sa langue sept fois dans sa bouche avant de parler,
which literally translates into: Turn your tongue seven times in your mouth before talking,
the idea being that while you’re turning your tongue in your mouth, you unavoidably have time to think about what you are going to say, and at the end of the exercise, what you say might very well be different or better thought-out than what you intended in the first place.
Based on that, here is the tip:
When you are about to burst, take a nice deep breath in and count to ten while breathing out. Or seven. Actually, counting to three might be all you need.
This ten second respite will allow you to notice what is really happening in yourself and what you are really reacting to in the moment. It will allow you to change positively the impact of what you are about to say/do in this moment of anger.
During these ten seconds:
You might realize that you are about to let out your anger on the wrong person/situation:
-it may be that you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, stressed, lacking support, time, patience, money... thus a bit too sensitive in this very moment to deal with anything. You’ve had enough. If so, it’s a clear sign that you need some ME time (to relax, to take care of yourself, to reflect on what is happening in your life, to get help...), be it for a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days...
In the meantime, breathe in, take control of your emotions and adjust your reaction positively or get out of the situation momentarily.
-it may be that you are angry at something that is not related to the situation in front of you but this anger needs to come out, somehow, one way or another. Indeed, there are very few safe escape routes for anger in our modern world, if any. It might not be safe to express your anger/stress say, to your boss, employees, colleagues, customers, friends ... so it usually comes out somewhere else in your life and might hurt the people you love the most. If this is the case, it is primordial that you find a way to let the steam off: dance, box, jog, meditate, write down your thoughts, ... You need to find your own way to unwind physically and emotionally, any way you see fit.
Again, in the meantime, breathe in, take control of your emotions and adjust your reaction positively or, get out of the situation momentarily.
You might actually realize that your anger is appropriate and justified.
If it is, what should you do then?
You could try to see the situation from outside of your body, as if you were a camera in one of the top corner of the room observing the scene as it is happening. From there, you will see the whole situation from a different point of view, a detached one. From there, you will be able to see yourself react and will be more able to choose how you want to do so.
You could start by taking another deep breath in and think of the result that you want...
Will you bursting out make the situation better or worse?
What is the other person telling you – in words or actions?
What is it that you really want to express?
How can you express it more positively?
If you manage to do so, how will that impact the situation?
How will you feel?
By taking a step back from your anger, if only for a few seconds, you will be more able to see the situation as it really is and react in a way which will open up to better results for all.
Try and let me know how it goes...
Remember: you don’t have to be perfect all the time, it’s ok. Nobody is.
What are your tips to help deal with burst of anger?
If you need help to deal with anger, contact me.
with Mel's help
Have you done experiment #1?
If not, please do so now. Click here for details
If yes, what did you find out?
Any patterns? Any repetitive thoughts?
I bet you found out that you talk to yourself all day (if you didn’t know already).
That your thoughts rarely stop, if ever, popping up.
It is also possible that they are not all very nice thoughts, I mean, that you are not being
very nice to yourself.
Chances are, you found out that there is one or two specific thoughts that come to you all the time.
Like in a loop. Round and round.
It could be:
I am so tired. I’m not good enough.
Life is s*%$t.
I am not a machine.
I’ve have had enough,
or something like that...
That’s normal, if normal means that most people experience this as well.
So, the experiment this week, if you choose to do it, is to start and question the truth of these thoughts,
be more specific and change the repetitive ones that are not supportive.
For example, if you tell yourself: "I am so tired".
Are you really that tired? Is it true at this point in time?
If yes, what is so tiring specifically?
Listen honestly to your answer and make a change: slow down, take a break, ask for help, go on a holiday, treat yourself...
If not, when did you start repeating that phrase over and over?
Was it during a very busy time? When was it exactly?
If it’s not true, how are you actually feeling?
You might realise that you are ok at the moment.
And since you are not actually tired, change that phrase to a positive one
and stop hypnotizing yourself into believing that you are tired.
Let’s take another example: "I’m not good enough".
Good enough at/for what specifically?
Is that true?
If you go around telling yourself you are not good enough, how do you think that is going to make you feel? What do you think you will notice? How will that influence your choices?
Every time you hear yourself saying: "I am not good enough", stop, check in and say something supportive.
Like: I am doing the best I can do today, I am worthy, I am learning to ____, I am in the process of ,
I’m getting better at this, What if I tried?...
In short, whatever your repetitive thought is, all you have to do is:
Catch yourself using it. Stop. And replace it with a positive one.
You’re going to need to make an effort at first but
know that you can quickly make a positive change in your life with this simple exercise.
Try it and let me know how it works for you!
If you need some help, contact me!
with mel's help
Experiment: Once in a while, I will present you with an experiment the goal of which will be to learn a little bit about yourself. They will most likely be very simple, but if you decide to do them and really take them seriously, you just might discover something interesting/useful/surprising... Have fun!
The experiment this week, if you choose to do it, is to become aware of all the thoughts that come to your mind on an hourly basis or more to the point, minute by minute. Here I am talking about the thoughts that do not specifically relate to work or life planning.
Notice your constant mind-chatter.
Become aware of the thoughts, positive or negative, that keep going round and round.
Become aware of the thoughts that undermine your every move.
Become aware of the thoughts that are supporting you, if any.
Notice them. Write them down. All of them.
During the whole day, for a week.
At work. At home. On the road. At the gym...
Listen to what you tell yourself.
Come back next week for the follow up to experiment #1...
and for experiment #2!
With Mel's help
Hi! I'm Mel! I am a life coach, not a writer, but I write articles once in a while which you might like... see under Categories below "articles" and "experiments".