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          Managing Your Anger

          November 05, 2002

          The slightest thing can set people off. What gets you hotheaded? Is it really worth getting angry over ” especially when a state of rage can endanger your health?

          Dr. Phil offers advice on preventing road rage, airport rage, grocery store rage, sporting event rage … whatever it is and wherever it is that enrages you.

          • What upsets people the most is not what actually happens, but when their expectancies are violated. When you have a more realistic and mature expectancy set, you won’t be setting yourself up for anger if everything doesn’t go smoothly. We live in an over-crowded, over-stressed world with traffic jams, rude people and screaming kids. Expect some blips. If you don’t expect everyone to be on your schedule, then you won’t be upset when they’re not.
          • Stop thinking the world revolves around you. Is the urgency you feel as strong as you think? A false sense of urgency stems from self-importance. Why should things have to be the way you want them? When you think the whole world revolves around you, then everything takes on gargantuan importance.
          • Reframe, relax and react rationally.
              • Reframe. Ask yourself what really matters. If you are in touch with your authentic self ” who you really are and what matters most ” then you won’t get consumed by little things that happen around you. Don’t wait for something terrible to give you a wakeup call to put things in perspective.
              • Relax. Take a deep breath. Calm down. Do you have any idea what upset you last Tuesday? Was it worth putting your health in jeopardy?
              • React rationally. Stop thinking the world revolves around you. When you have a false sense of urgency or an inflated sense of self-importance, you set yourself up for failure. When yo think the whole world revolves around you, everything takes on far more importance. No one in China cares if someone took the parking spot you were about to pull into.
          • Look for warning signs. We don’t blow up out of the blue. Our bodies first exhibit signs, such as a tight chest, butterflies in your stomach, a racing mind, sweaty palms, or getting flush. Recognize the signs so you can intervene before you blow up.
          • You may be slowly killing yourself every time you get angry. Any time you’re aroused, the entire chemistry of your body changes, making you more susceptible to ulcers, multiple sclerosis, lupus, arthritis and other illnesses. Use that as motivation to calm down.
          • To better manage your anger, recognize that you have a problem. Anger is an outward expression of fear, hurt or frustration. Take anger out of your vocabulary and start to understand what the real problem is.
          • Why do angry people lash out? Because they don’t have the words, concepts or abilities to express their frustration in an appropriate way. Consider alternative ways of venting your anger, such as taking a deep breath, aromatherapy or meditation.

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