This week I received a call from a client that was going through a crisis. Let's call her Kate. Kate was in such a bad way that she was not using any of the Anger Management Techniques she had learned. However after a few moments of talking to her she was able to take control of her state and became calm.
When Kate came to me she was on stress leave due to a bullying incident in the workplace. Kate was very much at the effect of what happened to her and it was turning her world upside down. During the work I had done with her about her workplace issue, Kate had a number of realizations that she needed to take control of. All of a sudden she realised that so many parts of her life were unfulfilled:
Just to name a few.
Once she was away from the workplace she started to feel better and started to make changes in her relationship with her kids. Kate decided that her partner was not the right person for her and it was time to separate, something that had been on the cards for some time, but now she was willing to take action on it. She even started to set up her own business and could see the need to develop herself and head a different career path. Everything was in turmoil; however Kate was in control and working through it.
It was not until her return to work that Kate was truly tested and gave me a call on the Monday morning of her first day back at work. It turns out the mediation was not going to take place until the following Thursday. This was inappropriate from a mediation point of view as she felt as though she was in hiding in her office with nothing to do apart from wait until Thursday. She was not able to have closure on the initial issue, the workplace bullying incident until the event had been completed.
One of the points I make clear with clients going through a difficult time in a specific area of their life such as a relationship break up or court case, is that the best results are achieved once the "event" is complete and hence the reason why Kate was in a complete state. We applied some of the simple yet effective techniques she had learned, and of course in a short five minute conversation I had her at a point that she could talk about the situation and not get upset.
One of the points I made with Kate, and during this post, and it's a critical point, is that you can only work on a problem of an event once it has been completed. For Kate she had worked on the workplace situation but it was not yet complete until the mediation had occurred. So as soon as she was in the environment it all sparked up again.
So we applied one of the simple tips I recommend in my free three tips to control your anger in the Make Anger History product for anger management and anger management techniques. The one that I used that had the fastest and most effective results was to stop and recognise the emotion you are feeling which is a three part process:
1. Name the emotion you are feeling.
This is a very powerful process as it quickly turns your attention to the fact that you are indeed feeling something that may be overwhelming you. You see, feeling negative emotions such as anger or anxiety is the body's way of telling you something is wrong and to take notice. Just like an injury, you feel pain that in turn brings it to your attention. The emotion of anger presents when your boundaries have been crossed. And this is a very personal thing as everyone has different values and boundaries. So stopping and saying to yourself 'I am feeling anger' is the first step to controlling it.
2. Once you name the emotion you then are acknowledging it.
When I did this with Kate her state of anger and anxiety dropped to a point where she could control it. Simple as it may sound, it's often difficult to practice when in heightened negative emotional states. "I am feeling anger" and then following it by acknowledging the emotion by thanking your unconscious mind for enabling you to feel that something has crossed your boundaries is step 2 of the process.
3. Set a time to "deal" with it.
If you do not actually deal with the event or emotion it gets buried in the interim but will come back. This is where you habitually react to a certain trigger, as you hadn't dealt with the initial incident. Sometimes it may not be possible to deal with the emotion at the time so you need to set a time to deal with it.
The entire process goes like this:
You feel a negative emotion or get upset so you ask "what emotion am I feeling?"
You name the emotion – "I am feeling anger".
You then acknowledge the emotion and set a time to deal with it – "I will deal with this on x date and x time" and make sure you actually deal with it.
For Kate we set a date after the mediation so that she could have completion on the event, then address all the emotions she had to deal with the days before the mediation. The result was that Kate could talk about the issue at work and discuss how it made her feel, how it had affected her without getting "plugged in" to the negative emotions, then and into the future.
If you are feeling anger at certain triggers or have not dealt with anger from the past please try this super-effective process. I have taught this process to hundreds of people and it has helped to alleviate a lot of the angst around anger around situations that have happened in the past. It is also effective at dealing with anxiety.
Be sure to tell me how you go with the first Anger Management Technique. We have had great feedback from people that have used our three free tips.