Our job is to observe our thoughts and emotions, and with anger there are four stages. And, they are: 1) pre-anger, 2) triggering thoughts, 3) angry emotions and 4) impulse to act. Anger is a natural human emotion that can sometimes lead to negative consequences. The goal of this blog post is to help you better understand the anger episode. You will also learn techniques for observing and accepting your anger more effectively so that it doesn't impact your relationships or career negatively. This framework will provide you a way to stand back and observe the anger episode.
Anger is a normal and healthy response to life's stresses. It can make us feel better, but it also makes bad things happen like losing your temper with someone who doesn't deserve it or hurting other people unintentionally because you're too upset yourself!
Luckily, we can shift our focus from the anger itself to observing it and gaining some distance from it. We can learn how to observe the anger episodes (1 pre-anger conditions; 2 triggering thoughts; 3 angry emotions, and impulse to act) and when we do, we can by take control of our actions or what we do during an anger episode. We move from being fused to our emotions and thoughts, to standing back and observing them, and making choices in how we respond. By practicing mindfulness practices we can distance ourselves from this all too often red hot emotion. We want to nurture the ability to watch the flame, of red hot anger, not get burnt by it.
It is important to recognize that anger episodes are not always a bad thing. Anger can be used as an opportunity for self-reflection and growth by recognizing the pre-anger, triggering thoughts, angry emotions and impulse to act stages of this emotion we can step back and distance ourselves. When we take time to step back from these thoughts and feelings using mindfulness techniques, we gain clarity on what our next response will be.
This blog post has covered what happens to people when they get angry in certain situations – now it’s your turn! What would you like to do differently after reading about the anger episode? See if you can’t identify the stages of the next anger episode you experience. Can you observe and identify the pre-anger conditions, the stressors at play in your life? Can you observe the triggering thoughts, and emotions? Can you stand back and observe them?