Please read the Part 1 – Understanding Anger before you start using these techniques.
In the following series, I will share two powerful techniques that can help you manage your anger and find out the root causes for your anger as well. If you really want to benefit out of these techniques then the first task you need to do is to prioritize your anger issue. It needs to be given the first priority.
What that means is that, resolving your anger issues take the highest priority over anything else in your life. Any other problem, no matter how big, come second. If you cannot prioritize your anger issue, then these techniques will not work for you.
Technique 1: Thoughts Retracement Technique (TRT)
There are two ways anger bursts out in any of us. Sometimes we face a provoking situation and before we know it we burst out at the person we hold responsible for our anger. In a second situation, we get angry at one person and then we carry it in our heads through the day getting a little angrier at every small problem we face subsequently. Then finally when we can’t take it anymore we just burst out. TRT is for the second scenario.
So you face a provoking situation but you control your anger. Then you continue to carry that anger in your mind. Now you will reach a point when you find that you are not at ease and are in an irritable mood. The moment you detect this mood stop all that you are doing and start tracing your thoughts backwards. Go backwards in your memory over the events of your day. Soon you will reach the trigger event i.e., the situation where you first became angry.
Once you reach that situation, just make a strong decision in your mind that if at all you are going to get angry you will do that in a similar situation or with the person who you got angry with in the trigger event. By making this decision, you will find that your irritable mood changes immediately and you can carry on the day’s events efficiently.
As I said this is a very powerful technique to stop your anger from spreading. But it works only when you prioritize your anger as the most important issue to resolve. When you give your anger problem the top priority two things happen. One, you become very aware of your thoughts and moods – especially all the angry ones. So the moment anger comes into your head, you are instantly aware of it and you can apply the technique faster. Two, when you make the decision to keep your anger confined to the root event, it actually works. Your angry mood comes down and you will not show this anger on others unnecessarily.
TRT can surprise you many times in that when you go to the trigger event, you will be surprised that you actually got angry in that situation while your conscious mind knew nothing about it.
At times, TRT can even release anger from the root event. There will be times when you hit the trigger event you will find it so silly, on retrospect, that your anger simply vanishes. You will not even get angry with the person you hold responsible.
Sometimes when you start retracing your thoughts back to the origin you will hit an event where your anger wasn’t there at all. Still, keep following your memories and thoughts backwards. You will eventually hit a past event, perhaps a day earlier too, which is the original trigger event. Your stream of angry thoughts can go subconscious sometimes only to surface up later.
All you have to do on hitting the root event is to make a strong decision that you will confine your anger to the root cause only. Try it and see. It works like magic!
I will share the second technique in the next part. If you want to learn more about how thought streams can continue just below your level of consciousness read this post on Semi-conscious Thoughts.
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