Thinking influences

Thinking influences our feelings through the things that we say to ourselves. Unhelpful thoughts can add fuel to the fire and play a large role in keeping anger going after the event has passed. However, using helpful self-statements (or ‘cooling thoughts’) can be a good way to manage our anger and guide our behavior. brainmpExamples of these include:

  • Chill out
  • Calm down
  • Breathe away the anger
  • Don’t yell
  • Don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you angry
  • It’s not worth it
  • Give them a chance to have a say

 To use this strategy we need to break anger into several stages:

  • Getting ready for provocation: when we know we are going to face something that will make us angry.
  • During the event: early signs of anger are cues to use coping strategies.
  • Coping with stress: early attempts at anger management may not be successful.
  • Reflecting on provocation: time to evaluate the effect of the experience on you, continue coping or give self praise.


Preparing for a provoking situations

  • This is going to upset me but I know how to deal with it
  • What is it that I have to do?
  • Stick to the issues and don’t take it personally
  • Try not to take this too seriously
  • Time for a few deep breaths of relaxation
  • Easy does it, remember to keep your sense of humor

During the event

  • Stay calm, just continue to relax
  • Think of what you want to get out of this
  • There is no point in getting mad
  • It’s really a shame that she has to act like this
  • If I start to get mad I’ll just be banging my head against the wall
  • What he says doesn’t matter. I’m on top of this situation and it’s under control

Coping with stress

  • My muscles are starting to feel tight, time to relax and slow things down
  • It’s just not worth it to get so angry
  • Time to take a deep breath
  • Try to reason it out. Treat each other with respect
  • He’d probably like me to get really angry. Well I’m going to disappoint him Leaving the anger and looking back
  • Try to shake it off. Don’t let it interfere with your job
  • Remember relaxation, it’s a lot better than anger
  • I handled that pretty well. It worked!
  • It could have been a lot worse
  • My pride can sure get me into trouble, but when I don’t take things too seriously, I’m better off

About RichardB

I am trained and work as a Creative Arts Therapist. I have passionately studied, worked, and taught as a hands-on practitioner of the Creative/Expressive and Healing Arts since 1983. I have integrated trainings in modalities which include Swedish Massage, Jin Shin Do, Trager Work, Hatha Yoga, Gestalt Therapy, Halprin Method, Group Creative Arts Therapy, Tai Chi, Meditation, Motional Processing, Rituals, Interfaith Celebrations, Progressive Early Childhood and Adult Education, Addiction and Recovery Services, Counseling and Psychotherapy, Dance/Movement Therapy. I currently provide Creative Arts and Counseling services to a local nonprofit agency as well as teaching local classes and workshops. I use compassion and acceptance to create an environment that is safe and nurturing for individual clients and/or groups.
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