7 Powerful Coping Skills to Become an Anger Management Ninja
Sometimes things don’t go your way. It’s life. You didn’t get the promotion, your team missed a milestone, your child decided to color on the walls instead of paper or your presidential candidate lost the election.
If you’re human, when the sh*t hits, you probably experience a moment (or two, or ten) of anger and frustration. For some people, their angry thoughts turn to rage like an uncontrollable fire. If you don’t want to leave a path of destruction in your wake, coping skills are your BFF.
As a grown up, you can’t throw a tantrum or slam the nearest object against the wall every time you feel the flare of anger rising from within. What you can do 100% of the time is reach into your cadre of coping skills and regulate your response.
People Are Watching Even When You Think They’re Not
When we first moved to my current home, my children and I went out to the store to get a drink and a treat. It was hot; I had boatloads of unpacking to do, and they were slow and wanted to explore. Eventually, I lost my temper and told them to MOVE! NOW!
The next week I went to a job interview and the first thing the CEO of the organization said to me was “I know you. I saw you out shopping with your kids this weekend…”
I was horrified. He laughed it off and said he’d been there many times, but I never wanted to be there again. I could do better and so can you.
Knowing and Doing are Two Different Things
Yes, this article has seven coping skills that are proven to work. However, the hardest choice you have to make is to use them. When you’re upset and frustrated, it can quickly become a runaway train that feels unstoppable. The best time to engage your coping skills is when your anger is leaving the station, not when it’s barreling towards sure destruction.
If you want to be an Anger Management Ninja, you have to practice. A headache, right? Practicing coping skills? The truth is, in the moment, you’ll never make choices that feel uncomfortable and foreign. If you do, it will just piss you off even more. Get to know these strategies now, so when you need them, you can call on them like your personal pair of anger blasting nunchucks.
7 Powerful Coping Skills to Master and Become an Anger Management Ninja
1. Walk Away
When you feel your blood start to boil, excuse yourself. Step into another room or the hall or get a coffee. Walking away will give you space before an uncontrollable explosion a moment alone to use other coping skills on this list.
2. Take a 10,000 Foot View
In the thick of things, it’s impossible to see a way forward. Get in a mental helicopter or take an inner hike to a top of a mountain. Look at your situation from this new perspective where you can look down as an outsider from the stress, pain or frustration of the moment. The mental distance between you and your circumstances helps to create an objective response instead of an automatic anger response.
3. Do Something Else
Play Candy Crush or your smartphone game of choice. Take out your knitting or look at pictures from your last vacation. Do something that you enjoy doing and only takes a few minutes. While you’re at it, make the conscious choice not to fume or replay the anger inciting moment, but instead be present with what’s in front of you now.
4. Guided Relaxation
If you are somewhere you can lie down, or at least privately sit somewhere comfortable, you can do a quick guided relaxation. When you’re angry, your body’s response is to tighten and internalize the stress you’re feeling. Close your eyes and start at the top of your head imagining a warm blue (or pick your favorite color) liquid flowing through you. Slowly move it down your body and through each of your limbs ending with your toes. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to get into the flow and reap the benefits.
A Skill for Advisors to Master to Keep Clients for Life
There's one key approach that makes you invaluable to your clients so they want to stay with you for the long-term.
You have to genuinely be interested in people.
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