How to Catch Anger Before You Lose Your Cool

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In my first post on transforming anger, I spoke about the detriments of anger and how – for your own well-being – it’s virtually never beneficial to act it out.  I also shared two foundational steps to help you dilute the powerful hold anger may have over you:

Step 1:  Don’t Get Mad At Yourself

When you get into a lather, don’t compound it by getting mad at yourself too.  Though you may feel a healthy regret for certain words you’ve spoken or actions you’ve taken, alway accept yourself with love and compassion.  At the same time, commit to transforming your response to anger.

Step 2:  Fully Embrace the Dangers of Anger

Fully convince yourself that acting out anger brings no good whatsoever.  That doesn’t mean you should suppress anger, be afraid of it, or that a spark of anger cannot bring important insights.  It simply means to reflect on the negative effects of anger again and again until you lose your appetite for engaging in it.

Then, you’ll have the impetus to pause and work skillfully with anger when it does arise.  You’ll be able to respond to inner distress and external anger with love, kindness, patience, and tolerance instead of spewing angry words.  This can be accomplished through the practice of reflection.

Read the full details in my first post:  Is Anger Depleting Your Happiness?

Today, we’ll go further and explore:

  • How you can intercept anger before it has you in its clutches
  • The importance of making amends

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Is Anger Depleting Your Happiness?

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It’s easy to be patient and loving when everyone around you acts in a kind and considerate way.  But, what happens when someone treats you unfairly or dumps their anger on you?

It’s not easy to hold your temper, is it?  Before you even know it, anger uncontrollably bursts forth.  Recently, my own patience was tested over a four-month period by a liar and a cheat.  Yes, I know that’s not her fundamental nature, but that’s how she acted out.

For the most part, I stayed calm, communicated clearly, and kept a compassionate perspective.  However, there were moments when anger burned so hot, I thought I would explode.  And, in fact, the steam did spill over onto my innocent husband once or twice, which I regret.

The whole affair showed me I have more training to do when it comes to skillfully working with anger.  So I’m redoubling my commitment to catch anger before it catches me, potentially harming myself or another.

As I dig into the art of patience, I want to share all that I know about transforming anger with you.  So let’s begin!

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