It is useful to develop an awareness of the signs that you are feeling anger. Everyone is different. Your body is like a thermometer, and will typically exhibit signs that anger is around (this is why it is useful to maintain an observing awareness of what your body is feeling, and what thoughts are around).
- Signs that anger is around can be found physically in your body: Tightness in the chest and shoulders, increased heart rate or blood pressure, clenching teeth or fists, sweating, pounding in the head, shaking, even a sense of dizziness.
- Signs that anger is around can be found in your thoughts: Sense of injustice—'it's unfair,' sense of righteousness—'it's not right,' 'they don't know what they are talking about,' thoughts of blame—‘it's your fault,' jumbled or confused thoughts—'I want them to go away,' 'leave me alone,' 'if only,' discounting thoughts—'what do they know,' depersonalising thoughts—name calling, swearing in your head.
- Signs that anger is around can be in found in your voice and how you speak: Change in tone of voice, becoming short, raising your voice, becoming more directive in what you are saying, becoming personal rather than staying on topic, using sarcasm, swearing, calling people names, starting sentences with 'you' or 'if you don't'.
- Signs that anger is around can be found in your behaviour, standing up, starting to pace, moving towards, removing, or isolating yourself, pushing things out of the way.
Note: The challenge for us all is to develop awareness that anger is around prior to it translating into an action through verbal or physical aggression.
What are your hot spots?
It is useful to have an awareness of the types of situations, comments, and behaviours that stimulate anger in your life. We all have our hot spots. For you it might be about the way certain people act or talk. Anger might come around if you experience being discounted or ignored, or when people treat children badly. It might appear in relation to particular places or style, or if you witness someone standing over or pressuring someone.
- What are your signs that anger is around?
- Where do you feel anger in your body?
- What thoughts are around?
- What do you find yourself saying?
- What do you do?
- What are your hot spots?
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