When I work with people, I think one of the most important things that come up is their awareness of whether or not they’re having an angry response, and just how it manifests for each person.
The awareness, in my mind, is one of the biggest parts of the battle. Take a look at the list below and check any signs that you experience when angry. Pay close attention to physical warning signs, as these are often the first clues that you are stressed.
Faster heart rate ___
Higher blood pressure ___
Muscle tightness ___
Trembling or twitching ___
Nausea or vomiting ___
Sleep problems ___
Shallow breathing ___
Physical cues involve the way your body responds when you become angry. For example, your heart rate may increase, you may feel tightness in your muscles, or you may feel hot and flushed. These physical cues also warn you that your anger is escalating and may become out of control. If you can learn to identify these cues when they occur in response to an anger-provoking event, then you can take steps to soothe yourself. Can you identify some of the physical cues that you have experienced when you have become angry?
Apathy (Lack of interest) ___
Emotional cues involve other feelings that may occur concurrently with your anger. For example, you may become angry when you feel abandoned, afraid, discounted, disrespected, guilty, humiliated, impatient, insecure, jealous, or rejected. These kinds of feelings are the core or primary feelings that underlie our secondary feeling of anger. It is easy to discount these primary feelings because they often make us feel vulnerable. An important component of anger management is to become aware of, and to recognize, the primary feelings that underlie your anger. Can you identify some of the primary feelings that you have experienced during an episode of anger?