Ever had that moment when a difficult client or person threatens your restraint? In that moment emotions are running high and there is a strong temptation to give in to our feelings of anger. We spend most our lives at work and it is inevitable that we might feel angry at a person or a situation at a given time. The American Psychological Association has collated a list of useful steps for controlling your anger which may come in handy during trying times at work (according to research on our responses to anger):
Try Relaxation Tools like deep breaths and positive imagery: Breathe deeply from your diaphragm and imagine a moment or an experience where you felt quite positive or upbeat.
Cognitive Restructuring: Change your thinking from passively negative and focus on constructive thinking. Attempt to think logically i.e. reframe your thoughts into possible actions in line with your goals.
Problem-Solving: If your anger results from a seemingly difficult situation with no solution on the horizon, make a plan. This will give you a sense of progress which might ease feelings of frustration.
Communicate Better:Instead of jumping to conclusions, try thinking of the most productive way to voice your frustration. Play devil’s advocate; imagine yourself as a third party or idle observer and think about how you may come across.
Use Humour:Don’t laugh at the problem, but mock the environment or imagine yourself in a cartoon frame and visualise what you look like in that state as a means to not take yourself too seriously.
Change Your Environment:Get some fresh air or take a break from the situation, try to delay your immediate reaction.
They may not solve all the problems in the world but they may stop you from a regret or two.
This blog post is based on an original article by the American Psychological Association which can be found here http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/controlling-anger.aspx