Anger is normal and a healthy response. It is the way we manage anger that becomes problematic.
Healthy shows and uses of anger are misunderstood, stigmatized and often vary by culture and family. Some displays and uses of anger are useful and lead to healing and motivation, others become repetitive patterns of avoidance or aggression, passive or otherwise.
Passion and variances in affect are often interpreted wrongly as anger, just as passive-aggressive or aggressive, harmful, anger displays are sometimes excused as normal or to-be-expected in certain groups and genders or are stereotyped as a part of some activities, sports or roles.
The following is a good anger worksheet and anger log that can help you understand your own anger and how to begin to modify how you use and display it. Thanks to Pine Rest Christian Hospital and The 10th Annual Michigan Substance Abuse Convention for some of this information.
- What things, persons or events, over which you have no control, do you keep trying to control?
- What do you do to try and control this person/situation?
- What is the consequence of your struggle to control the uncontrollable?
- The one situation that frequently resulted in my becoming angry was:
- List at least 3 factors or conditions that seem to influence your anger.
- List 5 anger cues or signals. These are the warning signs that tell you, or others, that you are beginning to “lose it”.
- What are the Physical Signs?
Clenched jaw, fists
Raising your voice
Becoming quiet, withdrawing
- What Else?
- Remember: Anger causes 178 chemical changes in the brain.
Adrenaline numbs the frontal lobe of the brain-the seat of our thinking capacities
Use to track individual anger display episodes.
- What Happened?
- Why did you get angry?
- Rate anger on scale from 1 – 10
- What body signals did you notice?
- What thoughts did you have?
- What were you feeling?
- What were your actions?
- What were your choices?
- What, if anything, would you do different next time?