Managing Anger and Anxiety (Part 2)
By Tyvon Foster
In the last blog, the psychological processes of anger and anxiety, the big question, and physiological responses were discussed. However, the are many more ways to properly and effectively manage anger and anxiety, which will be discussed in this blog.
For those how have a difficulty time identifying their unmet need, writing a journal or log can be of great help.
The purpose of writing a journal or “anger/anxiety log” is to record the event that triggered the emotional response, when it happened, the intensity of the emotional response (on a scale of 1 to 10), the intensity of the behavioral response (using the same scale), and what thoughts did you have in relation to the triggering event. In REBT, the triggering event would be called the antecedent. Journaling is often a recommended tool to observe any patterns of behavior or negative thinking.
Another skill is the use of language. For all of my linguistics, language is a powerful weapon, and words due have their objective meanings. In this context, the use of language influences certain thought patterns that can lead to anger responses or anxiety. If you say to yourself “person A should do X because of the nature of our relationship (parent, spouse, take your pick), you may very well be setting yourself up to be angry and /or anxious. The word that specifically evokes those emotions is should. Should means to have an obligation or duty. The red flag here is that it creates the idea that person A doesn’t have a choice and that doing otherwise is not to be considered, without considering other possible actions can person can choose to do. Thinking someone should do X leaves you disregarding that people are individuals with their own thought processes and beliefs. Instead, I recommend thinking to yourself you would prefer if person A did X. Here, a preference indicates and advocates to get your needs met, but it also acknowledges that person A may not meet your needs and that’s ok. Especially since in the last blog, you would be asking yourself the big question.