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FEBRUARY: THE MONTH OF LOVE

“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” —John C. Maxwell

It is very easy to blame others for things that happen in our lives that we don’t like. Children are masters at blaming others. If you were to ask two fighting children who started the argument, they both would inevitably point their fingers at each other without hesitation. Why do children do that? The answer is simple, really: it’s so much easier to blame others than to take responsibility for our own side of the situation.

Some people may wonder why we should even bother to take responsibility for ourselves. Well, the truth is that when we take responsibility for ourselves, we are actually empowering ourselves. When we take responsibility, we are no longer giving our power away to anyone or anything.

The next question then, is—-how do we do take responsibility for ourselves? We do this by being aware of how our own thoughts, feelings, and issues impact the people around us. Once we have this awareness, we can choose certain behaviors that either enhance or hurt ourselves and others. Remember: we always have the power to choose how we think and behave, so we might as well choose those things that create more joy and love in our lives.

Call to Action!

This week, notice the times when you find yourself blaming others. Simply observe your behavior with neutrality and without judgment. How does it feel? Do you feel more or less empowered? Next, see if you can think of an alternative way to think or behave in the same situation, one that brings you a greater sense of inner power. Then go and do it!

FEBRUARY: THE MONTH OF LOVE

“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”
~Sylvia Plath

Many people who struggle with anger often want to know how to deal with this powerful emotion, especially in moments when their anger is at its worst. They want the “magic pill” that will decrease their anger from a 10 to a 1 in 0.5 seconds. Unfortunately, that pill simply does not exist!

What does exist, however, is a simple yet powerful tool which can help greatly reduce your anger: prevention. You’ve heard it before, but it’s true! Prevention is the best medicine, and one of the best ways to prevent your anger from spiraling out of control is learning how to practice stress management.

Why stress management, you may ask? Stress is one of the biggest factors that can negatively impact your anger. Therefore, the more you learn to control your stress, the better chance you have to control your anger. In other words, when you feel calm and relaxed in the moment, it takes a lot to make you angry; on the other hand, when you feel stressed out and frazzled, it doesn’t take much at all to get you riled up!

What’s the key to managing stress, then? Catch it early!! The sooner you notice yourself feeling stressed and the sooner you take action, the more quickly you can reduce your stress and, in turn, your potential for feeling anger. In addition, the stress management techniques you utilize can be on any or all levels, including the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. Choose what’s right for you, and remember….take action as soon as possible.

Call to Action!

This week, choose 2-3 stress reduction techniques that you enjoy. For example, you could try getting a massage, exercising regularly, journaling your feelings, walking in nature, getting rest, and/or breathing slowly. No matter what activities you choose, see if you can do them as soon as you notice the first sign of stress. Take action, and watch your stress melt away….

FEBRUARY: THE MONTH OF LOVE

Don’t hold onto anger, hurt, or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.” — Unknown

Considering the fact that this month is February, the month of love, I couldn’t think of a better time than now to discuss how to deepen in the love that you feel for both yourself and others.

Valentine’s Day is finally here, and while the focus is, of course, on romantic love, I encourage you to broaden your definition of the meaning of love. Let this day simply be a day of love, in ALL its forms. Whether you’re expressing your love with a spouse, a partner, family, friends, or even your pet (!), let your focus be on the way you show up in your world and the way you share your love with others.

One of the best ways to reconnect with your love is through the simple act of forgiveness. It’s tough to feel love when you’re stuck in a feeling of anger, resentment, hurt or pain. Therefore, why not use Valentine’s Day to release any anger you feel toward someone else (or even yourself)?

When you release the energy of anger, hurt, or pain, you’re essentially freeing up space inside, which allows you to connect more fully to the love that already resides within you.

CALL TO ACTION!

Okay, so how do you release your anger and free up that space, you may ask? Well, one way is by writing a letter to someone who elicits negative emotions inside of you. Write the letter with the intention that this person never has to see it! That way, you can write whatever feelings come forward.

When you’re done, burn the letter, and say an affirmation such as, “I free myself from any anger or hurt that I feel or once felt toward this person. I wish him/her only love and joy.” Try this out, and see if you can experience your heart open, just a little bit more.

FEBRUARY: THE MONTH OF LOVE

Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.” —Buddha

The month of February may bring up many emotions for people. After all, it is the month that contains that either beloved or hated holiday we all know as….Valentine’s Day! Those of us in relationships may embrace the holiday of romantic love with open arms (or sometimes not!), while those of who are single may curse the holiday with a raised fist and anger in our hearts.

If you are feeling anger toward the holiday, toward others, or even toward yourself this month, take a break for a moment and remember to breathe! Most likely, you are feeling angry because of the thoughts and/or beliefs you are holding with regard to this time of month. Remember—negative thoughts lead to negative emotions.

For example, one reason you may be feeling angry is because you feel you should have a partner on Valentine’s Day, and if you don’t, you feel less worthy than others. If your thoughts are demanding that you should have a partner, begin by questioning them.

Is it really true that you absolutely must have a partner? Is it possible that now simply isn’t the time for a partner? Or, is it possible you’re simply not ready for a partner at this point in your life? Finally, consider that not having a partner now does not mean that this will always be the case.

In addition, is it true that you are less worthy if you don’t have a partner? Is it possible that having a partner has nothing to do with your own sense of worth? Could it be that your worth is completely intact regardless of any external circumstances, including a partner?

Once you begin questioning these irrational beliefs and replacing them with more rational ones, you will probably start to feel less emotionally charged. Once again—change your thoughts, and you can change your feelings!

Call to Action!

*Once this week, consider being your own partner by taking yourself out on a date. Yes, I’m serious. If you love nice restaurants and flowers, then go ahead and take yourself out to your favorite restaurant, and reward yourself with a beautiful bouquet of flowers afterward! Treating yourself the way you wish a partner would treat you is not only empowering, but it is also self-loving.