Anger Management Counseling
Anger management counseling can take many different forms and take an individual in a number of different directions.
An anger management counselor might begin with basic educational information, for example, about the purpose of the feeling of anger.
Anger does serve a purpose. It is the energy we use to solve problems. Unfortunately, if we let it go too far, become too intense, then we are dealing with the feeling of rage, and we have moved our bodies into the flight or fight physiology. By the way, this physiology is useful if I am actually threatened, (and can pick the most appropriate of the three choices).
However, fight or flight chemistry in response to the gas bill is inappropriate. Skewering the gas bill will only tear the paper, not kill the dragon.
In fight or flight, I have three behavioral options, run for my life, fight for my life, or freeze.
In order to create some other options, I need to calm down.
There are several ways to do that.
I can take my pulse, and if it is over 100 bears per minute, I need to take a time out, do my HeartMath, go for a walk, change my thinking to change my thought, listen to a relaxation tape, or practice my deep breathing.
HeartMath or heart rate variability biofeedback is an excellent tool to use, not just for anger management, but as a lifestyle tool.
HeartMath is a program for use on your PC which is very simple to use and allows you to train the time between your heart beats. If the time between heart beats, which probably already feels very coherent to you, is actually coherent to the 100th second or 1000th of a second, the hormonal bath inside your body changes from stress hormones to DHEA, the anti-aging hormone.
What is so excellent about HeartMath as an anger management tool is that it takes so few practices to learn, and once I have learned it, I can cue the response anytime I want, just to feel good.
How is it that I can learn how to manage the time between my heartbeats?
Well, the heart actually has a very sophisticated nervous system of its own, a brain if you will, and it can and does sense information, and the heart sends much more information to the brain in your cranium than that brain sends to the heart.
It turns out that when we manage the heart rate variability effectively, we open the higher perceptual centers in the brain, and are free to brain storm solutions.
Those higher perceptual systems are not available when my heart rate variability is incoherent, when I am stressed.
How to use the HeartMath tool when away from the computer?
1. If you are recognizing that you are stressed, switch the focus away from the external to the internal, the area around your heart.
2. Breathe deeply ten times, breathing the cool, soothing breathe through your heart. (Of course, you are pretending)
3. Remember a positive fun time and try to re-experience it. Remember it with some detail.
4. Now ask your heart, "What would be a less stressful way to handle this situation in the future?"
5. Listen for your heart's answer.
Your heart's intelligence is cooperative and affiliative, and it will offer you a solution which is cooperative and affiliative for that external situation, which is a win-win situation.
Once you have mastered HeartMath for anger management, or stress management, then you can use it for Peak Performance. What is it that the best golfers in the world know about the importance of heart rate variability coherence?
Cognitive-Behavioral Anger Management Counseling
If you are an individual who manages his emotions through cognitions or thinking, then this particular style of of anger management counseling will work very well for you.
Just remember that my perceptions happen very rapidly, and my physiology can change in 1/18th second, which is twice as fast as I can blink my eyes.
Simply by changing the thought, we can change how we feel.
Identifying automatic thoughts and disputing them allow us to reduce or change our internal experience or emotion.
Automatic thoughts are simple little rules that I have learned to cue up in my head to help me explain certain circumstances or situations, and they often cast me in the role of victim, as if you are acting against me.
If I remember an automatic thought, and do not examine it, I get some payoffs; I get to take revenge and I am not responsible.
So, the Cognitive/Behavioral model of anger management counseling will involve teaching me to examine my automatic thoughts, and dispute them. Perhaps I will even learn to create a balancing thought.
Breathing is the cheapest and quickest way to manage physiology and anger and even create contentment.
I love to ask my anger management clients how much it costs them to breathe deeply. They are chagrined to answer that breathing is free so far.
Attention to breath is the key to managing emotions. I switch my focus to the breath, breathing in to a count of three and out to a count of three, and keep going until my physiology changes.
It is actually inspiring isn't it?
If I teach myself to practice deep breathing regularly, I will begin to live a mindful life, which is good thing for the health.
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