An anger invitation is anything that we can use as an excuse to get angry. For example, the driver that cuts in front of you; the line at the grocery store that is too long; the coworker who arrives late and leaves early; the grass that keeps growing and needs to be cut. Sometimes these are small things. Some people accept these anger invitations; others learn to say no.
If you think you are angry all the time, here are strategies you can learn to manage your anger and accept fewer anger invitations.
- Deep breathing counteracts the body's stress response that is activated when you get angry. It allows you to think for a moment before you react. Try this exercise: Sit in a chair. Set your feet apart and get comfortable. Breathe in through your nostrils. Hold the air for 3-5 seconds. Let your breath out slowly through your mouth making a "whooshing" sound. Keep inhaling long, slow deep breaths and letting them out in the same way for three minutes.
- Setting limits at home and at works helps you prioritize what is important to you. Then you will know which anger invitations are worth accepting. After all anger can be quite constructive. When used in a healthy way, it allows for positive change. Speaking of positive change...
- Positive communication is one more tool that helps you manage your anger.
- Contact EAP to develop your own anger management strategies.