Awareness of Anger Triggers
It’s important to notice the signal cues your body gives you when you start to feel angry. If you are aware of these signals you have a much better chance of managing your anger before automatically functioning out of your Primitive Brain. What are some of your internal anger cues?
External triggers are what happens to you, like when someone verbally put you down. Internal triggers are the messages you give yourself, or thoughts that get you all worked up. They are sometimes based on assumptions, incorrect information, or dysfunctional thinking.
For some people it is difficult to decide on their anger triggers. Triggers could be a thought, a behavior, or an event here are some examples
Thought (internal) : whenever James thinks of his bosses self-serving demands, he feels angry.
Behavior (external) : Janine feels enraged when her father points his finger at her.
Event (external) : whenever Kyle’s favorite sports team loses he becomes hostile and angry with those around him.
What internal thought triggers do you deal with?
What external behavior triggers do you deal with?
What external event triggers do you deal with?
Example: If you know that going grocery shopping on Saturdays is a trigger for you because the store is crowded, then instead of getting angry talk to your part about finding an alternative. They might even be happy to do it for you and all you had to do is ask.
This may sound simple, and it is! If you want to avoid the anger then you want to be self-aware, and willing to make the effort to change something, in this case talking about the situation. Determining your anger triggers is the first step to self awareness in recovery.
Try the following anger awareness exercise. Draw an iceberg showing just the tip above the water line. Label the tip of the iceberg “Anger”
Think about a recent situation in your anger log
Write what you did with your anger in the space above the water line.
What behavior choices did you make to deal with your anger? What happened as a result?
What were any underlying feelings? Write them beneath the water line
Was the problem solved? Do you still need to tell the people involved how you felt?
Evaluate your choices. What might have happened if you had chosen an assertive response to deal with your anger?