There are a million opportunities these days to lose your cool!
- Your kiddo is way over on screen time, and in her zombie-like state, she hasn't heard your three demands to step away from the device.
- Your 8-year-old just threw a ball in the house and missed the light fixture by about a centimeter, but it hit his sister on the way down and now they are yelling at each other again.
- You haven't had a break in ages and your tolerance for small irritations is nonexistent.
If that sounds familiar, you are not alone. In this two-part blog, we'll look at your triggers and how to stay calm when you feel your temperature rising.
The first step is to identify the triggers that make your skin crawl, then we'll reframe those triggers to help you keep your calm.
To begin, look over the list below. Rate each one from 0 - 5 (0 means no stress at all and 5 is when you’ve totally lost it).
- Feeling rushed
- Feeling ignored
- Feeling trapped
- Feeling disrespected
- Being hungry
- Getting bad news
- Feeling pressured
- Seeing pain
- Experiencing pain
- Loud noises
- Losing (a game, an argument)
- Sense of unfairness
- Too much touch/clinginess
- Weakness (in yourself or child)
- Too much to do
- Feelings of failure
- Hearing harsh words/cursing
- Being criticized
- Not knowing what to do
- When things to go to plan
- Getting interrupted
After you've rated each of the potential triggers above, write down what situations bring about these responses.
Now that you've identified your triggers and what situations trigger your anger, let's work on reframing your triggers.
The first thing you want to do is to go a little deeper and pull up a memory of being triggered.
Create a space for yourself to do that and answer the following questions.
What Triggered you?
Recall a time you were triggered: e.g. My child never listens or does what I say.
What did you feel?
What sensations do you feel in your body, what emotions do you have? e.g. I'm so frustrated. I want to scream and stomp and make my child listen.
Roots and Causes
What does this remind you of? What past experiences or messages could have led to this trigger? e.g. I always got annoyed when my mom gave me tasks. I ignored her and she gave up asking. Maybe I received the message that moms don't deserve to be heard.
How Can You Reframe?
What positive way would you like to feel or react next time? e.g. I could spend a minute or two hanging out with my child and then ask them to do the task. We could try doing the task together.
Now that you've gone through this process, you have a good place to start in changing any patterns around anger and yelling you might have. Try these exercises out for two weeks. I welcome you to share your experiences in the comments below. In the next blog, I'll offer part 2 of conquering anger and yelling as I share eight ways for you to get calm once you've already been triggered and are about to explode...or maybe you already have!