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Thinking influences our feelings through the things that we say to ourselves. Unhelpful thoughts can add fuel to the fire and play a large role in keeping anger going after the event has passed. However, using helpful self-statements (or ‘cooling thoughts’) can be a good way to manage our anger and guide our behavior. brainmpExamples of these include:

  • Chill out
  • Calm down
  • Breathe away the anger
  • Don’t yell
  • Don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you angry
  • It’s not worth it
  • Give them a chance to have a say

 To use this strategy we need to break anger into several stages:

  • Getting ready for provocation: when we know we are going to face something that will make us angry.
  • During the event: early signs of anger are cues to use coping strategies.
  • Coping with stress: early attempts at anger management may not be successful.
  • Reflecting on provocation: time to evaluate the effect of the experience on you, continue coping or give self praise.


Preparing for a provoking situations

  • This is going to upset me but I know how to deal with it
  • What is it that I have to do?
  • Stick to the issues and don’t take it personally
  • Try not to take this too seriously
  • Time for a few deep breaths of relaxation
  • Easy does it, remember to keep your sense of humor

During the event

  • Stay calm, just continue to relax
  • Think of what you want to get out of this
  • There is no point in getting mad
  • It’s really a shame that she has to act like this
  • If I start to get mad I’ll just be banging my head against the wall
  • What he says doesn’t matter. I’m on top of this situation and it’s under control

Coping with stress

  • My muscles are starting to feel tight, time to relax and slow things down
  • It’s just not worth it to get so angry
  • Time to take a deep breath
  • Try to reason it out. Treat each other with respect
  • He’d probably like me to get really angry. Well I’m going to disappoint him Leaving the anger and looking back
  • Try to shake it off. Don’t let it interfere with your job
  • Remember relaxation, it’s a lot better than anger
  • I handled that pretty well. It worked!
  • It could have been a lot worse
  • My pride can sure get me into trouble, but when I don’t take things too seriously, I’m better off