Here are my 7 Secrets to Stop Anger before Anger Stops You: by Jonathan Lockwood Huie
1. Recognize when you are angry: It may not immediately occur to you that you are angry. You know that you have been wronged, and you can see everyone around you take a step back, but especially if you are really angry, it may take a while to gain the clarity to acknowledge your anger. Anger clouds perception and thinking, so make a special effort to spot it early and put it into words, “I am angry.”
2. Breathe deeply: Concentrate on taking slow deep breaths. Sometimes this is all it takes to break out of anger and gain clarity on the issue. At other times, breathing deeply is just a beginning, but it paves the way for the rest of the secrets.
3. Focus your anger: Get clear what you are angry about and who you are angry at. Talk to yourself, “I am angry at Joe because he …” Don’t let your anger expand onto innocent bystanders, especially those trying to help calm you down. Don’t refocus your anger onto everything that Joe has ever done or failed to do.
4. Remember that you are in charge: Anger is an expression of frustration and helplessness. Remember that you always have options – you can design your own life. No one can steal your happiness – unless you let them.
5. Look for the silver lining: There is a silver lining to every disappointment. Your boss fired you and you are furious. Probably it was a blessing. Now you have the opportunity to get a better job that you really enjoy.
6. Consider forgiveness: Angry and happy don’t mix. Flush out the angry, and the happy has a place to put down roots. Forgive everyone for everything in order to give anger and resentment a chance to fade. Forgive and you can become happy. Forgiving is not a gift to someone else – Forgiving is our gift to ourselves – a great gift – the gift of happiness.
7. Accept that Life is NOT “Supposed to be Fair”: Know that there is no single way that life is “supposed” to be. Demanding that life meet our expectations is a sure fire recipe for a miserable existence. Life is a game with no rules. Life just happens to us regardless of our best intentions. To choose happiness, be open to receiving whatever life throws at you – with Gratitude. Have NO Expectations of life.
Stop Anger Before Anger Stops You is adapted from “secret” #24 of Jonathan’s book 100 Secrets for Living a Life You Love.