Tag Archives: Stress

Anger Management – Tips #3 & #4

Anger Management Tips

Anger management tip 3: Learn ways to cool down

Once you know how to recognize the warning signs that your temper is rising and anticipate your triggers, you can act quickly to deal with your anger before it spins out of control.  There are many techniques that can help you cool down and keep your anger in check.

Quick tips for cooling down

  • Focus on the physical sensations of anger.  While it may seem counterintuitive, tuning into the way your body feels when you’re angry often lessens the emotional intensity of your anger.
  • Take some deep breaths.  Deep, slow breathing helps counteract rising tension.  The key is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible into your lungs.
  • Exercise.  A brisk walk around the block is a great idea.  It releases pent-up energy so you can approach the situation with a cooler head.
  • Use your senses.  Take advantage of the relaxing power of your sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste.  You might try listening to music or picturing yourself in a favorite place.
  • Stretch or massage areas of tension.  Roll your shoulders if you are tensing them, for example, or gently massage your neck and scalp.
  • Slowly count to ten.  Focus on the counting to let your rational mind catch up with your feelings.  If you still feel out of control by the time you reach ten, start counting again.

Give yourself a reality check

When you start getting upset about something, take a moment to think about the situation.  Ask yourself:

  • How important is it in the grand scheme of things?
  • Is it really worth getting angry about it?
  • Is it worth ruining the rest of my day?
  • Is my response appropriate to the situation?
  • Is there anything I can do about it?
  • Is taking action worth my time?

Anger management tip 4: Find healthier ways to express your anger

If you’ve decided that the situation is worth getting angry about and there’s something you can do to make it better, the key is to express your feelings in a healthy way.  When communicated respectfully and channeled effectively, anger can be a tremendous source of energy and inspiration for change.

Pinpoint what you’re really angry about

Have you ever gotten into an argument over something silly?  Big fights often happen over something small, like a dish left out or being ten minutes late.  But there’s usually a bigger issue behind it. If you find your irritation and anger rapidly rising, ask yourself “What am I really angry about?”  Identifying the real source of frustration will help you communicate your anger better, take constructive action, and work towards a resolution.

Take five if things get too heated

If your anger seems to be spiraling out of control, remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes or for as long as it takes you to cool down.  A brisk walk, a trip to the gym, or a few minutes listening to some music should allow you to calm down, release pent-up emotion, and then approach the situation with a cooler head.

Always fight fair

It’s okay to be upset at someone, but if you don’t fight fair, the relationship will quickly break down.  Fighting fair allows you to express your own needs while still respecting others.

  •  Make the relationship your priority.  Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority.  Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint.
  •  Focus on the present.  Once you are in the heat of arguing, it’s easy to start throwing past grievances into the mix.  Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the present to solve the problem.
  •  Choose your battles.  Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy.  If you pick your battles rather than fighting over every little thing, others will take you more seriously when you are upset.
  •  Be willing to forgive.  Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive.  Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives.
  •  Know when to let something go.  If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree.  It takes two people to keep an argument going.  If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.

Source: helpguide.org

Anger Management – Tips #1 & #2

Anger Management Tips

Anger management tip 1: Explore what’s really behind your anger

If you’re struggling with out-of-control anger, you may be wondering why your fuse is so short. Anger problems often stem from what you’ve learned as a child. If you watched others in your family scream, hit each other, or throw things, you might think this is how anger is supposed to be expressed. Traumatic events and high levels of stress can make you more susceptible to anger as well.

Anger is often a cover-up for other feelings

In order to get your needs met and express your anger in appropriate ways, you need to be in touch with what you are really feeling. Are you truly angry? Or is your anger masking other feelings such as embarrassment, insecurity, hurt, shame, or vulnerability?

If your knee-jerk response in many situations is anger, it is very likely that your temper is covering up your true feelings and needs. This is especially likely if you grew up in a family where expressing feelings was strongly discouraged. As an adult, you may have a hard time acknowledging feelings other than anger.

Clues that there’s something more to your anger

  • You have a hard time compromising. Is it hard for you to understand other people’s points of view, and even harder to concede a point? If you grew up in a family where anger was out of control, you may remember how the angry person got his or her way by being the loudest and most demanding. Compromising might bring up scary feelings of failure and vulnerability.
  • You have trouble expressing emotions other than anger. Do you pride yourself on being tough and in control, never letting your guard down? Do you feel that emotions like fear, guilt, or shame don’t apply to you? Everyone has those emotions, and if you think you don’t, you may be using anger as a cover for them.
  • You view different opinions and viewpoints as a personal challenge to you. Do you believe that your way is always right and get angry when others disagree? If you have a strong need to be in control or a fragile ego, you may interpret other perspectives as a challenge to your authority, rather than simply a different way of looking at things.

If you are uncomfortable with many emotions, disconnected, or stuck on an angry one-note response to everything, it might do you some good to get back in touch with your feelings. Emotional awareness is the key to self-understanding and success in life. Without the ability to recognize, manage, and deal with the full range of human emotions, you’ll inevitably spin into confusion, isolation, and self-doubt.

Anger management tip 2: Be aware of your anger warning signs and triggers

While you might feel that you just explode into anger without warning, in fact, there are physical warning signs in your body. Anger is a normal physical response. It fuels the “fight or flight” system of the body, and the angrier you get, the more your body goes into overdrive. Becoming aware of your own personal signs that your temper is starting to boil allows you to take steps to manage your anger before it gets out of control.

Pay attention to the way anger feels in your body

  • Knots in your stomach
  • Clenching your hands or jaw
  • Feeling clammy or flushed
  • Breathing faster
  • Headaches
  • Pacing or needing to walk around
  • “Seeing red”
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Pounding heart
  • Tensing your shoulders

Identify the negative thought patterns that trigger your temper

You may think that external things—the insensitive actions of other people, for example, or frustrating situations—are what cause your anger. But anger problems have less to do with what happens to you than how you interpret and think about what happened. Common negative thinking patterns that trigger and fuel anger include:

  • Overgeneralizing.  For example, “You always interrupt me. You NEVER consider my needs. EVERYONE disrespects me. I NEVER get the credit I deserve.”
  • Obsessing on “shoulds” and “musts”.  Having a rigid view of the way things should or must be and getting angry when reality doesn’t line up with this vision.
  • Mind reading and jumping to conclusions.  Assuming you “know” what someone else is thinking or feeling—that he or she intentionally upset you, ignored your wishes, or disrespected you.
  • Collecting straws.  Looking for things to get upset about, usually while overlooking or blowing past anything positive. Letting these small irritations build and build until you reach the “final straw” and explode, often over something relatively minor.
  • Blaming.  When anything bad happens or something goes wrong, it’s always someone else’s fault. You blame others for the things that happen to you rather than taking responsibility for your own life.

Avoid people, places, and situations that bring out your worst

Stressful events don’t excuse anger, but understanding how these events affect you can help you take control of your environment and avoid unnecessary aggravation. Look at your regular routine and try to identify activities, times of day, people, places, or situations that trigger irritable or angry feelings. Maybe you get into a fight every time you go out for drinks with a certain group of friends. Or maybe the traffic on your daily commute drives you crazy. Then think about ways to avoid these triggers or view the situation differently so it doesn’t make your blood boil.

NEVER Shake A Baby

When Your Baby Won’t Stop Crying

Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when a baby is shaken. The blood vessels in a baby’s head cannot tolerate the impact of shaking and can break.

  • Each year about 1,000 children die from Shaken Baby Syndrome.
  • Death, brain damage, mental retardation, seizures, or blindness may result from shaking a baby.
  • Shaking usually happens when parents or caregivers become frustrated or angry when they are not able to stop the baby from crying.
  • Shaken baby syndrome is 100% preventable.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Comforting a crying baby: Know when to seek help

If the stress or crying becomes more than you can stand, or if you feel like shaking, hitting or harming your baby in any way, call for help immediately.

In the U.S.:

  • 24-Hour Parent Helpline: 1-888-435-7553
  • Crying Baby Hotline: 1-866-243-2229
  • Fussy Baby Warmline: 1-888-431-BABY

In the UK:

  • Parentline: 0808 800 2222
  • Parent Lifeline: 0114 272 6575

In Australia:

  • Parentline: 1300 30 1300

In Canada:

  • Parent Help Line: 1-800-668-6868

If you constantly feel overwhelmed and the feeling doesn’t go away, you probably need some outside help. Additionally, if you are feeling like you can’t pick up on your baby’s cues or your baby isn’t alert enough to engage in the early milestone behaviors, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Problems that are identified right away can almost always be solved.

Special circumstances that might require professional help

Physical, mental, or emotional challenges at birth, or soon after, are often traumatic to an infant and can cause your baby’s nervous system to get “stuck.” A nervous system that is stuck will probably have difficulty with regulation, which means the baby will have a hard time settling down.

Special or traumatic circumstances that might cause problems include:

  • Premature birth
  • Difficult or traumatic birth
  • Medical problems or disability
  • Adoption or separation from primary caregiver

Where to go for help when your baby won’t stop crying

If your baby is crying or upset often, or unresponsive, you should seek help from your pediatrician or a child development specialist. Your pediatrician should be able to recommend a specialist in early infant behaviors to help you figure out if there is a problem and what to do about it. Alternately, contact the pediatrics branch in your local hospital and ask about services in your area, such as:

  • Parenting skills classes. Available in many areas, coaching and education for parents and caregivers can build necessary parenting skills and offer support and advice.
  • Support groups. Run by peers rather than professionals, support groups provide a safe environment to share experiences, advice, encouragement, and coping strategies for parents of babies who won’t stop crying.

Source: helpguide.org

Stress Relief Pages on Our Site

Poster for Child Abuse Prevention Month
Child Abuse Prevention Month

We hope everyone is having a great friday, we just ask that you all drive safe so your weekend will be enjoyable and filled with quality time

We would like to tell all of Our Circle that we are in the process of opening our “Stress Relief” pages on our website.  Stress leads to anger, and if left unchecked it can destroy a loving relationship in a matter of minutes.

If you will look under the menu option “Welcome To Our Home”, you will now notice the sub-menu option “Stress Relief”.  As of this moment we have 1 page up, but we have something special to debut.  We hope you like it….

Make quick stress relief a habit

Stress Relief
Stress Relief in the Moment

As much as I dislike having to tell you this, I would much rather you hear it from me now, than realize it on your own at some point later in life. There are NO Super Parents, only human parents; Good Parents and Less-than Good Parents. I believe in recognizing stress within yourself, and identifying your bodies stress response, relieving stress will not only make you feel better, but take you one step closer to being the Super Good Parent.

Let’s get real. It’s not easy to remember to use our senses in the middle of a mini—or not so mini—crisis. At first, it will feel easier to just give into pressure and tense up. The truth is, quick stress relief takes practice, practice, and more practice. But with time, calling upon your senses will become second nature. Here’s how to make it habit:

Learning to use your senses to quickly manage stress is a little like learning to drive or to play golf. You don’t master the skill in one lesson; you have to practice until it becomes second nature. Once you have a variety of sensory tools you can depend on, you’ll be able to handle even the toughest of situations.

  • Start small. Instead of testing your quick stress relief tools on a source of major stress, start with a predictable low-level source of stress, like cooking dinner at the end of the day or sitting down to balance your checkbook.
  • Identify and target. Think of just one low-level stressor that you know will occur several times a week, such as commuting. Vow to target that particular stressor with quick stress relief every time. After a few weeks, target a second stressor. After a few weeks more, target a third stressor and so on.
  • Test-drive sensory input. Experiment with as much sensory input as possible. If you are practicing quick stress relief on your commute to work, bring a scented handkerchief with you one day, try music another day, and try a movement the next day.
  • Make “have fun” your motto. If something doesn’t work, don’t force it. Move on until you find your best fit.
  • Talk about it. Verbalizing your quick stress relief work will help integrate it into your life. It’s bound to start a fascinating conversation—everyone relates to the topic of stress.

Quick acting stress-relieving tips

The best part of quick stress relief is the awareness that you have control over your surroundings. Even if you share a work area, you can personalize your space to serve as a “stress prevention zone” or to put quick stress relief within arm’s reach. We all have our stress hotspots. Where are yours?

Quick stress relief at home

  • Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident instead of stiff and uncomfortable.
  • Kitchen. Cool the kitchen commotion by breathing in the scent of every ingredient you use—even if you’re just opening cans. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.
  • Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by breathing and squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands then breathe in the scent.
  • Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.
  • Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy and organize. Paint the walls with a fresh coat of your favorite calming color. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light whenever possible.

Quick stress relief at work

  • Meetings. During stressful sessions, stay connected to your breath. Massage the tips of your fingers. Wiggle your toes. Sip coffee.
  • On the phone. Inhale something energizing, like lemon, ginger, peppermint or coffee beans. While talking, stand up or pace back and forth to burn off excess energy. Conduct phone business outside when possible.
  • On the computer. Work standing up. Do knee-bends in 10-minute intervals. Wrap a soft scarf around your neck. Suck on a peppermint.
  • Lunch breaks. Take a walk around the block or in the parking lot. Listen to soothing music while eating. Have a quick chat with someone you love.
  • Your workspace. Place family photos on your desk and display images and mementos that remind you of your life outside the office.