Part 3: Self-awareness techniques
There are several techniques that can be utilized to help one become more self-aware. Below are some examples:
Take some “me time”.
Intentionally tune out your responsibilities and stressors. It may be helpful to schedule this “me time” so that it is not something that you pass up unintentionally during busy days. The “me time” can be spent doing whatever you’d like such as exercise, sports, reading, a hobby, etc. The idea here is to separate yourself from what is causing you to become stressed or angry and return to the problem feeling renewed.
Change your perspective.
This technique normally involves changing your setting or surroundings from the ordinary. Try sitting in a different spot than you normally do or go somewhere you’ve never been before.
Laugh: Try interacting with people that are humorous and try to find the lighter side of situations. Laughing can have tremendous positive impacts on how you view things and can give you a much needed release.
Reflect: Take some time to think about how you have reacted to certain situations. You should reflect on interactions that you felt were both positive and negative. This can help you to identify what you are proud of and what you can improve.
What makes me angry?
Different things make different people angry. It can be helpful to identify what your core beliefs are and from what perspective you see the world. Your beliefs and perspective can change over time. However, some angry feelings may stem from important values and beliefs that are important to the way you see life such as religious, family, cultural, and moral beliefs.
Assessing your level of anger.
Determining your level of anger can be a very healthy and necessary exercise. Assigning a level of anger can help you to analyze what has occurred in the past. This can lead to identification of how you are feeling the next time anger is experienced. The ability to do this is the key to managing your anger. It is nearly impossible to eliminate angry feelings. However, responding thoughtfully to your angry feelings is key.
There are 3 primary approaches when dealing with anger. They are as follows: Suppressing:
Suspend or suppress the anger. This is usually done so that one can have some time to process. This can yield several results such as; letting something go and forgetting about it, shifting focus to something else entirely, or bottling your anger internally. It is important to note that continually not releasing or dealing with anger can result in physical health problems stemming from something continuing to bother you. This can happen if you are not truly letting something go. See my blog on Forgiveness.
This involves one expressing anger in a number of different ways. For example, an expression could simply be a discussion about why you are angry. However, this could also be yelling, hitting, or other violent behaviors. This type of reaction may help you release, but it is not good for others. You may feel better, but everyone else will feel hurt. If you must release, try hitting a mattress with a wooden stick or yelling in a place where no one can hear you. You can also exercise or practice boxing.
This is the ideal that we want to achieve. First, you are identifying that you are angry (which is a normal emotion to have). You release the energy that builds up in your body by expressing the energy in a healthy way (like through exercise) and without hurting others. Then, you make a well thought-out decision about how best to respond to the situation. This is the key part of managing anger, coming up with a solution to the problem that is causing you to feel anger. Maybe the solution is setting a healthy boundary, saying "no" to something unpleasant, or protecting yourself from someone.
Managing your anger is the main goal to a healthy expression of emotions.