As cliché as it may sound, do you have anger issues? If you do, are they dominating your life – and the lives of others? Maybe it’s time to free your troubled mind. Learn how to manage anger…
The motivation to avoid or numb Core Hurts generates all harmful behavior.
Are you familiar with them?
Well, buckle up because that’s where we’re going. And we have just the right teacher…
Dr. Steven Stosny
Psychologist, author, and speaker Dr. Steven Stosny is an expert in assorted forms of anger, abuse, and violence. He’s the founder of Compassion Power and a regular on the media circuit.
What you’re about to read is a highlight reel of a portion of Dr. Stosny’s work. The information is excellent, so you may want to reference it down the road. Saving or printing the article would be a good idea.
What is anger?
Anger is our number one self-revealing emotion. And it mobilizes us for one thing, and one thing only – a fight.
It’s important to know that anger points directly at the status of our Core Value. It’s ultimately a cry of powerlessness, and the more reactive we become, the more powerless we feel.
Power? It’s the ability to act in our long-term best interests. Responsibility gives us the power to make our lives better, while blame renders us powerless.
The role of compassion
Getting to where we need to go in this piece is a learning progression. So let’s first take a look at Stosny’s take on compassion…
- More important than love because love without compassion is controlling, possessive, even dangerous
- A sympathetic understanding of our Core Hurts and those of others
- Loving others because it makes us feel worthy of love
- Recognizing our Core Value and that of others, even when we don’t like present behavior or perspectives
- Motivation to do the right thing
- Not the same as forgiveness or condoning offenses
- Not the same as reinstating relationships
Compassion has great healing power and protects us from Core Hurts. And keep in mind, the more we hurt, the harder it is to feel compassion.
Finally, compassion requires assertiveness – standing up for our rights and feelings. And we need to become comfortable with it because compassion ultimately defuses anger.
What is Core Value?
The next component is Core Value. It’s our deepest experience of self and it’s the foundation of our personal security, well-being, self-esteem, competence, creativity, and power.
When we’re in touch with our Core Value we can do no wrong. And when the impulse to control or harm arrives, we can bet the farm our Core Value has flattened.
The self-statement from Stosny…
I am worthy of respect, value, and compassion, whether or not I get them from others. If I don’t get them from others, it is necessary to feel more worthy, not less. It is necessary to affirm my own deep value as a unique person (child of God). I respect and value myself. I have compassion for my hurt. I have compassion for the hurt of others. I trust myself to act in my best interests and in the best interests of loved ones.
That’s a keeper, don’t you think?
What are Core Hurts?
Next in our learning progression are Core Hurts. Feeling…
Okay, things are coming together now. When Core Hurts are active a quick drop in Core Value takes place. And whether or not we realize it, many of us learned early on to protect ourselves from Core Hurts – Core Value hits – by using some form of anger, aggression, or resentment.
Any wonder why Core Hurts trigger anger?
Bottom-line: The motivation to avoid or numb Core Hurts generates all harmful behavior.
Now that we have the pieces in place, let’s get after relief with HEALS. Here’s how to intervene when anger slaps us upside the head…
- Healing: When we first feel angry, visualize the word “heals” in bright lights. If it’s being triggered by someone, picture “heal” written across their face.
- Explain to ourselves the deepest Core Hurt that’s causing the problem.
- Apply self-compassion: Access our Core Value by asking ourselves if we’re unimportant, not valuable, or unlovable because of an external event or someone’s behavior. If need be, take an inventory of what makes our life worth living – good deeds we’ve done, loving relationships, or admirable personal values.
- Love ourselves.
- Solve the problem: Once we’re more calm and relaxed, it’ll be easier to address the conflict that’s generating the anger.
HEALS takes us beyond anger management techniques to an automatic regulation of anger and resentment. And that generates power.
With repetition, HEALS builds a conditioned response to increase self-value whenever resentment or anger occur. And since HEALS repetition strengthens Core Value, it makes the defensive use of anger and resentment unnecessary.
By the way, to get to the point where HEALS comes automatically when anger strikes, Stosny prescribes 750 repetitions over four to six weeks.
Free your troubled mind
If anger is dominating your life – and the lives of others – isn’t it time to free your troubled mind?
Dr. Stosny has created a wonderful intervention to help you out. Come on, give it a go.
Be sure to visit Dr. Stosny’s blog on Psychological Today: Anger in the Age of Entitlement
And if you’d like to read more Chipur mood and anxiety info and inspiration articles, go ahead and peruse the titles.