In our last newsletter, we discussed how holding onto anger spirals us out of control and can create a multitude of negative mental health outcomes. If we are held prisoner to anger, how can we break free of the chains keeping us from happiness and the lifestyle changes and leadership styles we desire?


Taylor Bryant, MA & Nicole Katsaounis, M.Ed




January 20, 2021

Pause and break

Think about the last time you became enraged at someone’s actions. What did you do? What was the outcome?

One great tool to use for acute moments of anger and situations that are arising in the moment is to pause and break. Did you truly pause, assess the situation, and take a break from it until you were able to return or did you voice your feelings, send passive- aggressive emails, create a new company procedure based on the actions of a few, or maybe even send a text equivalent of a small novel to the person you were frustrated with? I am guessing everyone reading this can relate to the latter choices at one point in time or another.

Pausing and breaking is a simple tool that is not often used intentionally and with the seriousness for which it was intended. When you find yourself becoming irritated, pause everything you are in control of. Pause your speech and pause your body language. Excuse yourself to the restroom or another area where you are not required to engage in conversation. Whatever path you decide to take, just be sure to pause yourself!

Next take a break from the situation. Taking a break is different from pausing. Taking a break means completely removing yourself from the situation until you have been able to label all of your emotions and uncover the real reasons behind your anger. This involves digging deep and being mindful of insecurities and past experiences in life that have led you to the moment you are in now. The key to taking a break is not to avoid the situation, but to simply stop engagement over the topic for a short time until you are able to circle back. When you circle back after digging deep and being self-reflective, you will be able to regulate your emotions and communicate in a way that is clear, succinct, and defining of a true leader!

For those of you who find yourself going from 0-60 in an instant, or who find yourself being angry at the big or little events of life, you will likely benefit from acknowledging the source of your emotions.  Anger is like an iceberg, where anger is the small secondary feeling that we see and feel, but there is much more hidden under the surface that initially triggered the source of our anger.

When we experience anger, it is most often because we felt another primary emotion first, whether we consciously or unconsciously knew this was occurring. A great example is when we are angry, we also feel hurt, betrayed, alone, worthless, overwhelmed, misunderstood, and so on. These feelings are what really prompt us to be angry. When we dig deep and understand the feelings behind our anger, we are better able to assess and problem-solve in a controlled and healthy manner versus allowing our anger to take hold of our feelings and behaviors.

Whether you are experiencing acute anger or have struggled to maintain a calm temperament for years, being able to focus on the problem, and not the person, is key! You can focus on the problem by first identifying it and then identifying your primary emotions related to the problem. Most importantly, do not focus on the person standing in front of you and take your anger out on them, whether they “deserve” it or not. It is pertinent to step away from the “me versus them,” or the “good guy versus bad guy” mentality. Once you start to allow yourself to think and act in these mindsets, you are likely to go down a negative spiral that will eventually become second-nature behavior patterns.

For additional support and guidance on how to forgive and let go from a Christian-based perspective, check out our talk show, “Mindtrip: Exploring the connections between mindsets and mental health” on Wednesdays at 2PM.   You can watch live on Sheisstilldope.TV or visit the Facebook page She is Still Dope.

Struggling with anger and it continues to get in the way of a fulfilling life?  Contact us to sign up for your consultation!

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