Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Free Yourself From Negative Emotion

Negative EmotionIn my professional practice I encounter men and women every day who are bound up in the proverbial chains of negative emotions. They are dragging their feet through life, weighed down by feelings of fear, jealousy, self-pity, anger, sadness, anxiety and rejection.

These chronic painful emotions are what often stand in the way of a person’s personal and professional success in life. Negative emotions can deplete you of energy and motivation, take away your joy and enthusiasm and keep you from pursuing positive goals for your life. It is very difficult to do well professionally or relationally if you don’t have a positive and realistic attitude and healthy emotions.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How to Be Good and Angry Over Politics and Other Stuff

Angry

Man, have you seen the news lately? As if you could miss it…

It has been a brutal year, politically speaking. If there has ever been such a widely disputed campaign with such visceral reactions to the candidates, we’ve never seen it in our lifetimes. And no time in history has it been so easy to flood people’s lives with rhetoric, accusations, name-calling and polar-opposite viewpoints. If our earliest presidential candidates produced such hot controversy, the news didn’t travel so fast. We hear from multiple news outlets that Americans are responding to anger. Some were angry before the election; enough to vote for major change in the government. And now others are angry after the election because of the outcome. Government leaders are being met with a barrage of angry American citizens from both sides of the political spectrum.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

When You Don’t Get Your Way

Anger How do you respond when things don’t go your way or you don’t get what you want? The current news is filled with reports of people demonstrating their anger and rage about not getting what they want, and I am concerned that the methods too many have chosen to express their feelings are doing much more harm than good. The lack of ability to appropriately express anger and fear along with wants and needs is doing damage on a large scale in many cities, but it also impacts people on an individual level.

If it’s important to you to demonstrate maturity and self-control as well as communicate in a way that will give you credibility and reflect objectivity take the time and make the effort to be good and angry when you don’t get your way.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Is It Anger or Unresolved Grief?

He was one of the angriest men I had ever counseled. Jim struggled with what he called a “bad temper” for the last three years, and it was costing him his relationships and possibly his job. He said he tried everything to control his angry outbursts, but as soon as he encountered a disagreement, delay or even a minor inconvenience like an incorrect restaurant order he blew his top. He was convinced it was a character flaw or just an unchangeable part of who he was.

anger or grief

As Jim and I talked about how he had grown up and some of the events he remembered most vividly, it didn’t take long for me to realize that most of his anger wasn’t caused by the normal frustrations of life, and it wasn’t something wrong with his character, but rather it was the result of his inability to express the grief and sorrow related to several significant hurts and losses in his life. He was a man who was living every day with pain, and weighed down by a sense that real men just “suck it up and move on.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Communication Myths that can Cripple Your Marriage – Part I

No question about it – one of the most significant problems that motivates couples to seek counseling is poor communication. The fact that the couple shows up in my office already aware that they need to work on it is very encouraging, because it’s a big step toward improvement. But, even among the most motivated couples, I find that many are hung up on some myths about communication in marriage that greatly undermines their progress.

Communication Myths

Today we will talk about the first 5 of 10 Communication Myths that can cripple your marriage.

Myth 1: We should never go to bed angry.

I have worked with couples who have stayed up into the early morning hours trying to resolve an argument for the sake of not going to bed angry.  Ironically, the very thing they are attempting to avoid – wrath – is exactly what they experience due to believing this myth.

Some working definitions will help clarify this issue. Anger is a normal emotion usually born out of impatience and frustration due to the belief you have been mistreated. Wrath is defined as intense anger, rage or fury, or as any action of vengeance which involves inflicting punishment or injury. You can imagine how much more difficult it is to resolve an issue that has escalated to that level of animosity. Now consider a practical reality common to normal humans: If it’s getting close to bedtime, you are probably tired, which makes it harder for you to think clearly and control your emotions. Experiencing both fatigue and anger while arguing is what often explodes into wrath. Therefore, when you or your spouse feel angry you are much better off calling a time-out and agreeing to revisit the issue in the morning or at another appropriate time. This is not a

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Don’t Take Your Anger Home!

If you have had a terrible day at work and you are angry or grouchy, what does your family see and feel when you get home?  Do you walk in with a scowl on your face and a hot temper?  Or are you able to make the emotional transition from anger to calm?

frustrated young business man working on laptop computer at home

The reality is, there are days that push your buttons and test your patience.  I hope these days are few and far between for you, but in my work with both coaching and counseling clients, it seems that some people are frustrated almost all the time by their job or people in the workplace.  In other blogs and articles we have talked about some of the ways you can make your situation better at work, but even before the problems are resolved, it is important for you to take a cue from Las Vegas and say, “What happens at work, stays at work.”

It is critically important that you get your emotions under control before you walk in the door.  Don’t bring the negative emotions home with you.  Here are some ways to prepare for the transition from work to home.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sticks and Stones: The Power of Words

When most couples begin marriage counseling they typically report experiencing very low levels of marital satisfaction, which is not surprising.  It’s also not that surprising to have some couples tell me upfront that they are already giving divorce serious consideration, but thought they needed to at least be able to tell their children and families that they gave counseling a try.

C

One such couple recently told me that the majority of their conversations were filled with sarcasm, criticism and other negative forms of communication and neither one could stand the hurt and anger any longer.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Getting Control of Your Anger – Part II

In my last blog I shared the first four of seven practical tips for managing your anger well. They were:

1.  Understand what anger is

2. Control your initial response

3. Acknowledge your anger and its source

4. Tell yourself the truth

anger

Those are the critical first steps to balancing the inner issues (thought processes) that set you up for either success or failure in anger management. Now let’s look at some external actions and choices you can make to help you put a stop to unhealthy reactions to anger.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Getting Control of Your Anger – Part I

One of the major roadblocks to strong relationships, both at home and at work, is the inability to effectively manage one’s emotions. Of all the emotional, psychological and physical responses we experience in life, anger is perhaps the most challenging to process and control on a consistent basis.

anger

How you choose to respond to your anger will make a difference in the quality of your relationships, your physical and emotional well being and your effectiveness in bringing about positive and constructive change in your life.

Today we will look at the first four of seven practical tips you can use to help manage your anger more effectively.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting Control of Your Anger

One of the major roadblocks to strong relationships, both at home and at work, is the inability to effectively manage one’s emotions. Of all the emotional, psychological and physical responses we experience in life, anger is perhaps the most challenging to process and control on a consistent basis.

How you choose to respond to your anger will make a difference in the quality of your relationships, your physical and emotional well being and your effectiveness in bringing about positive and constructive change in your life. Here is a list of practical tips you can use to help manage your anger more effectively.

1. Understand What Anger Is

Anger is a natural, God-designed emotional and physiological response to negative or threatening circumstances in life. When you believe that you have been treated unfairly or harshly, or when you experience frustration associated with an unmet need or goal, your mind and body prepare for action. It is this emotional and physiological response that we call anger. Anger has the potential to help us protect ourselves or others and can serve as a catalyst to bring about needed change. However, its relative value is largely determined by how we choose to respond to it. Anger is referred to as a “secondary emotion”. This simply means that it is an extension of the primary emotion of frustration.

Everyone experiences some degree of frustration on a daily basis whether associated with not being able to fit into your favorite blue jeans or the person who just pulled out in front of you on the road. The good news is that most people can keep their frustration from escalating into anger, but for some it’s not so easy.

Hurt and fear are two other primary emotions that often accompany anger. Anger is often experienced and