Have you ever been so angry that you said or did something that you regret? Something that hurt someone else? Something that ended up hurting you? Anger is an emotion that has the potential to hurt everyone involved. When you react to a situation appropriately, it’s not so bad, but when you overreact with a level of anger that is not right for the situation, sometimes people get very hurt or offended. This can all be avoided if we just learn the warning signs (what our bodies tell us as we begin to get angry. Example: red in the face, clenched fists, breathing faster, feeling out of control) and if we learn the consequences of our actions. (Example: Think of what we could do differently the next time, and do it to avoid the same consequences)
I have come up with something to help people with their anger. It is called the “Anger Steps.” It is literally a flight of stairs labeled from 0 (being the ground floor) to 10 (being the top). Each step is labeled like this:
Step 1- Flustered
Step 2- Frustrated
Step 3- Irritated
Step 4- Aggravated
Step 5- Mad
Step 6- Angry
Step 7- Ticked Off
Step 8- Furious
Step 9- Belligerent (Unruly, Uncontrollable, Irrational)
Step 10- Enraged
This is the Legend for the whole thing. What you go by to determine your anger level. It is the first page. On the second page is a series of questions to help you to determine why you got so angry and if how you reacted was the appropriate “step.” The questions are as follows:
1. When is the last time you were on the “Anger Steps?”
2. What happened to make you so angry?
3. Which “Anger Step” would you say you were on at that time (From 0 to 10)?
4. How did you feel besides angry? (Example: Hopeless, Sad, Helpless)
5. What body signals did you notice while you were angry?
6. What actions and/or choices did you make while you were angry?
7. Did you react appropriately to the situation? (For example, did you react to a step 3 situation with a step 7 reaction?)
8. What, if anything, would you do different next time?
9. Did this activity help you at all? If so, how?
This activity is to help put things in perspective for people with a potential anger issue. Even for people who only get angry occasionally. I hardly ever get angry and just coming up with this worksheet has helped me to view things differently. I can control myself much better now, in arguments and in situations that used to make me angry. I deal with things much more gracefully. If anyone wants a copy of these worksheets, contact me via message or comment and leave me an email address and I will send a PDF file containing this exercise to your email. If you have Adobe Reader (which most computers already have that installed) you can download the file. If you do not have Adobe Reader go to the Adobe website and you can download it for free. You will be able to print out both pages as many times as you like that way for as many times as you get angry and need to do the activity. You can get it in either regular format (8 1/2 × 11) or Landscape format (11 × 8 1/2) please specify which you would rather have. In the landscape format it comes in black and white or in color. You can choose which you would rather have… like I said just send me a message if you would like these worksheets. I have found them to be helpful, and my therapist said they are a wonderful idea for anyone. She even made copies of them for her other clients. I also have other tools I have created and am creating for other things. I am currently working on a Panic Attack Log. So if you are an angry person, have anger issues, or even just occasionally overreact in anger, think of these questions, and which step YOU might be on. Did you overreact? What WERE your body signals? Do you think you could do different next time? Really some things to think about. Do you really want to learn to control your anger? This is a great place to start.