Sort Out the She-Devil in You
Here's advice on managing your stress and anger levels
Do you feel fired-up with anger quite a bit of time? Are your bad moods out of control? Maybe you've lost a boyfriend, fallen out with a friend, or argued with a colleague because they couldn't handle your bad behaviour? You might be suffering from out-of-control stress levels that turn you into a She-Devil!
Where Does All That Anger Come From?
It began with car-rage on the roads and went on to trolley-rage at the shops. But now you find your anger is out of control at work and in your personal life too. Research shows that more and more people say they feel angry, snap at loved ones, and have far more arguments than previously. That's because stress is fuelling our levels of anger. We're all so stressed trying to deal with our Blackberry bleeping at us in one hand, while our mobile goes off in the other, e-mails are piling up, and deadlines loom.
All that stress leads to a breakdown of the things that usually keep our anger under control. Our patience is used up. The ability to keep calm goes out the window. And by the end of the day we have nothing left in our energy reserves to stop us biting the heads off our nearest and dearest.
Plus another undesirable side-effect of those who are chronically angry is that their skyhigh stress levels means they produce too much of the stress hormone cortisol. When it's released into your body too frequently it can cause other health problems like high blood pressure. More and more women are being diagnosed with this.
Take My Quick Quiz to Find Your She-Devil Level:
1/ has your partner commented that your moods/anger are seriously damaging your relationship?
A/not commented but I suspect they’ve thought it
B/they’ve hinted at it
2/ have you been criticised or warned at work about any difficult/angry/unacceptable behaviour?
A/no but I’ve worried I've pushed the limits
B/not formally but I think it's been noticed
C/yes, I've been spoken to
3/ do you fly off the handle at the slightest thing?
4/ do you get the feeling anyone walks around you "on egg shells"?
5/ do you repeatedly find yourself apologising for behaving badly like snapping someone's head off for little reason?
6/ do you sometimes feel you're having what might be described as a nervous breakdown?
Mainly A Answers: She-Devilish On Occasion!
Okay, so you're not a full-blown She-Devil but you might have to watch yourself at times. Take note of the strategies below so you can rein this in.
Mainly B Answers: She-Devil In The Making!
Time for some reality - you may not be a definite She-Devil but you’re definitely one in the making. Get on top of it before it gets on top of you and follow the strategies below.
Mainly C Answers: Definite She-Devil!
Oh dear, things couldn't be worse! People undoubtedly scuttle around you because they're frightened of your moods. If you don't want people to avoid you, and don't want to have things end in tears, definitely stamp-out your She-Devil behaviour with the following strategies:
Strategy 1 -Hands up!
Time to admit you've got an anger problem because very often the She-Devil is in the last to admit they're in the wrong. Instead you're always looking to blame someone else for why you're angry. The problem is usually they don't deserve the level of anger you're directing at them. And once you've got into the realm of the She-Devil even the smallest things make you angry and that's not justifiable.
Strategy 2 – Take note!
So you've admitted you've got a problem - now you need to monitor it. It's helpful to keep a diary for a week that includes both small and large angry outbursts. As with all behavioural diaries make a comment by each outburst of what set you off.
Strategy 3 – What's really going on?
You can now take a close look at your diary to help you identify what sets off your anger and if there’s any pattern to it. You might find, say, that you have a fit when you've had a hard day and your partner does something small like break a plate when cooking. Make a list of these "anger triggers" - like having a long day, being given a new deadline, etc., being likely to put you in She-Devil mode.
Strategy 4 – Prioritise!
The next big step is to prioritise what sets you off in terms of which you want to sort out the first. You need to choose the one that might be the easiest to deal with to begin with. In list form prioritise your anger triggers - running from which you’re going to deal with first, down to the last.
Strategy 5 – List solutions!
Now you need to get creative and think up do-able solutions for each trigger. If your work day is too crowded and you always end up having a hissy fit by five o'clock, you need to do something practical like scheduling one less appointment each day so you're not pushed for time. This is also the time to let your partner and pals and even colleagues know that you're working on certain goals.
Strategy 6 - Tricks of the trade!
It's always those unexpected things that are going to throw you off course from reining in your She- Devil impulses. So you need to get creative again and think about little tricks to prevent you losing it in unexpected situations. Let's say, you've lost your car keys and are desperate to get out the door. Or your colleague’s off and you've had the work of two people that day and can feel your anger arising. What could you do to cope with that? Why not have in the back of your mind a calming visualisation that you call to mind when your good intentions were thrown out the window by circumstances. It could be a holiday beach scene. Or why not call to mind your favourite uplifting tune. Any trick that'll work for you!
Strategy 7 - Get real!
Are you behaving like this because you've got to high expectations? Do you expect yourself to be the perfect partner and have a highflying career and an amazing social life? Sometimes we have to get real and address our expectations as they are the things stressing us out.
- take regular exercise plus learn a relaxation technique to help calm down. Avoid drinking to relax yourself as alcohol loosens inhibitions and more fights occur under its influence. Drink less caffeine and eat less processed food. And definitely have a good laugh - watch your favourite sitcom, record your favourite comedy movie - these will help you see the lighter side of life.
Strategy 8 –Your Beliefs!
It's undoubtedly time to look at the beliefs you hold to. You might feel that there are always has to be someone to blame and that finger-pointing needs to be done when ever there is an issue, dilemma or problem in your midst. Some things just happen. Sometimes it's no good looking to blame someone. By developing a slightly gentler and kinder outlook you can make enormous changes to the way you respond to things.
Strategy 9 - Talk about it!
Sometimes the most She-Devil-like behaviour can be avoided by talking about it. Learn to develop clear ways of communicating. Sit down before a problem becomes bigger. Discuss your point of view and ask the other person or people theirs. So many things can be solved without getting fired up.
Strategy 10 – Self-Care!
Never forget the fact that a whole load of things leading to bad, angry moods. You might be fuelling these moods with too much caffeine or sugary foods. Junk foods also can give you a bit of a high followed by a crash and moodiness. You need to take regular stress-busting exercise and try and get some good quality sleep.
Finally if you can't get on top of your She-Devil behaviour you may need to take extreme measures like taping or filming yourself on your mobile when you're angry. Sometimes when we see ourselves in full on Technicolor we realise how awful we come across when angry.
www.angermanage.co.uk has more information.
Published on MSN.co.UK