by Marty Brenner

Stop ThinkingNature endowed humans with thoughts and emotions to help them interact with the rest of the world. You use reason to design tools, build things and resolve conflicts. Emotions give you a reason to take physical action. Your anger, for example, fuels the fight portion of the fight-or-flight response whereas fear tells you to run away. There is a constant tug-of-war between thoughts and feelings within you. Sometimes you respond to an event with clear thoughts and calm calculation and, at other times, the same event will cause you to explode in a violent rage. While it may be hard to believe while you are in the throes of an emotional tirade, you can think your way out of anger.

The first step to thinking your way out of anger is to identify those things that trigger your strong emotions. You may experience moral outrage at social issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, politics or wind farms. Stress can often cause anger, especially when others are to blame for these stresses.

Evaluate your responses to those triggers. Consider your behavior each time you were exposed to each trigger and identify consistencies in the outcome. For example, you yell at your kid every time he brings home a poor report card yet he never seems to do any better in school. Decide if your anger is the most effective behavior for improving your child’s performance.

Limit your exposure to those things that make you angry. If politics and current events upset you, don’t watch the evening news. Choose instead to work out at your local gym or cook dinner for your family. Think your way out of anger by picking your battles wisely.

You will be exposed to things that make you angry. You can identify some of these things ahead of time, like sharing an office with an annoying co-worker for 40 hours a week. Try to plan your reaction ahead of time. For example, your co-worker uses your coffee cup and doesn’t rinse it out. Instead of growing angry the next time he helps himself to your property, buy a similar cup and present it to him as a gift. You’ve converted an opportunity for anger into an invitation for friendship.

Rehearse speeches to use in times of trouble. For example, you are a clerk in a store that accepts utility payments. People often come into your place of business angry and upset because their lights have been shut off, and they sometimes take out their aggressions on you. Instead of participating in an angry exchange, you can use a rehearsed speech such as, “I can tell you worked very hard to make this utility payment and I can understand your passion. I’d like to help you resolve the problem.” Using a rehearsed speech can help you contain your own defensive and angry reaction to a predictable but infrequent event.

Use the Anger Control-Out technique to gain control before emotion turns into physical action. Anger Control-Out describes how and when you express your emotions. The knee-jerk reaction to anger is an explosive and immediate outburst but this instant rage is rarely effective in resolving complex or chronic issues. Counting to ten before reacting gives you time to gain an accurate assessment of the level of danger and develop a more appropriate and effective reaction.

Why Marty?

Marty has been providing guidance and counseling for the last 20 years to a wide and diverse range of people.

Individuals challenged with various addictions including but not limited to – substance abuse, alcohol, and anger.

Marty is a certified chemical dependency counselor and anger management facilitator.

Affectionately known as “Marty”, he has positively influenced and helped reshape the lives of many people in recovery, ranging from ex-cons to his high profile clients in the Delray Beach, Florida.

Marty is an excellent resource with in-depth knowledge of all of the current trends in the substance abuse and mental health treatment fields, as well as individual options for successful recovery outcomes.

Today, residential facilities simply aren’t an option for many clients with busy work schedules and travel conflicts, which is why Marty tailors programs to meet the needs of these clients, whether it be in his office or a location of their choosing.

His approach is casual and non-threatening. Marty is very kind and caring.

As you know, it is difficult to convince clients that anger management or substance abuse treatment is critical. Career commitments, privacy, reputation and other concerns may conflict in making treatment the priority it should be.

It is Marty’s primary goal to help people rebuild lives using tried and true techniques.

More Reading