Now that you have a list of things, situations, people, and ideas that stimulate an anger type of response, you are ready to extinct the response. Extinct is a term used in the behavioral learning theory model of psychology. I simply means eliminating the response to some stimulus. In regards to anger, the stimuli are the things, situations, people, and ideas that arouse the anger type of response. (For more in depth explanation of the theory go to link) http://psychology.about.com/od/classicalconditioning/a/pavlovs-dogs.htm
This second step is to begin eliminating the connection we have with things, situations, people, and ideas so those things become unrelated to the anger response in our mind. When we see things, situations, people, and ideas that we like, our mind is stimulated with happy thoughts and reactions. Such as seeing a person we love. Conversely, seeing someone we feel offended by, will stimulate bad feelings. Sounds like a simple theory right?!!
Now, look through your list, should have at least 10 anger arousing stimuli, prioritize the items from 1-10. 1 being the highest arousing stimuli to 10 being the least. See example below:
1. Someone accuses me falsely of something.
2. I get cut off while driving.
3. My friends laugh at me.
4. I lose my keys.
5. I speak and the other person doesn’t listen.
6. Someone disagrees with me.
7. Another person speaks as if angry with me.
8. Other people gossip about or judge me.
9. The line is moving too slow in the store.
10. The barking dog wakes me up at night.
After you have prioritized your list, write a sentence for each one with an explanation of your reason you feel the item arouses anger.
Example: 10-I get angry because the barking makes me lose sleep.
Continue to add to your list throughout the next week. On 8/17/2014, we will continue. You may email comments or questions about these exercises to firstname.lastname@example.org
Anger is self inflicted. Although there may be a target we believe causes our anger, the source is really ourselves. The targets are circumstances other people or things. The creation of the anger is the way we understand the situation that stimulates our feelings. We arrange our thoughts in a manner that stimulates an emotional response. If the anger becomes an interference in our life, then we can learn to arrange our thoughts differently to create a different emotional response.
Habit is the challenge to this process. Throughout our lives we developed ways of viewing others and circumstances. We learned from everything in our surroundings. Our reactions to things is now habitual. Like breaking any other habit, the emotional response to things, takes a conscious effort. Many years of responding to things the same way, can still be changed.
The first step in the process is to take an inventory of everything you can think of that stimulates the anger, frustration, anxiousness, fear emotions. Over the next 2 weeks, make a daily journal.
The next step is provided in the following publication 8/10/2014
For personal assistance www.newdirectionshome.com