Best Anger Management Tips and Quotes

Girl screaming in anger

If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot
– Korean Proverb

Some people are angry. Most of them learn anger from their parents and are trapped in a vicious cycle. One of the saddest things is an angry family, in which the parents are angry at the kids, who are angry at their parents, who are angry at their kids…

Sounds familiar?

Anger always comes from frustrated expectations
– Elliott Larson

Some say anger peaks during the teen years. I am not sure this is true for everyone. I know many teens who are joyful and happy. I was angry until I became a teenager, so I believe anger has nothing to do with age and hormones and everything to do with awareness. I think anger is a mindset that clutters our thinking and we are angry because we have poisoned ourselves with thoughts of disappointment and frustration.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s face it, we are all angry at times. We are angry when things do not happen the way we want them to. Anger is a form of extreme disappointment that we think we are directing towards what we believe to be the source of the disappointment, but in fact, we direct it only towards ourselves. When I think of anger, I immediately see a bottle of poison.

Read the best tips and quotes on anger management

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Kiss Your Kids

Young children kissingKissing is one of the best tools parents have in their parenting tool kit. Kissing has been known for ages to make miracles, to heal a wound and to get rid of worries and pain, particularly for children.

Would you not want the power to get rid of worries and help ease pain?

The real magic lies in what children think about the kiss. It is the same kiss you get when you are older, but it has somehow lost its magic for many people. Maybe we grownups need to re-adopt our childhood beliefs about kisses and to kiss more.

My family was not a kissing family. I have watched my mom kissing her little grandchildren constantly, which made me think she believed it was appropriate to kiss kids, but not grownups.

This belief seems to be similar in different cultures. One of my clients said to me once that every two to three years, when he meets his dad, who lives overseas, they shake hands.

Gal and I have always kissed each other when we to up in the morning, left home, came back and whenever we had a good time or wanted to make each other feel good.

When I was 27, we visited Gal’s host family in Connecticut (he was an exchange student there in his Junior Year of high school). Sally and Sam were an amazing couple. When they went to bed, they gave us a hug and a kiss as if they had not seen us for a long time, although we had come that same day. When they got up in the morning, they did the same. At first, I thought it was just for the first day of our arrival, but they continued to hug and kiss us every day. I loved it!

Read more about the importance of kissing children

Anger Management: Be Prepared

The original Obi Wan KenobiWhen I was a kid, I joined the scouts and spent many days in fun, social and character building activities. The Scouts motto is “Be prepared” and that stuck with me as an excellent idea, although as an adult and a parent I have to be prepared for very different things.

One of the things I think we should all be prepared for is pressure. Pressure comes in a wide variety of shapes in our life – lack of sleep, hunger, a looming deadline at work, a baby screaming, physical pain, a growing debt, an accident, an illness, someone’s death and so on. Each one of these presents a different challenge, but the common theme to all of them is that we are overwhelmed by emotion and all too often, reason goes out the window.

In a normal situation, when somebody cracks a joke at our expense, we may laugh along, but when we are under stress, we are more likely to lash out. Later, when we remember the situation, we may regret our outburst, but it is often too late to change its effects.

So how can we be prepared for times of stress?

First, we need to learn to pay attention, both to our internal universe and to how the world around us flows. Second, we should develop subconscious anchors that will help stop us before we do too much damage and allow us to remain productive even under pressure.

Read more about how to handle pressure

Happiness is in the Right Brain

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The intuitive mind is a sacred gift. The rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift
– Albert Einstein

Happiness depends a lot on which side of the brain we use. If you feel under pressure, your brain is telling you that you have been using your left brain to its maximum capacity.

85% of the time, we function using our left brain. We make sense of things, think of sequences, analyze language and meaning, interpret information and communication and absorb new facts from all around us. Although these functions are necessary to our life, the left side of our brain has its limits and uses pressure to signal that we need to let go and switch to using our right brain.

The left hemisphere of our brain functions like a sequential receiver and processor, while the right hemisphere is in charge of our imagination, sleep (dreams), memory, intuition and all of our creative functions. We absorb with the left side and create with our right side. The brain is like battery – the right side charges it and the left side uses the energy and empties it. Our goal is always keep our mental battery charged.

In our fast-moving world with way too much information, our brain reaches this point of pressure very often. This is when the brain pushes the “red alert” button and says “Enough! No more information. No more analyzing. No more thinking and no more talking!” If we ignore this signal, the sounds of the red alert and danger increase until we collapse or fall asleep from exhaustion.

Read more about how to have a happier life

Disengage Your Autopilot

Jet taking offModern people spend most of their time on “autopilot”. Too often, our responses are simply programmed by our past experiences, our education and the enormous pressures of our life. We travel along the same road to work and it just zooms past the car window, seemingly unchanged. We interact with the same people, repeat the same patterns and get the same feelings.

You could compare a modern person, at least in Western society, to a Jumbo Jet. Change starts for us by making a lot of noise, feeling heavy and hardly moving. Then, we start rolling forward and pick up speed for a long time until we finally take off. But as soon as we are in the air, we look for a nice “cruising altitude” and “switch to autopilot”.

When you are a parent, this matters a great deal, because you are “carrying passengers” and these passengers are very precious – your partner and your children. Where you take them is important and how comfortable they are during your “flight” is also important. So sometimes, you have to disengage your autopilot and pay attention.

If you think about it, this unaware “flight mode” is a coping mechanism. It is a result of the overwhelming demands on our time, mental power and emotional intelligence placed by modern technology, lots of people, ever-changing world around us and massive barrage of information. We need to protect ourselves from all this noise, so we build a quiet cocoon by filtering out as much as we can.

But it does not have to be like this.

Read more about how to raise your awareness

Handy Family Tips: Make a Note

Sticky notesWhen I took a course in journalism, one of the tips in the course was to have a writing pad everywhere. Since I am a very good student, I did whatever they said. I had a writing pad in the car, in all my bags and even next to my bed. It is funny that only after you use a handy tip for a while, you realize how much you need it. Originally, this tip was meant to help me with my work, and it did, but I never thought it would be so beneficial for us as a family until I realized that the note pads I had put in so many places around the house were being used by all the members of my family.

With the very hectic and full lifestyle that we have today, remembering everything that needs to be done occupies a very important and limited space in our memory. If you ask parents to sit down and write the entire to-do list for the week, most of them could do it for 3 hours straight.

Of course, the more kids you have at home, the more memory space you need for your timetable and tasks. You need to remember the dates of rehearsals, what to bring to school, when to pay for the dance class, to call your sister, say happy birthday to your friend, coordinate an outing with your partner, get a babysitter, have enough money in your wallet/purse when you go to the market, to buy a gift for the party your daughter is invited to on the weekend, go over the spelling with your child before the exam, send the right uniform on the excursion day, change the pickup time, dentist appointment, add turmeric to the shopping list for the Moroccan dish planned for Friday and … the list is endless.

We have a good friend that says, “The opposite of forgetting is writing down”, but what happens when you need to remember something while you are driving or when you are in bed, ready to go to sleep?

Read more about how to be more organized

War and Peace are Personal

Captain AmericaPeople often wonder how a large-scale conflict, involving hundreds of thousands of people, causing numerous deaths and leaving countless people emotionally and/or physically maimed for life can occur. Yes, I am talking about war.

All around the world, no matter when you look, there is some war going on. Sometimes, they are obvious confrontations of armies. Other times, they are a wide spread collection of small events and often involve civilians, but they are wars nonetheless.

Wars are stupid. Wars are cruel. Wars are wasteful. Nobody truly wins in a war. Yet, they are always there. Worse, they mostly involve people who have no desire to fight whatsoever.

This week, Ronit and I watched two war movies: Letters from Iwo Jima and Captain America. That made me realize the extent to which everyday people can be mobilized to serve some external cause. The Japanese had their tradition, their emperor and their honor. The Americans had the propaganda that told them they were protecting their country and their freedom. In the end, many people fought on both sides, many people died, many were injured and many families suffered.

Watching a war movie, we do not count deaths. There are just too many. In reality, each dead soldier has a mother, a father, friends, maybe a partner and maybe even children. Each dead soldier has a future and then, nothing. A hole in the fabric of society.

Read more about how to live in peace

Couples to Parents

Romantic movie sceneOK, parents, hand on your heart, how often do you do something romantic with your partner? Come on, don’t be shy, it’s all right. How often do you have a romantic dinner, go out dancing together or take time off just the two of you?

I bet your mind just filled with thoughts of “the children”, “my work commitments”, “that project I have to finish”, “how hard it is to get a babysitter nowadays” and various other seemingly-appropriate reasons for your romantic situation being what it is and why you should not be feeling too horrible about it. Besides, is this not what everyone experiences when they turn from a couple into parents?

Yes, they do, and yes, they all feel just as horrible as you do about it, but does that make it better?

Nope.

The natural progression of our life seems to be that we get really excited about finding a partner that turns us on and can be out friend at the same time. We dedicate much of our time and nearly all of our brainpower to finding that person. We embark on a journey of mutual exploration, during which we are typically so fascinated with the other person, they need to do something truly awful to turn us off.

Once we have found our body-and-soul mate, we go through what is commonly known as “settling down” (is this an ugly expression or what?), which includes some or all of the following: moving in together, getting married, joining finances, buying a home, getting a very large debt together (the mortgage) and, of course, having children. These steps seem to extract the interest and variety out of our life and replace them with certainty to the point of routine and with responsibility to the point of stress.

Read more about how to be romantic as parents

Kids are Lucky Charms

clip_image004_thumbYears ago, when I studied Reiki, I discovered that when I held my hand on a painful part of the body, it helped things calm down. I also found out my sister could feel me sending her Reiki (life energy) while she was on the other side of the world. My conclusion from the course was that although I do not know what really happens to the body when someone holds a hand over it or how sending imaginary energy to another person far away help, these things work.

For a long time after that course, I kept checking my Reiki abilities. When my kids felt a bit sick, when they fell down and when they cried, I would put my hands on their body and within 5 to 10 minutes, the pain would disappear. Whether it was because they stood still for a while, because the warmth of my hands felt good on the painful area or because of some psychosomatic effect, it worked like a charm.

My kids often describe it as a touch that makes us relax. Luckily for me, Gal came to do the course with me, so imagine how relaxed we both feel when we touch each other…

I think that Eden, my 22-year-old daughter, is full of Reiki. She does not need to touch you to make you relax. You just relax when you are around her. It is amazing how her presence helps people around her calm down. There can be tension, anger and arguments and as soon as she steps in, everyone settles down and starts sorting out the differences until pretty soon, everybody smiles.

Read more about my lucky charm daughter

Bullying (34): How to stop parent bullying

This is the last post in the bullying series, at least for a while. Bullying is a big problem in our society and many people agree it is a very important one to solve. I believe that every bully is also a victim, that self-confidence is an antidote to becoming a victim of bullying and that parents hold the key to stopping child-related bullying. Parents can learn to treat themselves and their children with respect and become vital contributors to the anti-bullying movement.

Are you with me?

Here are a few more personal development ideas every parent can use to create a bullying-free family and to help build a society without abuse.

Schedule holidays for rejuvenation

Family vacationBullied people are weak or at least they are perceived as weak by the bully. Many of them are not sure how to handle the situation and express confusion. If the bullying is ongoing, the stress in their life is constant and affects their productivity, effectiveness and performance at work and at home badly. It is no coincidence that there are days off every week and that every person is entitled to a minimum number of holidays every year. It is necessary for us to rejuvenate and “recharge our batteries”.

Read more about how to stop bullying