Thursday, October 4, 2012

Women and Anger Workshop

I took a course called Women and Anger a few weekends ago.  I enrolled myself as I often find myself going into rages and I know that is not a good way to deal with my feelings.  Most of the women in the class were court ordered to go which gave me an interesting perspective.  Here are my notes:

Roles of Women
mother, sister, grandma, aunt, coach, worker, cleaner, cook, teacher, friend, girlfriend, wife, caregiver, driver, co-ordinater, employer, nurse, doctor, helpmate, etc.

Anger is NOT a bad emotion, it is letting us know that something is wrong.

What do we feel when we are feeling anger?  sadness, stress, hopelessness, frustration, fear, lonely

Triggers: stress, frustration, being alone, disrespected, hormones, whining
Feelings: sadness, frustration, fear, hopelessness, lonely, vulnerable, guilt, anxiety, hurt, loss/death, betrayal, jealous, grief, uncertainty, afraid, nervousness

My Personal Triggers:  whining, mother-in-law, being unappreciated

What do you VALUE?  value=beliefs, family, tradition, society, school, self-esteem, friends, partners, culture, religion

"good" woman/wife/mother = "do it all", crazy expectations -->  we need to challenge these, what are OUR expectations?  What is "good enough" for you?

Balance - we cannot do it all!  when we try it leads to anger!

Do we have realistic expectations?  If not we need to redefine our expectations

Anger Cycle:

                1.   pretend things are normal
                                               <---- trigger occurs

 4. rationalize.                                   2.  build up

                   3.     Act Out

cycle continues until we stop it.

We CANNOT change or control another person, we CAN influence others.

Control: what you eat, thoughts, over actions, what we say, what we do each day
NO Control:  other people (do, say, think, treat us), weather, traffic, aging, death, past, future
Influence:  what house looks like, feelings, children, spouse, friends, family, co-workers

*How do you want to influence others? with love, caring, respect, using teaching moments, being a role model
*What do you want other to say about you when you leave the room? kind, friendly, caring, loving, helpful

We are not responsible for other peoples actions or reactions!

gravity: cause --> same effect every time
feelings: cause --> choice --> effect

If we spend all our time with things we can't control we miss out on things we can control or influence.

How much time is wasted on trying to change others?  This is a form of bullying!

***We ALWAYS have a choice***

-based on lies
-we need proof and evidence for things to be true
-need to challenge assumptions, go to the source - ask

rage is a stress reaction, need to back down before rage, think about consequences

HIND BRAIN - aka dino brain, reactionary, first part developed, fight/flight, freeze response

MID BRAIN - emotional part

FRONT BRAIN - thinking, rational, memory

RAGE ANGER - mid and front brain shuts off, once we calm down the front starts working again

Balloon Analogy:  each time we do not deal with something the balloon grows and grows until it explodes

*What is going on with me? express healthily, express needs

revenge is not the answer (added in by me, unless dealing with your evil mother-in-law)

TRIGGER: immediate emotional reaction, take time away to calm down, what are the long-term and short-term consequences? Is it worth it?

-give yourself time
-be empathetic and understanding - put yourself in their place, listen, understand
-instead of defending, think, take ownership

Validate your feelings

old ways of dealing with anger were not good, now replace them with new ways that are better

It is never too late to make changes.

Self-Care (fun, leisure, soothing, nurturing)

shower, sing, nap, pedicure, go out, walk, bath, hair, cuddle, bike, swim, sex, read, music, candles, chocolate, massage, watch tv, computer, deep breathing, etc