Neil Warner

Neil Warner

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Common strategies for anger control

All of us have experienced different types of anger, and that is normal...what is worrisome is the uncontrolled expression of one's anger against others. There are a lot of suggestions to learn how to control the spontaneous anger reaction into a different response that could, in fact, improve our relationships.

Anger management strategies include a restructuring of the way one views and thinks about life situations - and more. Here are some widely-recommended anger management approaches -see links below for more details:

• Relaxation daily. One needs to control the physical response as well as the emotional. Meditation, prayer, relaxation techniques - all serve to lower the heart rate.
• Soothe yourself throughout the day: Say "Relax, you're OK, everything's going to be all right, take it easy."
• Replace cussing and high drama with non-intense words: "It's just a little frustrating but we'll fix it," or "It's not the end of the world."
• Learn good communication skills - you might be saying things that unwittingly cause some of your own frustrations. See, or look for "conflict resolution techniques" books and web sites.
• Replace emotion with logical observation: "The toaster broke. All things, sooner or later, break or stop functioning; it's normal. I need to put the repair on my list."
• Start using positive expressions: "We'll get there", "Inch by inch it's a cinch." "What can I accomplish with this extra time?"
• Don't demand, but ask and listen: "Would you have time to do such and such?"
• Say "I would like" instead of "I must have." "I would like" mentally gives you more time to get it, reducing frustration.
• Postpone problem-solving, you don't need to find a solution this minute. Be like Scarlett O'Hara. Say, "Oh well I'll think about that tomorrow."
• Postpone responses in conversations. Physically stop your tongue and breath. Especially in heated discussions. You don't need to say anything at all. Say, "I'm thinking about it" or "I need more time to digest that," or "Interesting, I'll have to think about that."
• Develop empathy. When someone criticizes you focus on them and their feelings and try to imagine how they are feeling. The ability to empathize with others quickly on the spot is the hallmark of emotional maturity.
• Make humor a priority. Read jokes, watch funny movies, try to incorporate laughing into your daily routine. This diffuses situations that used to make you tense and defensive.
• Eliminate sarcasm and sarcastic humor from your mind and your daily exposure.
• Give yourself a break - especially after work. Transition time alone will go a long way to help you remember all of the above.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Anger and conflict messages

Some people carry a lot of repressed anger from their childhood, and tend to form relationships that reproduce abusive situations from the past in the present. The trick is that they are not clearly aware that their actual way of interacting with others is passive aggressive and sabotages the same bond they claim to cherish. To do so, they would have to also accept that they are now behaving in such a way (actively on others) as their parents did to them (passively, as recipients) years ago!

As we reach adulthood, our coping mechanisms become entrenched. Fear, resentment, anger, and hopelessness take over when we are dealing with conflict. The emotions are huge and seemingly uncontrollable. Depressed people frequently find a release from these negative emotions by fighting.
Conflict, in this case, reconnects the depressed party with another person. When resolution seems impossible, hopelessness leads to deeper depression and less hope. Fighting or arguing becomes the best outlet for self-expression. While this response can be healthy, some problems often follow.
Messages get misinterpreted, and those who don’t know how to process confrontations can isolate themselves and experience some further consequences such as eating disorders, alcohol abuse, and increased aggressive behavior.

These responses reveal an ongoing hidden anger together with a subsequent inability to manage it. In adulthood the anger becomes aimed at the wrong targets: instead of family members we act out at colleagues, acquaintances, lovers, and partners.
When we learn that open aggression is rejected by others, then we begin using passive aggression as a means to vent anger.

Tragically, when they are more needed than ever, conflict resolution skills disappear and leave us with the raw anger of the past, pushing us to fight, humiliate and break the other’s self-esteem!
This can be fatal in a family. If you are aware of the destructive role of anger in relationships, perhaps you can gather your courage and learn how to express frustration and sadness in a more cooperative and supportive way...At the end, we need to accept the families are composed by people who need each others' support and love, and expressing those feelings in the right way can cement love and companionship for ever.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Taming the stress monkey!

What is Your Monkey up to today?

Stress has become a household word. I am not sure when that happened. It is written about, talked about in countless books, tapes and DVDs available, promising quick and lasting relief. Most of those gather dust on people’s bookshelves while their stressful life continues.

What Causes Stress?

Let us have a closer look. Where does stress originate? Where does it actually start? I can hear you say: it is caused by my boss, my spouse, my teenage children, living in the city, technology……STOP!

Stress is created in one place and one place only – and that is your mind. Your big toe can’t make you tense nor can your little finger make you tense. In your mind you create all your fears, worries, stressful ideas and thoughts. Even if you wanted to, you could not go to a shop and buy a jar full of fear.

Take responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings. It is much easier to blame somebody else outside of you. This is not where the problem originates! You are creating your thoughts and feelings.

All of these feelings cannot be measured or weighed, they are intangible. Yet, they create very real, negative results in your body. They can cause high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, insomnia, tension headaches and migraines, just to name a few.

How to Manage Stress?

To free yourself from physical and mental problems you have to tame your mind. You have to take responsibility for your mind’s actions. This might be difficult at first. You are the only one who can control your mind! You are the boss.

In a lot of the yoga literature the mind has been compared to a monkey, hopping around on a tree or from tree to tree, constantly moving and playing tricks on us. The mind is very restless, unable to concentrate and focus on one thing for any length of time. It creates ideas of fear, anxiety and guilt which turn into feelings.

Our body responds to those feelings by tensing certain parts, cutting blood flow to one area and sending more to another one, pouring out stress hormones which then cause blood pressure to rise and lots of other nasty things. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

How to Tame Your Monkey

• First of all, be gentle with yourself. It takes tame to re-learn the art of relaxation. Don’t feel bad if your mind wanders off, gently bring it back.
• Choose a method of relaxation that suits your personality and lifestyle. It is not going to work for you to buy a lovely 1 hour relaxation CD if you can only spare 10 minutes a day.
• Some simple methods to use:
o Buy a guided relaxation CD that you really like and feel comfortable with. Play it as it is or download it onto your computer or ipod.
o Create a quiet environment without disruptions. Take the phone off the hood and turn off your mobile.
o Make sure you are comfortable, sit or lie down. Don’t fall asleep.
o Keep bringing your mind back to the relaxation, no matter how often it wanders off. Keep persevering. In the beginning that might be very difficult.
o Join a stress management or yoga class; it might be easier for you to be in a group environment.
o Get private coaching or sessions with someone you trust till you feel comfortable working on your own.
o Get your partner involved. Have a relaxation session together. You then will be able to support each other during the day if you notice that the other person is starting to get tense or stressed out.
o Teach your children how to relax – you will have a much more peaceful household. They will be able to use the techniques they learnt before their exams.
o As time goes on, you will feel calmer and more relaxed overall. It will take longer to “stress you out”. You will be more aware of your body and where you hold your tension. Celebrate those achievements.
o Take action! No results without doing something. Do yourself and your family a favor and start “Taming your Monkey” today.

You will find a lot more helpful information, resources, support and encouragement on the website:

Remember that even the longest journey starts with that single, very first step! I wish you good luck on your journey!

Connie from

Monday, January 7, 2008

First NewYear Goal: Manage disputes without acrimony

We all have our fresh hopes for this year, right? and perhaps one of your dreams is to teach yourself and your family how to manage disagreements in a better and more loving way?
What? are you asking that fights can not be pleasant? Mmmmmm, let me see what is the answer...
If you accept the basic premise that conflict is a way of learning about what has to be changed in your marriage, and not about "winning wars," then we are on the same page... Following this, then, we look at fights as a wonderful opportunity to get to know what the other side is now thinking, experiencing and needing.
Because, in the bottom line, all fights are about some frustrated needs. Needs for love, recognition, support, company, advice, tenderness....the list is endless. And we don't know how to express our needs in an efficient way; either because we are ashamed or humiliated for "having to beg for something the other is supposed to know about us and provide without our asking..."
So we initiate a fight, which is nothing out of the normal ways people behave. Everybody considers having a fight the good way to have some solution for hidden needs. The problem in love is that, as much as you fight for having your own needs solved, you attack and destroy the same relationship you need so much!
To avoid being carried away by hostility, anger and frustration, and end up insulting the person you love most, is that some researchers have offered a neat plan to be able to fight without rancour or excessive acrimony.
It is called FAIR FIGHTING, and it provides a set of norms or rules to follow when having a confrontation with your loved one. Remember, the point here is not to "win," but to preserve the relationship by having the two sides listening to each other needs.
Care to get a look at the method? It is described here:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Make Love a Priority in 2008

Make Love a Priority in 2008 – Chris Walker

Today, love without expectation. Appreciate someone you dislike, appreciate someone you fear, love someone you left behind. Appreciate people knowing tomorrow may never come, and that the deepest regret any human being can have is to hold back their love, even for a second.
Today, appreciate all those people that you love or have loved. Drink a glass of fresh water to their beauty, their gifts and their ways. Hope and wish that today and everyday, they are happy and healthy wish them long life. What else could love be, but the wish for someone else’s happiness?

Global change begins with personal change

Love is cumulative. Make every day of your life a Valentine’s Day. Act like today is the most important day of your relationship. Turn up on time. Do something kind. Prioritize your lover over your work. All compromises in a relationship add to its demise. Your relationship is the most important thing in your life. Stay humble. Be thankful, you’ll never loose what you appreciate.

A loving home is one of the most important keys to happiness
Try taking time to sit quietly in nature daily and imagine how much you appreciate life. Learn to admire people rather than wanting to change them. Find contentment within yourself, appreciating yourself by appreciating others. Remind yourself everyday that there is absolutely nothing to change in your partner, only something to love.

Build each day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts by always looking for the two sides. There are two sides to everything and everyone, so know the balance then simply focus on the positive. People become as you treat them. So acknowledge their gifts. Let the negatives take care of themselves. Remind yourself that through the power of thought, you can make the world a better place.

More love at home – a brighter future for the world
A magnificent key to creating a harmonious, lasting and sacred relationship is to understand that a loving person treats both those they like, and those they dislike, with respect. This is the spiritual aspect of it all. The true test comes when we are asked to love those who hurt us, those who are unkind to us. To be in love we can’t pretend to be loving and open hearted to one person, and judgmental and protective to one another. Love is a way of living, an attitude from which we choose a relationship and our way of making the world a better place, one heart at a time.

Never again clutter your days or nights with so much "business" and unimportant things that you have no time to be in love. If you can be in tune with your own mind and the rhythms of nature, then one moment standing with your partner in the midst of nature with an open heart is like a lifetime of fulfillment.

All of life is a miracle. The order of nature, the revolution of a hundred million words around a million of suns, the activity of light, the life of animals, all are grand and perpetual miracles. Voltaire

Chris Walker was an international business consultant up until he saw how relationships were suffering because of business and how much we needed to redefine our priorities around work and life. Chris has written over 30 books including Sacred Love. Visit and get your copies now. Excerpted from: Expect More From 2008, Page 7