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Managing anger

Last week I had a client who'd been through a year and a half of living hell. He bought a house next to a bunch of ice-addicted neighbours, with everything you can imagine follows from that (and some you can't). It was so bad, eventually he sold up and left.

Not surprisingly he'd become highly sensitive to noise at home, particularly at night. It was making him massively angry, leading not only to many sleepless nights but to nasty confrontations in the early hours, And it was getting worse (usually things are getting worse when someone takes the major step of going to see a Hypnotherapist).

After one session he was greatly improved, and after two sessions we agreed he didn't need any further work.

Now I am NOT promising you'll get the same result quite as fast as this gentleman. But you can certainly expect to see improvement, and fairly quickly.

How? Well, there are five things that can make a rapid difference. Note that none of these is exclusive to anger management - they can all be used for a variety of problems. But it's just that talking specifically about anger makes it easier to explain how a Hypnotherapist might go about helping you - or at least, how THIS Hypnotherapist might go about helping you.

1) Talk it out. Ask yourself this question: how often have you ever been able to talk through your biggest problem(s), without feeling judged, without the other person telling you about THEIR problems, and without someone suggesting solutions? Merely having the opportunity to get it off your chest can really make a difference. Your experience can be normalised - which is to say, you can have it confirmed that you're Not enough, but a start.

2) Understand what's happening. My client knew that his anger had been massively increased by his awful neighbours experience. He also knew that he'd always had a short fuse. We talked about that - though not for too long, just for long enough to make sense of it.

It's also worth knowing about the fight/flight/freeze response, which I don't have room to explain here - but here's a good piece that does. The reason why this is important is because unless you know what's happening to you physically, it's hard to make sense of it. Why can't I think straight when this stuff happens? It's because your survival depends upon you acting and NOT thinking! Everyone who was really good at evaluating a risk when that shadow over there moved sooner or later became a sabre-toothed tiger's breakfast (don't push me, I'm a little hazy on the details). And everyone who was really good at jumping at shadows survived to have little babies that grew up to be really good at jumping at shadows.

3) Learn some coping skills/techniques. There's more to this than 'Count to ten' - though it's actually good advice, if you can just manage to apply it! (A better one is 54321, which I won't explain here - but here's a video demonstrating it.) There's a whole bunch of techniques we can go through, and what matters is one that works for you. You might need an anchor, or we may need to do some scaling, or a Swish pattern, or some mindfulness... or, more likely, a combination of all the above. These are simple techniques that can really work to turn around your whole experience.

4) Hypnosis. All of steps 1-3 can be done while you're fully awake and alert. Many and perhaps most clients, however, find they benefit too from hypnosis, during which they start to reduce that sense of being hyper-alert or tense or wound up or... however it is that they experience their anger. (Side comment: there's no such thing as anger, or rather: there's no such THING as anger. It's an emotion, and you'd be surprised at how differently people experience it. Indeed, you'd be surprised at how differently YOU can experience it, when you do so in a safe and secure setting, in slow motion and watching and observing your own reactions. It's quite fascinating, believe me.) If you feel safe and protected and confident, you'll find your anger doesn't have such a big role to play in your reactions any more.

5) Practice! My client was amazed that something he'd been experiencing for the past two or so years - over 700 days, many many thousands of hours - could feel so different after just a single session with me. But this guy was smart enough to put into practice what we discussed during the session, and apply it.

It's like getting fit. You'd be, how shall we say, a very optimistic person if you believed that you could fix years of being a couch potato with a single visit to the gym, wouldn't you? Equally, you'd be very pessimistic indeed if you didn't believe you could ever get fitter or healthier than you are now. So, as with any of these things, practice doesn't make perfect (an unhealthy ambition in any case, to my mind), but it does make permanent.

Anyway, book in for a session why don't you? If you've never experienced hypnosis before it'll be worth it just for that - and who knows, you may find that your anger isn't you, it's just something you happen to be doing...

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