How to Keep an Anger Diary
Anger is a normal, human emotion. It can be intense. Everyone gets angry and has a right to his/her own anger. Some people stuff their anger deep inside which can cause mental health or physical problems. Some people let their anger escalate out of control which can lead to abusive and/or legal situations. The trick is to manage anger effectively. In order to do this, it is necessary to find a way to document anger problems. One way to do this is top keep an anger diary. The following article discusses the steps to keeping an anger diary.
How To Keep An Anger Diary.
Draw seven horizontal columns on a blank 8 by 10 sheet of paper. The first column only needs to be wide enough to list a date. On the left hand side of the paper, label the seven columns from top to bottom in this order: “Date & Time,” ” What triggered the anger response,” “Anger response,” “Was it handled well? (= or-),” “Something done well in this situation,” “Something that could be done in the future to better manage anger.”
Make several copies of this sheet. Only one sheet is to be used to record data. Order them chronologically and keep together in same place such as a folder or binder. It is okay to refer back to previous ones if interested in taking particular note to the last column which might help to positively influence how future triggers are handled.
Record data on one of these sheets every time anger is triggered. Make sure not to include small anger responses. Because this exercise is being used to aid in the managing of heightened anger responses, it is counter productive to record frivolous examples. However, if the response to what used to be a major anger trigger decreases, record this. That way progress can be seen when the sheets are later evaluated.
Review and evaluate the sheets periodically, either alone or with a supportive person or counselor. Look for common patterns, common ideas for improving anger management listed in the last column, and especially progress. Keeping such a diary leads to improved awareness and usually results in progress of some kind.
Keep the sheets even after management is achieved, to refer back to if future problems should re-occur. It is useful to see what worked before and sometimes it is necessary to remind oneself how much progress has been made, sometimes we tend to minimize or forget our past successes.