Anger Management Exercise: Draining|
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Close your eyes and get as comfortable as you can.
When localized areas of high-pressure air meet low-pressure air they can spawn a whirlwind that sucks up dirt and trash and moves across the landscape spreading disorder and destruction.
When your high-pressure lifestyle meets a low ebb in your energy level, together they can stir up an emotional whirlwind that makes everything you value—your loved ones, your work, your hopes and dreams—seem like debris swirling around you. Before you take off across your emotional landscape spreading disorder and destruction, take a moment to relax and center yourself.
When your life seems like a whirlwind, the image of the calm center is important. At the exact center of a whirlwind, there is a spot of perfectly calm air. Tell yourself, “I am the calm center of the whirlwind. I can take a moment to right myself, to return to center. At my core is a calm spot that does not turn with every gust of wind.” Paradoxically, when you take your place as the calm center, the whirlwind slows, the dust settles, and your life seems more orderly and manageable.
An ordinary pencil can help you find your calm center. This is something you can do at a desk or table, when you’re working on the bills or homework, and you need to return to your calm center quickly and get on with your work.
Pick up a pencil by the point end. Hold it very lightly between your thumb and fingertip, letting the eraser end hang down a couple of inches above the tabletop. Cradle your head in your other hand and get as comfortable as you can.
Slow your breathing.
Tell yourself that when you are sufficiently relaxed,
the pencil will slip out of your fingers and drop. That will be your sign
to let go completely, to just relax and feel peaceful for two minutes.
Imagine you’re at the calm center of a whirlwind. You can hear the cold
wind whistling, but right where you are it is calm. The sun is shining
and you feel warm and secure. Imagine all your cares and worries receding. The whirlwind expands
and slows down. The calm center gets larger and more relaxed. Continue
breathing slowly, thinking about calming and relaxing all your tight muscles.
If a worry or doubt intrudes, just tell yourself, “That’s okay, I can let
that go for now and relax. I’ll just sit here, calm and centered, deeply,
deeply relaxed.” After the pencil drops, continue to enjoy your calm center
for a couple of minutes. Then return to what you were doing with renewed
energy feeling calm, relaxed, and focused.
Aim: Exploring How Others Feel
Time: 5 minutes
Materials and preparation: None
Activity: The leader asks the group to form a circle and asks those in the group that have difficulty interacting with each other to step into the centre. A typical situation is then chosen where these people are likely to have difficulties with each other. Very often it could be some kind of confrontation, such as asking someone to stop doing something. This scenario is then enacted in front of the group, with people in the centre of the circle taking on the roles of those with whom they are having difficulty. In this enactment people improvise their new character; for example, if there are two people, they will be playing each other's roles. The group leader should let this go on for as long as is appropriate, while making sure that the actors know that what they are doing is role-playing and not real life.
Variation: Improvise possible solutions. Do they work?
Closure: The leader talks to the actors about how they feel. What was it like being presented with yourself? Were the characterizations realistic? What did the group feel watching it? Ask the actors to shake hands and leave behind the characters they have just played in the circle.
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Anger can be extremely disruptive in a group if it is suppressed and diverted. However, it need not be a problem if it is acknowledged and handled skillfully. We generally try to control angry feelings and encourage others to do the same. Anger is a difficult emotion to manage, as we usually neither acknowledge it nor understand it. This desire to bottle up anger can often result in displacement behaviour: instead of expressing their anger, people may:
We may feel virtuous because we have bottled up our anger instead of just letting it go. The one thing we have not done in such a situation is to explain assertively why we feel as we do to the group or the individual involved: we do not acknowledge our responsibility for our own anger.
Aim: To explore anger and its effects.
Method: Work with a partner. Draw up a grid like the one on Handout 35.
List five things which make you angry, be specific, then rank them from 1 to 5, using 1 for the one which angers you most. Next to each one write down the main reason why it makes you angry. Finally, write down next to each one what you do when you are angry in such a situation. Include your physical responses as well as what you do and say, discuss your list with your partner. Work with your partner to see if you can think of an alternative assertive response to each situation.
Time: 30 minutes or longer
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Working with Groups on Spiritual Themes
Participants explore meaning and purpose in life, considering the changes that take place over a lifetime.
1. Distribute the Meaning and Purpose worksheet and advise participants that they will be completing it one section at a time.
2. Open the discussion by asking participants to complete sections 1 and 2 on the worksheet.
3. As participants share and discuss their responses to the worksheet sections, record their insights on the chalkboard.
4. Ask participants to complete section 3 of the worksheet, reflecting on their awareness of purpose and meaning in life as children, adolescents, young adults, mid-life adults, and older adults. As they discuss their ideas, record them on the chalkboard.
5. Ask participants to complete and then discuss section 4.
6. As time allows select questions from the list below that seem relevant:
7. Ask participants to complete and then discuss section 5.
8. Provide several minutes for silent reflection. Conclude by asking participants to share their thoughts on ways in which they can foster and nurture the ongoing discovery of meaning and purpose.
1. Write your definition of meaning in life. What is meaningful to you?
4. How do you discover purpose and meaning in your life?
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