Sample Extract 3 From Anger Management
To really watch something, such as how anger affects you, you have to plant yourself firmly in the present moment. The past and the future, where our thoughts so often dwell, must be abandoned in favor of the here and now. This is the place you are anyway, and where your life is lived out.
You do this, first of all, by deciding to do it. You decide you want to understand the heart of the struggle, to fully experience everything that happens when you get angry. You can make this choice any time and commit to it.
The second way to stay in the present is by listening to your body. This is achieved by noticing your breathing, your beating heart, your posture, and your areas of tension. You observe any significant sensations in your body: areas that hurt or feel hot, heavy, or shaky. This is not an easy skill to learn, which is why you will be given exercises throughout this book for you to practice everyday, so that you can apply these skills when anger arises. If you want to apply these skills in the heat of the moment, it’s best to practice them at other times first.
The third way to stay in the present is to notice and keep track of your conscious mind—your thoughts, emotions, and drives. Throughout an anger episode, you need to keep asking yourself these questions: