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Become an optimist for better health and happiness

Friends Jane and Anthony have very different ways of viewing the world. Jane is a pessimist (“the glass is half-empty”) while Anthony is an optimist (“the glass is half-full”) Let’s compare how they think about similar life experiences: Scenario 1: A bad thing happens: both lose their jobsJane is devastated, convincing herself that she is…

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Quick Anger Tip – Manage Your Time Better

Anger is an emotion that is often triggered by a common malady of modern life-time stress. When you think about it, you may see that time is the original equal opportunity employer. We all get the same amount of time to work with-60 minutes an hour, 24 hours per day, 168 hours per week, 8730…

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How to deal with difficult people coping with the aggressive driver when he is a loved one

45 year old John terrorized his family when they were his passengers. He would yell at them if they complained about his driving. He would ignore them when they showed signs of discomfort and even seemed to enjoy scaring his passengers with his maneuvers such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, passing other…

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Diffuse family anger by talking differently — to yourself!

Case #1: Jeanette and Tom had been married 15 years. Wanting to surprise him for his birthday, Jeanette bought (with her own money) Tom a big-screen LCD television. Tom’s reaction? He instantly blew up and berated Jeanette for spending so much money, buying more television than they needed, and buying a bigger one than they…

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Six parental tips for your angry children

It was labor day when 8 year old Brandon’s mother heard a commotion from her child’s room. Seems that his 14 year old visiting cousin said something that upset Brandon which caused Brandon to strike the other boy. His mother Michelle hysterically called her therapist wondering what to do and how to handle the anger…

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Five lessons on how anger can be a GOOD thing!

Lynn, age 40 was in the luggage station at the airport with her sister-in-law. They patiently waited for the airline to find their luggage—as did her husband circling the airport in his car in attempts to transport the women home. After two hours, Lynn decided to take action; she angrily confronted a supervisor, indicating loss…

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Explosive rage: Does anger management training help?

Everyone has heard of road rage incidents wherein usually calm and responsible people “snap” and commit an aggressive or violent act. Turns out, that “losing one’s temper” can occur in many different life situations and cause serious emotional or physical harm to others. It is a pattern in which tension builds until an explosion brings…

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Six tools to repair emotional damage in your marriage

Rudy and Marjorie were on the verge of divorce. Married 12 years, they had constant verbal battles ending in what therapists call emotional disengagement— meaning that they simply ignored each other for days on end. Emotionally, they were simmering inside and also lonely for each other, but were unable to reach out and communicate these…

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How to control anger by forgiving grievances

Thirty-two year old Elizabeth cried during her anger management class as she related how one year ago her 19-month-old girl was permanently brain-damaged as the result of medical error at the hospital in which she was delivered. She definitely had a legitimate grievance toward the hospital and the medical staff and felt that she could…

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Sports parents who lose control

Pennsylvania — A parent body slammed a high school referee after he ordered the man’s wife out of the gym for allegedly yelling obscenities during a basketball game. The referee was treated at a hospital for a concussion and released after the attack. Charged with simple assault, assault on a sports official, reckless endangerment and…

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How to cope with a loved one driving under the influence of impaired emotions

45 year old John terrorized his family when they were his passengers. He would yell at them if they complained about his driving. He would ignore them when they showed signs of discomfort and even seemed to enjoy scaring his passengers with his maneuvers such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, passing other…

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Five steps to adjust your expectations

Dateline: January 4th. Orange, Ca. Anger management class participants review anger triggers of the week: “My boyfriend openly flirts with other women in front of me.” Jane, age 23, engaged to be married “a work group back East didn’t finish their project on time, which made our progress look bad – I blew up! Jim,…

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How optimism can help—or hurt—your marriage

Beth and Tom were happily married for over 25 years— no small feat in today’s world. At first, their friends could not understand how their marriage succeeded, due to numerous perceived shortcomings. However, closer scrutiny of their marriage revealed that it was their thinking patterns—the ways they explained and interpreted their partner’s behavior to themselves—that…

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Four ways to think like an optimist and improve your your health

Even as a child, James was described by teachers and his parents as a happy optimist. As the story goes, one day his parents decided to play a joke on him and test his attitude by requiring him to spend an afternoon cleaning deserted stables at what had been a local racetrack. Returning after two…

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Five tips to raise the optimistic child for better mental health

I had just completed a session with 17 year old Julie with severe depression and a firm belief that she was a total failure, she would never be able to change anything in her life, and all her shortcomings were her fault. Where, I asked myself, did such a young person acquire this negative and…

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How to control your emotions on the road

Dateline: December 4th. Orange County, California. A 29 year old man was shot to death, an apparent victim of road rage. According to newspaper accounts, he had a reputation for never backing down from a fight. The man and his half brother were heading home from a plumbing job when the trouble began. Driving in…

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Anger in the American family – four steps to teach family to treat you better

Case #1- Elizabeth, a 40 year old homemaker was always feeling angry and “used” by her family, constantly saying that everybody took advantage of her. She felt that she worked like a slave but her family showed no appreciation or acknowledgment of her many efforts. Case #2- Bill, a 34 year old husband complained that…

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Anger in the workplace – key management strategies

Joe, a 15 year city employee with a good record began missing work, and showing irritability with supervisors and customers alike. He then started to shout at customers who frustrated him. As complaints mounted, his supervisors “wrote him up” but did not try to discover the reasons for his drastic change of behavior. Finally, when…

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How to deal with an adult bully

Sixty-four year old Bill was a married retired executive who sought anger management help on the insistence of his wife Ann. After 24 years Ann could no longer tolerate his bullying behavior toward her, their children, and their friends. He would often relate in an insulting, “get in your face” way using a loud, intimidating…

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How to be less angry in your marriage – Tips on how to become allies around issues

Tom and Mary have been married for 10 years. Both are employed. Let’s listen in on an angry conversation they are having in their kitchen while making dinner: (curtain up) Mary: Would it have killed you to stop off on your way home to buy me some Valentine flowers? Tom: You should have seen the…

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Recognize stress before it turns into anger

After a stressful day as a computer programmer, Jim pulled into his driveway. The children’s toys were scattered on the walkway to the house.He immediately began noticing slight tension in his muscles and apprehension in his stomach. Entering his house, his wife ignored him while she talked with her sister on the telephone. His heart…

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