Skill 4: Changing the Focus From Thoughts to Feelings
We have been looking at the thoughts that drive angry feelings. Now we turn our focus to the feelings themselves. Both of these anger management worksheets deal with Skill 4. Skill 4 is part of the my series of 12 Skills for Honest Optimism. It involves getting more control over anger by learning to name the anger variations and rate the relative intensity of each type of anger. The anger management worksheets for Skill 4 are tools to support the practicing of the skill and the learning of the skill. These are anger management worksheets for adults, although motivated teens might benefit from them as well.
To put these anger management worksheets in perspective, think of a zoologist or an exterminator who knows all the variations of the species of spiders. She is able to name the various types of spiders and rate the intensity of the danger. Now, this knowledge by itself will do nothing to deal with an infestation of spiders. But if you have a serious infestation of spiders in your house, knowing which species your dealing with is an essential first step in planning a strategy to get rid of them. For example, are they Black Widow spiders that come out at night and are extremely poisonous? Or, are they harmless spiders that are more active during the daylight?
Or, to change the metaphor, if you are trying to train an animal for the circus, it’s probably a good idea to know the relative intensity of a bite if those jaws clamp down on your soft arm. That knowledge will influence your training strategy and what kind of precautions you take.
So these worksheets are about beginning the process of getting control of anger by naming the specific type of anger (Anger Management Worskheet 4-1) and learning to give each variation of anger an intensity rating (Anger Management Worksheet 4-2). I have changed my numbering system to make the related skill more explicit. These two anger management worksheets for adults are tools to support the learning of Skill 4.
Here are the download links. For the 4-1 there are two versions of PDF files. The one is for printing the PDF and using it as a paper worksheet. The other one is also a PDF, but it can be completed by typing into the fillable form fields. At the moment, I only have the print version of 4-2 ready.
Download Links for PDFs of Skill 4 Anger Management Worksheets
4-1 Worksheet Skills and Concepts
Continuing the series of anger management worksheets, we now turn to pinpointing the types of anger you experience and we compare two moments in time. The two steps for completing this worksheet correspond to the twin goals of this exercise. In steps 1 the goal is to think about different types of anger. There is a certain amount of control that we gain just by naming something.
This because identifying something more specifically helps us to know it better. If you have to tame an elephant, you will probably do better if you know the difference between an African Elephant and an Indian Elephant. Like elephants, anger comes in variations. The techniques we use to control one type of anger are not always effective for another variation. For example, if you are annoyed by what someone is saying, it might be best to ask more clarifying questions and try to hold yourself together while you are listening. If, on the other hand, you are ready to explode, controlling your anger may mean excusing yourself from the situation altogether so that you can cool down.
Instructions for Using Anger Management Worksheet 4-1 (PDF for Printing)
Step 1: What I Felt Then
Take 60 seconds to remember the situation in detail. In your mind, step through the sequence of what happened. What feelings of anger did you feel during the situation? This may or may not be similar to how you feel right now. For example, you might feel calm while you are completing the worksheet, but you remember how you felt at the time the situation was unfolding. Step 1 is about looking at your anger in history, not the present.
Step 2: What I Feel Now (While Thinking About the Past)
Now, we switch gears. Take 30 seconds to remember the situation again in detail. For a second time, use your imagination to step through the sequence of what happened. Now, as you think about the situation, observe what feelings you are experiencing NOW, while you are remembering. Now you put a star by the words that best describe the anger that comes up while you are thinking about it.
Are you feeling any feelings of anger similar to the words you checked? If so, this is called re-experiencing because you are reliving an angry situation on an emotional level.
Aim for These Emotional Intelligence Skills While Using Anger Management Worksheet 4-1
In this worksheet, aim for developing these emotional intelligence skills. To actually begin to develop these skills, the worksheet must be used several times following numerous, different situations in which you became angry.
- Selecting a situation of anger. Admitting to yourself that you were, in fact, angry at the time.
- Learn to be more specific about your emotions by pinpointing a specific type of anger. A car is not a truck and rage is not irritation. Learn to be honest with yourself. Don’t exaggerate, but don’t minimize.
- Distinguish between feelings THEN vs. NOW.
- Learn to recognize RE-EXPERIENCING as a real part of your experience of anger.
Thumbnails of Two Anger Management Worksheets for Adults