Fear keeps you from trying something new or difficult. Fear whispers inside your head you’re going to fail. Fear says you’re going to look stupid. Fear says people are going to laugh at you.
Maybe those fears came from something that happened to you as a child. Maybe they came from being taught someone else’s fears.
You confront fears by talking about them. Sometimes it helps to think of fear as rats in the basement. If you don’t talk about the rats, they seem to get bigger. But if you confront the rats, or fears, and talk about them, they get smaller.
You have many difficult lessons to learn as you start your life over after incarceration. The rats may talk to you sometimes. Call them out. Tell them off. And then lock them up in the basement, where they belong.
If your response to frustration becomes destructive, you hurt yourself, family members, friends, and coworkers. After emotions get out of control, it’s too late. You can’t take it back. The steps below may help.
Make time to control your response. Remove yourself from the situation before you lose control by physically leaving, or buy yourself a little time. For example, if you're on the phone and losing your temper, you can say something like, “Okay, I’ll get back to you." This gives you time to remove yourself long enough to control your response. Controlling your response is key to managing an outcome.
Consider the other person’s perspective. Is she under a lot of stress? Does he have mental or physical health problems? Sometimes it helps to consider the other person’s situation, even if he’s being a jerk. If there's a possiblity of speaking opening and honestly with the other person, that can help.
Clear your mind and body. Anger causes a physical response in your body, which you feel in the form of heat or an adrenaline rush. It takes time to flush the body of anger. If you’re at work, go outside for a few moments, or go to the bathroom if that’s the only place you can get away to. Breathe deeply and slowly. Count to ten. Afterward, when you have more time, take a walk, go to the gym, play with your kids.
Don’t take things personally. When other people act in a disrespectful way, it’s probably much more about them and not you.
What you've lived and learned affects how you relate to other people and your self-control. Changing this could be hard to re-learn, but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help. CBT has been shown to reduce recidivism. To learn more about CBT, click the button below.