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8. Make it humorous

Have you ever been mad, frustrated, or upset about something and a few months or years later you started laughing as you thought about it? What makes it funny later?

You do. It’s ALL Mental!

When it comes to anger management, the ability to find the humor in a situation is a priceless asset.

While you are angry, it’s helpful to ask- what will be amusing about this when I think about it later. Is it your facial expression? How about someone else’s facial expression? Is it something that you or someone else said?

Good comedians are great at turning emotional turmoil into humor. Pretend that you are your favorite comedian. What would he or she say about what is happening?

Although it can be challenging to find humor in a situation, it is worth the effort because humor is such an effective antidote for anger. And who knows? Maybe you’ll become a great stand-up comedian in the process!

Even after making it humorous and using the other seven keys we’ve talked about so far, there is little hope for lasting change unless you…

9. Keep the benefits

The behavioral expression of anger always produces at least one perceived benefit. This is known as a secondary gain. Receiving attention, maintaining self-respect, feeling powerful, and keeping the peace- in the case suppressing one’s anger- are examples of benefits that are gained.

Unless a person finds an alternate course of action that produces the same benefit(s), he is likely to resume the undesired behavior.

Million-Dollar Question: What do you gain as a result of your anger?

For me, it’s usually self-respect or a sense of control so, I ask myself, "How else can I maintain a sense of self-respect and.or control in this situation?" How else can you keep your benefits in a situation without going into a fit of rage? I used to have serious anger issues. But after devoting time to developing self-awareness, I’ve realized that the calmer I am, the more I’m in control of the situation.

I’m not saying that I’m some mystical master monk who is always in control of my anger. Sometimes it’s a tug-o-war. Nonetheless, I do eventually win. So will you as long as you keep the benefits.

Here’s an excerpt from an article that I wrote based on a question someone asked me about reverting to old behavior:

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