Managing Resistance in Executive Coaching Clients

The Executive Vice President of a large corporation in Los Angeles contacted me seeking assistance with a valuable staff member who was exhibiting an aggressive edge that was causing tension at their workplace.

According to the information I was given, this employee had no idea that her colleagues felt she was addressing them with a defensive attitude and unpleasant inappropriate/angry comments.

It has been my experience that in working with this type of referral, the identified client must be handled sensitively with discretion and honesty when explaining why he or she is being directed to Executive Coaching by his/her employer.

Clients in this category are generally resistant to change and tend to perceive their referral to Executive Coaching with a degree of suspicion. I cannot stress enough the importance of honesty in explaining to the referred client that Executive Coaching is not psychotherapy or counseling. Rather it is an individual tutoring program based on the client’s personal scores that are a result of an assessment that is given at the beginning of the Program. This assessment measures the areas in which each person can improve interactions, measure performance in stress management and communication, increase emotional intelligence (EQ), and address anger management, as well as assess the client’s motivation to make changes in his/her life.

Further explanation to the program emphasizes that this is a one-to-one session, all information remains confidential; and, no one from his/her workplace can access information regarding their progress. This information will reduce tension on the client’s part and assure his/her attendance at the first session and subsequent sessions. I provide flexible hours to accommodate obligations and anonymity. Sessions are by appointment only.

It is a mistake for the referring party to mislead their employee into thinking that Executive Coaching is for those people who have job skills, but need help with business etiquette. Executive Coaching does not address etiquette and I do not profess to be “Emily Post.”

This program is also available as an in-service seminar and workplace presentation, which will provide tools and skills that address working with individuals when disruptive interactions are occurring. We use the internationally acclaimed Anderson & Anderson curriculum in anger management and executive coaching.

By Karen Golob, CAMF, CH

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers

Armchair Stress Busters – Five Ways to Beat Stress Without Leaving Your Chair!

Who says you have to work up a sweat to beat stress? Here are five easy stress management techniques you can practice without having to leave the comfort of your armchair.

If you are feeling stressed and have a few minutes to spare try one of these quick-fire stress busters to make you feel better. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your armchair!

1. Call a friend. Your friends are only a phone call away, so pick up the phone and give them a call. The old adage “a problem shared is a problem halved” is true, and if you have something on your mind then talking it through with someone sympathetic and supportive can work wonders for your mood. Talking is a great stress reliever which can help you feel connected with someone and alleviate feelings of loneliness.

2. Sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for us all, as it allows the mind and body to recover from the previous day. If you are suffering from stress however, your mind is kept busy mulling over worries and problems which can keep you awake at night and stop you getting those much needed Zs. This can leave you feeling tired the next day and make your stress symptoms even worse. Allowing yourself a little nap can help recharge your batteries and give your body time to rest, and if you keep it to less than 20 minutes you won’t go into deep sleep, so you should wake up feeling refreshed and alert. Taking a nap before 3pm means it shouldn’t affect your sleep that night either.

3. Breathe. Learning to breathe properly can be one of the simplest and most effective ways to beat stress. By breathing deeply, slowly and rhythmically, you can lower your blood pressure, slow down your brain waves and relax your nervous system. Breathing techniques for relaxation involve breathing from the diaphragm (abdomen), otherwise known as ‘belly breathing’. Breaths should be slow and deep, and should bring the air down into the lower part of the lungs – you should feel your abdomen rise on the in-breath, instead of your chest. Try breathing in for a count of seven, and exhaling for a count of eleven. The exhaling breath is longer because it is more relaxing, and this is an excellent way of calming yourself down as you focus on counting and drawing breaths.

4. Meditate. Meditation can be described as conscious relaxation. It is the process of attaining total awareness, where the mind becomes free of all thoughts. In meditation you experience a deep sense of relaxation and stillness which becomes easier to attain the more regularly you practice. The basic meditation technique involves sitting comfortably with your spine straight, eliminating as much background noise and distractions as possible, and trying to quiet your mind by thinking of nothing. This is easier said than done! You may find it helps if you focus on something intently, for example a candle, or your breathing. The more you practice, the easier it gets. Don’t try and force something to happen, and don’t try to make your mind go blank. Just relax and let the meditation happen.

5. Listen to Music. Music has the power to change the way you feel in an instant, and playing an uplifting or relaxing track can be a very powerful way to influence your mood. Music with a slower tempo will lower the heart rate and slow down breathing, thereby promoting a calm and meditative state.

By Jean Richards

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
Houston, Texas

Consumer Fraud Alert – On-line Anger Management Classes – Houston, Texas

Consumer Alert for persons considering anger management classes on-lineConsumer Fraud: False or misleading Internet anger management ads

Anderson & Anderson has earned the reputation as “The Trusted Name in Anger Management”. We have devoted our many years of practice to providing quality professional services to consumers and professionals. In the absence of state standards for the practice of anger management, we have assumed a responsibility to expose false and/or misleading advertising which may victimize unsuspecting consumers. As the largest and most respected anger management provider in the nation, we feel that it is important for those who profess to be trained anger management facilitators to be truthful and fair in claims made in all Internet ads.

The following information appears on the Home Page of the Federal Trade Commission which is the only agency with the power to act against unscrupulous Internet advertisers:

Advertising and Marketing on the Internet: Rules of the Road
The Internet is connecting advertisers and marketers to customers from Boston to Bali with text, interactive graphics, video and audio. If you’re thinking about advertising on the Internet, remember that many of the same rules that apply to other forms of advertising apply to electronic marketing. These rules and guidelines protect businesses and consumers – and help maintain the credibility of the Internet as an advertising medium. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prepared this guide to give you an overview of some of the laws it enforces.

Advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers.
In addition, claims must be substantiated.

The Federal Trade Commission Act allows the FTC to act in the interest of all consumers to prevent deceptive and unfair acts or practices. In interpreting Section 5 of the Act, the Commission has determined that a representation, omission or practice is deceptive if it is likely to:

  • mislead consumers and
  • affect consumers’ behavior or decisions about the product or service.

While there as no laws regulating the practice of anger management, there are some counties or districts which have some minimal standards. For example, the Superior Court in the County of Los Angeles, which has a population of ten million residents, has its own list of accepted providers. Orange County, California has designated the Probation Department as the agency responsible for determining acceptable providers for that county. Finally, on-line anger management classes are not accepted by any court in the state of California. This can easily be confirmed by contacting the Presiding Judge in any Judicial District in California. In Houston, Tx. it is the local Probation Department which approves anger management classes. In the State of Texas, it is Commission on Juvenile Probation and the Commission on Adult Probation which has the authority to approve or disapprove of anger management programs. Neither of these agencies currently approves of on-line anger management classes.

Therefore, all Anderson & Anderson Certified Providers are asked to copy and forward false and misleading ads including those claiming “Court Acceptance Guaranteed”, Money Back Guarantee” and similar claims for on-line classes and sending this information to the Federal Trade Commission as well as Google. We are also requesting that all of our members place copies of this announcement on their websites and/blogs.

For anyone who has been damaged by any of these ads, we urge you to visit the website of the Federal Trade Commission at and file your own complaint.

All legitimate anger management providers suffer when we sit by quietly as consumers are victimized.

By George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
Houston, Texas

Good Anger, Bad Anger – Telling The Difference

Feelings of anger can be a good guide that you need to take action to stand up for yourself, and avoid being manipulated. Getting rid of all anger because it has negative connotations can rob you of this valuable resource and turn you into an unhappy people pleaser. But how do you tell the difference between good anger and bad anger?
Check any listing of self-help groups, books or websites, and Anger management is likely to be given top billing. It has a bad smell, and it is frowned upon  indiscriminately.  Yet anger is one of our fundamental emotions, and it has a purpose and value. The survival and utility value of anger has been buried under a mountain of tips and strategies for controlling and suppressing anger.

It is important to make a distinction between healthy anger that propels you to action for your safety and  promotes growth, and the anger that is gratuitously destructive and stifles development. When anger is used to feel powerful, to control and to humiliate just so you can feel superior, that is neither useful or satisfying for very long.  Anger is useful if it comes as a  signal to alert you  that  you are being  used, taken advantage of, scapegoated or being given a role that is not your responsibility. It is especially valuable when you feel you are being dehumanized and manipulated. Anger control programs are essential for the former. Anger expression programs are vital for the latter.  Those using anger to get high on control and domination, need to find other ways of feeling good about themselves. Those who are taken advantage of at an early age can rarely take the risk of showing anger, so they lock it up. As adults they may feel safer in allowing the anger out, but are unable to make the distinction between those who are the true source of the anger and others who may be irritating.

Jennifer  found herself getting furious when family and friends expected her to do things for them and never considered her feelings. Her rage would be out of proportion to the trigger that sparked it. She ended up scaring those around her, hated herself and tried to numb her shame by binge eating.  As a child Jennifer had  protected siblings from her mother’s anger. Over the years she became resentful that she had to take on a parenting role, but never expressed it, even to herself. As an adult when friends and relatives asked things of her, the pent up resentment was sparked like a powder keg and she blew up. She wasn’t reacting to the person in real time asking something very simple of her, but to the years of having to be a care taker when it wasn’t her job or responsibility.

Jennifer’s anger is natural, legitimate and healthy. It is the anger of protest that she was robbed of her childhood and appropriate parenting.  Feeling it and expressing it towards the source of her resentment is appropriate and therapeutic.  Shooting the anger bullets at those who remind her of her of the time when she couldn’t speak up is unlikely to reduce the fury nor create a fertile ground for adult relationships. It keep her stuck in the past and unable to release herself from the ties with her prior experiences. 

Recognizing Healthy Anger

* You find yourself swallowing your feelings when a loved one, or one in authority imposes their views and demands on you.

* When you hear ‘ no need to bite my head off, I was just asking…’

* When you find yourself having a dialogue in your head with the person or situation that annoyed you, but cannot do so in reality.

*You get sick and tired of giving priority to the needs and wants of someone else, in the vain hope that they will reciprocate.

Recognizing Unhealthy Anger

* You feel big and strong when you shut someone down

* You enjoy seeing someone else try to appease and placate you

* You are quick to feel enraged when you don’t get heard and attended to right away

*  When  fear of your anger is the only thing that keeps someone toeing your line

Giving yourself permission to be angry and then to express it is a big step for those who have delegated this emotion to the box labeled ‘immature.’ Once you begin to feel your legitimate anger, you can  experiment with expressing it in small doses, build your emotional muscles and honor yourself. In my next article on this topic I will address ways in which you can  be angry without damaging your self-esteem or relationships with significant others.

Copyright Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
Houston, Texas

The Consequences of Anger

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
–Ambrose Bierce

Anger and the ATM

At the time I am writing this post, the average anger management class is going to cost you between $600 and $2500. In addition to court fees most courts will order 12-52 weeks of anger management. This adds up to hours of sitting in class, time away from your family, time away from your job – as you may know time is money.

You may be saying to yourself, “Well my anger has not caused me any problems with the court or the police.” My response to you is “not yet.”

Denise was born and raised in Italy. She and her family moved to the United States when she was thirteen. She found adjustment to her new California lifestyle challenging. Denise felt as if she just did not fit in. Part of her difficulty was due to her slow absorption of the English language. During her high school years, she developed the habit of not expressing herself. She felt that if she voiced her opinions or her thoughts she would either be ridiculed or considered unintelligent because of her broken English. For years she kept her thoughts and emotions inside.

Now at twenty-one Denise spoke fluent English with little to no accent. She was a petite girl, 5’2 and no more than 105 pounds. She had long brown hair that she pulled into a ponytail. Tanned and toned, she entered my office in a fitted Jennifer Lopez sweat-suit. She had obviously assimilated to the L.A. culture. Although beautiful she still retained a quiet rural innocence.

Denise was a student at a local college when she found herself in a disagreeable and eventually costly position. If you have ever attended a major college you can understand how difficult and frustrating it is to find a parking space. Imagine that you’re late for class, and your building is halfway across the campus. Well the parking Gods smiled on Denise that day. As she pulled into the parking lot she slipped into a cozy outlined space waiting for her. With some time to spare, Denise applied her lip-gloss. She was using her rearview mirror when she noticed a meter maid joyfully detailing cars with parking tickets. As she watched for a while she noticed a trend. The meter maid only appeared to ticket students of races and nationalities not kin to her own. She felt confused and a little angry, but who was she to get involved, it was none of her business. Denise sucked it in and went to class.

The next day she witnessed the same thing. The exact same meter made appeared to be targeting and ticketing every student expect the ones of her own race. This time Denise was enraged. Why this is America! How could someone be allowed to continue such a discriminating act? She decided to speak her mind. Fuelled with the passion of injustice, Denise approached the meter maid. She explained how the meter maid’s actions were a violation of the student’s civic rights. She appealed to her since of equality. After all the meter maid was an African-American female. She could certainly relate to the sting of prejudice. Denise thought to herself, “Doesn’t she know about the women’s suffrage movement, the struggle of Dr. King and the NAACP?” Obviously, the meter maid did not know of Dr. King’s the struggle or did not care, because she promptly called campus police and had Denise arrested for obstructing the duties of a public officer.

Denise made bail at the price of $5000. She retained a lawyer at $250 an hour and was granted probation by the court, which charged her $290 in court fees. She is currently serving a three- year probation sentence and pays $100 a month to the probation department. By the time Denise completes her probation she would have made several trips to the ATM and paid close to $13,000 or more.

Believe it or not, the financial loss is the least destructive consequence of anger. In fact when we speak of “person centered aggression”, it is the cost to the victim that supersedes any financial loss. Let us take a look at how anger can destroy the lives of others around you.

By Shannon Munford M.A.

Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson provider.

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
Houston, Texas

Is your anger brining you down

There are many consequences of expressing anger. When anger is a problem, the signals are usually as follows: it lasts too long, it is too intense, it happens too frequently, it leads to aggression, and/or it destroys work or personal relationships. On the positive side, anger provides a signal that change is needed and, when expressed and dealt with appropriately, can lead to assertive communication of unmet needs.

At Marin Anger Management Services I see people courageously facing their anger issues when various anger episodes arise.

After being cut-off in traffic, a client followed the car to their home, and verbally aggressed, and destroyed property belonging to the driver.

A woman called to seek anger management for herself and her fiancée stating that she could not marry him or have his children until his anger issues were dealt with.

A woman called seeking help due to an altercation involving a friend of 25 years, in the parking lot of a shopping center. The police intervened and she could not control herself, was arrested and mandated to anger management.

A man sought help with his anger issues at the request of his wife of 30 years, stating that she would not take his anger episodes any longer.

An elderly couple, recently married, is working on a solution to escalating, heating arguments that end in hurt feelings and silence that lasts for days before resolution.

Whether court ordered or self- referred, people are becoming more willing to address and deal with anger motivated acts of aggression towards each other in the advent of available Anger Management Services. The Anderson and Anderson model, as taught by George Anderson, begins the process by administering an assessment to determine strengths and limitations in the areas of anger management, stress management, emotional intelligence, and communication. This model teaches a set of skills designed for recognition and transformation of the anger episode. The Anderson methodology is incorporated into a rich format conducive to the effective delivery of the skills necessary to identify, process, and change maladaptive patterns of expressing anger.

When anger is triggered, here are seven steps to anger control,
1. Identify your upsetting feelings.
2. Identify the upsetting thoughts making you angry. What upsetting things are you telling yourself?
3. Counteract your upsetting thoughts with positive self-messages.
4. Clarify the situation for yourself. What is really going on in the situation?
5. Set a realistic goal in regard to the problem. Find an alternative solution to change the situation.
6. List the constructive options that are realistic and possible to resolve the issue and reach your goal.
7. Choose a constructive option to reach your goal and act on it.

By Lindsay Ferguson, LMFT, located in San Rafael, California, is currently developing anger management services in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. He uses the Anderson and Anderson Model and sees individuals, groups, couples, and executives.

You can reach him by calling 415-258-4515 or visit his web site at:

— Mr. Ferguson is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Anger Management Facilitator. He received his graduate and post graduate training from the Dominican University of California in Counseling Psychology.

Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson provider.

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
Houston, Texas

Worry Causes Anger

If you are constantly worrying then you are harming your body and mind, and eventually your emotions will explode into anger. Worrying often leads nowhere, since most times, the things that people worry about are out of their control. For example, if you have bill due tomorrow and do not get a paycheck until Friday and no one has the money to lend you then you have to wait until Friday to pay the bill. Why worry about it until Friday arrives, since there may be nothing you can do.

Of course you should check your resources to find out if something is available to you, but if it isn’t do not stress your self, rather patiently wait until payday arrives. If you are constantly worrying then eventually your emotions will crumble and an anger outburst may occur. Worry is a distress to our mental status, or aggravation that results from concern over something impending or anticipated therefore worry is anxiety. When you are worrying, your nerves are affected and when the nerves flare, your temper is subject to flare.

The British Dialect for worry is to strangle or to choke. Therefore, we see that worry is not healthy, since strangling and choking can kill. In short, if you are constantly worry or anticipating then you are causing your body harm. Your heart, nerves, and other portions of the body are affected as you worry. The body signs are there when you are worrying. You often feel the pit of your stomach in knots.

You might feel your arms and legs shake, or your heart stressed to its limit. If you cannot change it do not worry about it, it is out of your control anyway. Sufficient for each day for no one knows what tomorrow will bring. Taking it one day at a time is the best strategy for dealing with stress. If you remember that you can change something’s, but other things are out of your control you will fare better in life. Anger is an intense emotion that can make or break a person. If you are angry and blow a fuse, more than likely added trouble will come your way and then you will worry constantly trying to figure out a way to escape.

You already have enough problems in your life, so why increase your flow. Emotions are nothing to toy with, since emotions control our joy, anger, happy, sadness and so forth. Emotions are designed to help us manage our lives. However, if you are not in touch with your emotions then you emotions will not be in touch with you. Usually what follows with worry is depression, which is a state of sadness. Now if you have anxiety combined with depression your nerves are affected tremendously.

This means that you are weighing heavy on your emotions and when triggered you are most likely going to explode. If you are screaming, shouting, yelling, or cursing at the other person then this will add to your existing problems and will affect your nerves more so. It makes sense to let go and think carefully about your situation, finding a way to control your emotions and anger. If you think before acting, it often opens new doors and you will find a resolve for your problems. Remember no one can predict what tomorrow will bring.

Therefore, the control is out of your hands and the only resource then is to relax and think of the potential resolves available to you. Your mind is a tricky area and if you let your mind take control of you then you are heading for a disaster. Being in charge of your own life is taking the road to success and minimizing your problems.

If you feel that you are centered out from the rest of the world, remember someone else has more problems than you have and few of us have very little resources to resolve the problems. No one is excluded from problems in life and we all have our share of turmoil to face each day. If you seem to explode every time your anger arises then you might need to seek help at anger management, mental health or medical experts.
By Christos Varsamis

Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson provider.

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
Houston, Texas

Anger Management – Emotional Intelligence Assessments

Anger Management Institute of Texas now provides anger and emotional intelligence test upon request. If you’re a Manager, Human Resource Professional, Mental Health Professional, or an Employee Assistance Professional in need to have someone evaluated for fitness-for-duty these are invaluable tools for assessment purposes.

The anger assessment measures a person’s skills in six areas: interpersonal assertion, interpersonal deference, interpersonal aggression, empathy, stress management, and personal change orientation.

The emotional intelligence test measures a person’s emotional outlook in the following areas: life pressures, life satisfactions, emotional self-awareness, emotional expression, emotional awareness of others, intentionality, creativity, resilience, interpersonal connections, constructive discontent, outlook, compassion, intuition, trust radius, personal power, integrated self, general health, quality of life, relational quotient, and optimal performance.

Cost: $150.00

For more information about our services please call 281-477-9105 or visit our website

Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson provider.

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
Houston, Texas

Learning Healthy Anger Management Strategies

When treating or dealing with anger issues, there are many suggestions for anger management strategies. Each of them is intended to help people who are hot-tempered and frequently have fits of rage. Anger, although a healthy and normal response to upsetting situations, it can be intense to the point of violence. When a person experiences regular episodes of angry or reckless behavior, there’s a problem, one that needs to be dealt with. Anger management strategies are designed to help an individual return to a healthy, normal existence.
Taking a time-out is considered a healthy management strategy. Removing oneself from a situation or person that makes a person angry is practicing time-out. This anger management strategy might simply require a ride in the car or a walk on the beach. Playing sports or working out will help an individual to use up some of the extra energy without involving others. Some other suggestions for time-out are reading, listening to music or sitting alone in silence. Each of these activities are healthy anger management strategies.

A second example of a healthy anger management strategy is, owning up to the anger. Although the anger is usually brought on by an irritating situation or a confrontation with another individual, the anger actually belongs to the troubled person. Only the person who’s experiencing the anger issues can control their outbursts. Only the person with the anger issues can learn anger management strategies and how to deal with their feelings in a healthy way. When an individual becomes mad or upset they need to try to disclose the reasons for their anger whether it is hurt, fear, frustration sadness, confusion , jealousy or whatever seems to bring unleash the rage.

Another healthy anger management strategy is to look back on those situations that upset an individual and try to find ways to make changes. Learning the cause of the anger may help the individual to avoid those situations. Not only might the person learn to avoid these incidents but they might also choose to take what they’ve learned and attempt to deal with the situation without bursting into a frenzy.

A fourth suggestion regarding healthy management strategies is to confront the situation or person. Talk to the person or people involved, calmly of course, to try to determine the root of the problem. The angry individual might actually discover that the whole thing was a mix-up, a misunderstanding. The individual might also try asking the person or people in the situation to think about their behavior and perhaps even change it. It may be surprising what people would be willing to do to help the person who is attempting to deal with their problems with anger. Hopefully everything will work out for the best. If not there has to be room for acceptance. Sometimes a person must simply accept the situations and people they cannot change and either deal with it or walk away.

Learning healthy anger management strategies should be considered by those with anger problems. There are many books published regarding anger and anger management. There is also a wealth of information available on the Internet for those who are attempting to deal with their anger by learning healthy anger management strategies.

By Andrew Hacker

Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson provider.

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
Houston, Texas

The Secret of Stress Management

Stress is all around us and affects us every day. Here are some easy to use methods for coping with stress.

Stress, it’s all around us! All day long we are exposed to stress, stress at home, stress at our jobs and, at least here in San Diego, even stress at the beach. Things happen to us, a loved one dies, someone kicks sand in our face, we’re fired from a job or someone cuts us off on the freeway. These and lots more things cause us stress and we all know that type of stress and how it makes us feel.

This type if stress is known asdistress. It is the most commonly-referred to type of stress and is know to affect us negatively. This type of stress raises our blood pressure, sends all kinds of chemicals through our minds and bodies and, if continued for long periods of time, can result in anxiety or depression.

The second type of stress is less obvious and is know as eustress.Eustress is a positive form of stress. This is the stress you go through during positive events in your life, getting a promotion at work, getting married or buying a new house. These events are desirable but, just like distress, eustress can be equally taxing on the body, and if added together with other stressors can also have negative results on our health.

When it comes right down to it, stress can be triggered by how we work or even relax. We don’t have to have some major triggering event to cause us to be “stressed out” we can even be stressed out even when we’re bored! Since stress is unavoidable it is important to find ways to decrease and avoid stressful incidents to decrease our negative reactions to stress. Like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast, life is basically a routine to follow. The following are some things you can add to your routine to reduce or even prevent stress.

Managing time

Time management skills are probably one of the best methods of reducing stress while allowing you more time with your family and friends. They can also possibly increase your performance and productivity.

To improve your time management:

Focus on what you are doing at the moment.
Delegate what you can.
Schedule time for yourself.
Keep a log of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time.
Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Focus your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you.
Manage your commitments by not over- or under committing. Make sure you commit only to what is important to you.
Use a day planner and break large projects into smaller ones then set short-term deadlines. This will overcome inertia and procrastination.
Examine your beliefs to reduce conflict between what you believe and what your life is actually like.
Build Healthy Coping Strategies

Identify how you cope with stressors. Log any stressful event and write down how you reacted and what you did to cope with the stress. You can use this information to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones-those that help you focus on what you can change or control in your life to make your life more positive.


Your behaviors and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. Although they may not stress you directly, they can interfere with the ways your body seeks to relieve itself from stress. Here’s some things to do:

Determine your purpose in life.
Balance your personal, work, and family needs and obligations.
Since your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping get plenty of sleep!
Eat a healthy diet to give you nutritional fortification against stress.
Exercise regularly.
Limit your consumption of alcohol.
Refrain from smoking anything.
Social support

Social support can help moderate stress. Your family, friends and your community comprise your social support. This support gives you the knowledge that you are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued. Research shows that there is a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health.

Change Your Thinking

When an event triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. Often we relive these events and emotions over and over in our minds. These emotions trigger our body’s stress, just as a real threat does. Developing coping methods to deal with, and eliminate your negative thought patterns and the way you see things can help greatly reduce stress.

Thought-canceling can stop a negative thought to help eliminate stress. When you have a negative thought tell yourself, “cancel, cancel” and image the negative thought leaving your mind.
Examine your thoughts and ask yourself, “What’s the worse that can happen?” then decide if you can live with that. Once you look at what the worst case event might be you’ll probably recognize that it won’t happen. This will help you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought and interpreting an event incorrectly.
Think! Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event and helps you to find ways to deal with it.
Change your communication style. This can help you communicate in a way that makes your views known without making others feel put down, hostile, or intimidated. This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication.


One of the best methods of dealing with stress is to use positive visualization techniques. One way is to anticipate stressful situations and visualize how you can positively deal with them. This is called positive rehearsal which, by the way, is very different than most people deal with stressful situations. Most people visualize the worst possible outcome of a situation, such as “She’s going to be angry about this” and go in with both barrels blazing. Using positive rehearsal you can avoid this type of stress. For example knowing that you will have to talk with a teenager about her grade in algebra you image yourself recognizing her positive achievements in English and history. Then you image yourself asking what you can do to help her improve her algebra grade. You see yourself brainstorming with her and coming to a mutually agreeable solution. This is a very positive and powerful method of using your imagination!


Similarly to visualization hypnosis can be used to reduce stress. In addition to the benefits from positive imaging the body also receives the additional benefits of physical relaxation, a key to stress reduction. You can use self hypnosis or, if you are not skilled with that yet, you can have a professional hypnotist teach you methods of stress reduction that can also help you deal with many other areas of your life. This can be especially helpful if there is a situation you have been dealing with for a long period of time without resolution.


So whether you’re the mail guy, the CEO, or the average working parent, stress is one unwanted visitor we all would like to boot out of our lives. Since stress can affect our health and reduce the quality of our lives take a few moments to review this article and see which of these coping methods you can use. Reducing your stress can help make the rest of your life long, happy and healthy. What more could you wish for?

By Wil Dieck

Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson provider.

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
Houston, Texas