I deal with anger all of the time and because I experience it so much I don’t know where to start. Where can I begin?
Here is a great tool when you don’t know where or how to start with any emotion. This is also an excellent tool to use when you are teaching someone to tap when they are on their own because it also creates tapping phrases. For this reason I have found it best to use this like a worksheet and write out each of the steps.
1) Name The Emotion
This is easy thing to do. If you are dealing with a particular emotion, as in the question, then use that. I would also encourage you to look through the list of negative emotions created by the Center For Non-Violent Communication as a starting point. Even when we are starting with something as general as an emotion, the more specific we are, the easier progress will be.
2) Name A Specific Instance
In as much detail as you can come up with, describe one specific occasion when you felt this emotion. Talk about who was there, what was said, what you were thinking at the time, what you are thinking now as you remember it, and all the outcomes of the situation. Imagine you are sitting across from me in a coffee shop and telling me what happened as if I know none of the details.
3) Rate The Emotion On The SUDs Scale
On a scale of 0 to 10 rate how large the emotion feels right now.
4) Describe The Physical Sensations
In as much detail as possible describe the physical sensation(s) that go along with the emotion. In which part (or parts) of the body do you feel it? Is it hot, tight, heavy, itchy, stiff, trembling, clenching, or some other feeling? Do you feel it in more than one part of your body? Describe each part separately. Is there some sort of mental dialogue going on as you feel the emotion? What is the internal voice saying? Who does the voice sound like? Who does it remind you of?
5) List 3 Things That Went Wrong
Because of the instance you describe above what are (at least) three things that went wrong and how were/are you impacted by these outcomes? Sometimes one moment can impact later events and moments. Don’t just think of what went wrong in the moment, but also how it affected later moments. Again, the more detail the better.
6) List 3 Outcomes You Would Like To Have Happen Instead
After something goes wrong there are ways we would like to see it turn out better. What are (at least) three hopes you have for how this could turn out better in the future? Is there a relationship you would like to see mended? Is there something you would like someone to do? Is there a lesson you would like to learn? It is helpful to name how we would like things to turn out.
7) Re-rate On The SUDS Scale
After doing these steps I always like to re-rate the level of emotion. One of three outcomes are possible. First, the number could go up. This is because you have now spent time thinking about the issue in detail. Often this tunes us into the issue more sharply so that we notice it more, making it feel bigger.
Second, you might notice that the number goes down. Many times simply getting something out of your head will be enough to diminish its intensity. Our minds can be relentless echo chambers, taking negative thoughts or emotions and bouncing them around over and over again. When we drag them into the light of day they lose their power.
Finally, there might be no change at all. This simply means that the emotion will need more tapping to get it moving.
8) Start To Tap
Go back to the top of your page and start reading what you have written out loud as you tap. At the end of each sentence move to the next tapping point. This is not a race. There is no reason to rush. As you read what you have written out loud really pay attention to words you are saying. If you are describing what happened then try to relive what you are saying. If you are describing how you would like to see thing turns out in the future really tune into the emotion of having the new and better outcome.
9) While You Are Tapping Take Notes
As you reread what you have written before it is possible that additional details will come into focus. You may also notice new and even better outcomes around this issue for the future. If these things come to mind it is a good idea to take the time to write them down. Not only will you learn valuable things about this specific issue, but you will also learn things about yourself and the larger scope of this particular emotion.
10) Re-Rate One More Time
After you have been through reading what you have written and have tapped along, re-rate the issue to see where it is now. If you are down to a zero you are done, if you are not then you have the opportunity to move back to the top of page and tap again.