Tuesday, August 8, 2017

BUDDE: an acronym for controlling anger overload

In my clinical work, I have started using an acronym to help clients remember some of the strategies from the parent's manual and from the children's workbook.  Each letter in BUDDE stands for an important part of how you can develop self control.  Work on the strategies below while you are calm, so you develop a plan.  Remember the plan will not work all the time, but the more you practice it, the more you will be able to have self control.

The B stands for the brain.  First it is important to understand that anger emanates from the brain, and that one's brain can change with repeated practice.

The U stands for understanding one's triggers.  Be sure to think about what was going on before you got enraged.  Try to identify two or three different triggers.  My anger overload workbook gives suggestions to help you come up with your triggers.

The first D stands for deep breaths.  When you notice a trigger happening, or notice yourself getting frustrated or angry, before you say anything try to take slow deep breaths for one minute. This releases calming chemicals in your brain.

The next D is for distraction.  This is another tool you want to develop.  What helps you get your mind off your triggers?  Is it music, playing a video game, talking with someone, or something else?  Try to focus hard on something.

The last E is critical.  It stands for alternative explanations.  What you want to do here is think about why somebody said or did something that got you mad.  What was their motivation?  Try to look at things from their perspective, and  you will realize that they did not want to bother you, nor get in your way.  If you can, think of how to compromise next time with whomever got you mad.

For a more complete review of these ideas and more, see my parent's manual, and children and teen's workbook, and/or read other posts on this blog.

Dave Gottlieb, Ph.D.