The UK is on its annual countdown to Christmas but not everybody looks forward to the festivities with unadulterated joy. If Christmas threatens to be more about snapping than crackers, the answer may be to join in Anger Awareness Week, which runs nationally from 1st–7th December.
Organised by the British Association of Anger Management (BAAM) and now in its 17th year, Anger Awareness Week is designed to restore a sense of calm and control for those who find their stress levels peaking and their anger showing its uglier side.
Founder and training director of BAAM, Mike Fisher, comments: ‘Christmas and New Year can be the most fraught times of the year as our feelings and emotions push some of us over the edge more than usual. During this period, there is more anger in the air, peaking in the first two weeks following New Year, when the number of visitors using BAAM is more than double the norm.
‘Unmanaged anger can be deeply damaging, leading to an increase in incidents of domestic violence, youth crime, classroom disturbances, stress-related illnesses, rage manifestations, and more.
‘The aim of Anger Awareness Week is to identify anger as a disturbing social issue which needs to be brought out into the open and addressed effectively. Anger Awareness Week will help people befriend anger by using the right tools to calm themselves down and to deal effectively with this emotion, be it their own or that of others.’
At the heart of BAAM’s Anger Awareness Week are the Keep Your Cool Over Christmas Kit, which can be used by individuals, organisations, families, schools and other groups, and Keep Your Cool This Yule, which focuses on domestic Christmas tensions. Downloadable for free from the BAAM website, they offer such tools as the Rage Gauge, Six Rules of Anger Management and the Clearing Process, consisting of anger management activities, tips on handling anger appropriately and calming strategies for defusing difficult situations.
Both kits help people to think about how they handle their own anger, how they could improve their anger management skills and how they might help others who are hijacked by anger. Also available is a free ebook, the A2Z of Surviving Christmas.
‘Participating in National Anger Awareness week will encourage people to think about how anger impacts their lives and to find creative ways to deal with this powerful emotion,’ concludes Mike Fisher. ‘Contrary to popular belief, correctly channelled anger can be a creative rather than destructive force.’
Throughout the year, BAAM offers a range of Beating Anger and Calming Strategies courses in London and across the UK, from short intensive courses to 10-week programmes. Since 1998 it has helped more than 20,000 individuals, with 82% of attendees finding that the anger management programme still helped enormously even after 18 months. Mike Fisher is also the author of two successful books on anger and anger management.
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