This story will leave you scratching your head and make you wonder what kind of anger would cause an assault of this magnitude. According to a story reported by FOX12 news in Portland Jan. 8, 2013 Caleb Grotberg (32 years old) was arrested and faces charges in assault, menacing, kidnapping, and strangulation. What classifies this as a strange crime story it the weapon he used to strangle his girlfriend. His hair, specifically his dreadlocks. The good news, is the girlfriend was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The question this story brings to mind is centered around anger. Strangulation is already a violently personal attack method but using ones own hair takes that anger to a new level. Anger is something that is controllable with help and a great way to do that is to learn anger coping skills. One of the most basic anger coping skills is learning to relax.
Experts will tell you that "flight or fight" response is a very important component of anger. While angry thoughts may trigger a response, most of the time a person is already at a high level of sympathetic nervous system arousal when that trigger happens to provoke those angry thoughts and stimulates physiological arousal. The first step in reducing your stress/anger arousal is to practice regular relaxation strategies like meditation and self - hypnosis. When you feel yourself being triggered use quick, breath relaxation techniques, like diaphragmatic breathing to help reduce the reaction on the spot. Some other techniques that help are progressive relaxation, cue controlled reaction, special place visualization, developing anger coping thoughts, recognizing triggers and anger distortions, and creating coping thoughts - counterresponse strategies to neutralize the thought or distortions to name a few.
Jami McDonald is a certified hypnotherapist and relationship coach. She has worked with multiple clients to help manage stress and anger. Check out her website for more details.