“What we think affects the way we feel. Distorted thinking can increase the likelihood of negative emotions such as anger, while calming or challenging thoughts can reduce the impact of these feelings. Self-calming statements are thoughts that can be (1) prepared in advance to anticipate and cope with a situation or trigger; (2) used to cope with the situation or trigger when it arises; and (3) used to calm ourselves down after the situation or trigger has passed.”


Source — Williams, E. & Barlow, R. (1999). Anger control training: The anger control training guide (part 3). London: Winslow Press (p. 83).

Formulating Self-Calming Statements

Self-calming statements can be formulated to assist clients in each stage of responding to a trigger (before provocation, during provocation and after provocation). When an anger-provoking event can be anticipated, clients can formulate self-calming statements that enhance coping skills.

For example, a statement such as — “Remember, this is a fair request. You’re doing the right thing by standing up for yourself” — mayeffectively act as a calming force for an individual about to enter into a confrontational discussion or negotiation.

A statement such as — “I don’t have to feel intimidated” — can act to calm a client during the discussion or negotiation. And statements such as — “I handled that well” — can reassure the client after the event has passed.