Six Months On – Will Storr shares his story

It’s been six months since I went on Mike Fisher’s British Association of Anger Management (BAAM) course. Six months since I sat in a room with six strangers and revealed proudly to the world, I get angry and I’m here to do something about it. I remember it well. Mike Fisher has been running weekend workshops for over 17 years and has averaged out to have helped a 1000 people deal with their anger, for every year doing it. I love Will Storr’s description of anger, which he wrote for the Observer newspaper having been on Mike’s weekend course in 2007. “I can feel my rage. It collects in the centre of my throat. It’s like I’ve swallowed a cannonball and it makes me want to scream. I am brimful of anger, and when it sloshes out, it does so in the only direction it’s allowed to – at inanimate objects. I shout at keys I can’t find, at carrots I drop on the kitchen floor, at doors I stub my toe on. Last week I called a spilled glass of elderflower cordial a cunt.” There are six ways we express our anger; intimidation, interrogation, poor me, distancing, winding up and blunder bussing. I’m a bit of everything when I get angry. I’m a big man who looks scary in an aggressive, ‘I can kill you’ stance. I’m good at machine-gun spraying questions, while being a victim the next moment. I often walk away from situations having dropped an anger grenade in the room, leaving its victims to clear up the emotional mess. When I’m angry at seeing my...

Stressed Managers

It’s the Christmas season and time to start thinking about the Christmas office party. The one time of the year we can all let our hair down and enjoy the Christmas cheer together. It’s the one occasion you can snog your boss and watch your manager make a drunken fool of himself. Lets spare a thought for our managers for a moment. Could it be managers are the most stressed out people in the office? Managers pressure from Above and below In fact it’s in our best interest to keep our managers stress free and calm this Christmas, because stress is so contagious. Like second-hand smoke, stress spreads just as fast and lingers for just as long. There’s a fine line between bad stress and good stress. Good stress is called ‘Eustress’ and it motivates us to be more than what we think we are, while bad stress is called ‘Anger’ and it leads to chronic illnesses like heart disease and death. A good manager is someone who delegates tasks and checks their own stress levels to ensure their stress doesn’t affect others. Good managers will never under-estimate the ill affects of second-hand stress. Learn to stay alert and set your boundaries against stressful external sources, because it’s very easy to let someone else’s anxiety or sense of urgency increase your own inner feelings of stress. Second-hand stress is as contagious as the pneumonic plague! It’s that serious!   A good manager is a good communicator Pressured from above to get the job done on time, within budget and by the book; a good manager will turn the stress...

The Killing Fields

We live in a world where we have to get from place A to B as quickly as possible and we each have our favourite mode of transport to do it with. Out of them all, train, car and plane, cycling is the cheapest and fittest way to travel. It takes a brave soul to get on a saddle and engage with the busy and congested roads of London on a daily basis. Alas it also appears to be the most dangerous, with the tragic death of the 6th cyclist in the last few months, and the 14th this year. London is in shock London has never been so congested. The morning rush ‘hour’ starts at about 5.30am on major roads and lasts for up to three hours. In some parts of London, journey times are so slow, traffic moves at around one mile per hour. No wonder people are choosing to cycle in more and more numbers. Health officials and the London Major’s office will find a way to improve the roads for both cyclist and motorist. The recent tragic deaths can only be truly honoured with a legacy of a smart London road system which ensures nobody dies on it’s roads. As always with facing such drastic measures, the debate between cyclists and motorists has once again erupted. Sadly both the cyclists and motorists are missing the most tragic point; it isn’t their riding or driving ability thats the danger on the roads, it’s their anger level once they sit on the saddle or behind the wheel. The danger on the roads isn’t our riding or driving...

Stress affecting kids like never before

A Big Lottery Fund commissioned survey has revealed shocking statistics, which paint a damning picture of the state of mind of our kids. 58% of them feel stressed or worried at least once a week, while one in six say they feel stressed daily, with almost half of kids losing sleep through stress, whilst more than one in ten are so worried they can’t eat. Desperately Sad It makes it all the more difficult to admit that the stress of the parents’ is being dumped on their kids like never before. Exams and tests are the most common source of worry for kids, while family issues aren’t far behind with kids being kept awake at night worrying about their parents arguing, splitting up or losing their jobs. Once upon a time all our kids had to worry about was getting back home in time for tea. Now-a-days parents don’t let their children out of their sight. If they aren’t in touching distance, they are in visible distance. Our kids no longer benefit from the space and freedoms, which earlier generations took for granted, and as a consequence, our kids are clearly suffering. How kids feel about themselves is paramount to what kind of parents they become. Experiencing stress at such an early age affects their self-esteem and confidence, without teaching them to understand their anger as a natural feeling; they will become victims of their own stress and ultimately go on to lead a life of unfulfilled potential. What the kids and parents may not appreciate is that stress is a direct response to anger Perhaps it is this,...

Christmas – Don’t get your Tinsel in a Tangle

    Christmas is coming and the most stressful time of the year is drawing near. So much to do. The tree is top priority, followed closely by presents, food, drink and good-cheer in equal measure. Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. More than half of us have family disagreements and a quarter of us say our relationships with our partners come under immense pressure. We have never been under so much pressure to deliver a perfect Christmas. We’re lured into thinking Christmas is perfect by the glossy TV Christmas adverts, with celebrities smiling as they huddle around the Christmas tree exchanging gifts, beautifully wrapped. Everyone must be happy and cheerful through the season of goodwill. No one is allowed to be sad or depressed. NO ONE MUST GET ANGRY!             Here’s what to do and not to do over Xmas. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Its the only way you’ll give yourself the time to relax and enjoy the day. Don’t give yourself a hard time making everything perfect. Stop and look at the bigger picture, its just one day! Think about the incidents, which press your buttons in all the wrong ways. Our buttons are unique to all of us and what makes one person angry is completely different to the next. Figure out a strategy of how you are going to deal with those circumstances, whether it’s a brother-in-law, mother-in-law or wife.   Think about the Bigger Picture! Christmas is the one day that getting angry isn’t worth the long term consequences. You are never as good as your last...

Stress and Low Self-Esteem

Mike Fisher is Europe’s leading expert on stress and anger management. As the founder of the British Association of Anger Management (BAAM), and having helped over 16,000 people over a 16 year period, he knows a lot about how low self esteem leads to stress, and how stress leads to anger.   Promoting BAAM’s latest products of mediation, stress audits, conflict free resolutions, face-to-face Skype work and group stress programmes, Mike tells us how low self esteem has a direct correlation to stress.   He says that the idea of how stress affects low self esteem is actually pandemic in our culture, citing evidence that nearly all BAAM clients have the underlining issue of low self esteem.   When a person is suffering from low self esteem, there are five contributing factors.   Priority. If you don’t prioritise yourself, you will find you take on projects, activities or say yes to certain commitments because you aren’t considering how taking on somebody else’s prioritises, affects your own emotional wellbeing and health. If you don’t make yourself a priority in your own life, you will in effect be ignoring your own stress signs, ignoring what you are capable of doing and not capable of doing and ignoring your own limitations. Pressure. Through the years of helping people, Mike is aware of how many individuals put themselves under copious amounts of pressure to perform, which eventually exhausts them and they become ill. Mike has recognised the correlation between stress and anger. He says that stress fuels anger and gives us this simple formula to better understand it: Reduced Stress + Reduced Anger = Increased...
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