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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dealing with Conflict-Step 1- Staying Calm

To remain calm in a conflict situation is the most important thing because only if you are calm can you work through the situation. If you remain calm, you will not let your angry feelings take hold of you and you will be able to be more rational. Staying calm is the first step to dealing with anger and conflict because nothing else can be achieved if you are not calm.

However; as many of us have experienced it is often difficult to stay calm. In conflict situations we can feel anger and aggression, which very often take over. If we just say that we will stay calm, we often don’t because anger gets the best of us. Therefore, we need to train ourselves to stay calm, so that we will be in control of the situation and the situation won’t be in control of us. This is important because when we are calm we have more options open to us, and can think more clearly.

It's a good idea to train yourself to be calm all of the time, not only in a conflict situation. The more you practice to be calm in everyday situations, the less likely it will become for you to react negatively in a conflict situation. Practising to be calm will help you in many different situations. At first you will find it strange to practise how to be calm, but after a while it will become easier as you become more accustomed to it.

Here's a simple relaxation exercise that you can practise doing. Before doing the exercise, rate your level of calmness:

Rate the following:

“How tense, angry, frustrated, etc. am I feeling at the moment?”


VC                                       A                                       EAT
VC= very calm
EAT= Extremely Angry and Tense

This rating should also be done after the relaxation exercise in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the exercise.

Mindful breathing


1. Sit in a comfortable position.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Breathe in and out normally.
4. Focus all your attention on your breathing.
5. Feel the air pass through your nose as you breathe in.
6. Feel your lungs inflate as you inhale.
7. Feel the movement of your stomach as you breathe in.
8. Feel the air pass through your nose as you breathe out.
9. Feel your lungs deflate as you breathe out.
10. As you breathe, mentally say the words, “breathe in, breathe out”.
11. If your mind wanders and any thoughts come to mind, acknowledge the thought and then re-focus on your breathing. This may happen many times. Each time just acknowledge the thought and focus again on your breathing.

This can be done very easily in everyday situations in a less formal manner, and it is especially helpful when you are angry.

Tip to remember while doing this: As you exhale remember that anger comes from shaytaan and as you exhale, so too are you exhaling the negative energy which is making you angry.

Indeed, anger is from the evil and, without doubt, the evil is created from the Fire. Only water can extinguish fire. Therefore, if anyone of you feels the rush of anger. Let him perform ablution”, and “When you feel angry, keep silent.” {Hadeeth of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)}

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has been reported to have said:
“For the person who restrains his anger, Allah will restrain punishment over him on the day of Resurrection”.

Hope that practising this step goes well, dealing with conflict step 2 to follow soon insha'Allah

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