featured image

Courtney Vallejo reviews Dr. Ray Guarendi's new book about the roots of anger and how to regulate our emotional responses.

I’m a yeller: I’ll just put that out there. I don’t want to be a yeller, and I really hate when people yell, it’s so harsh and nerve wracking but when I’m not watching my mouth or when I’m easily triggered, I yell. When I saw the title Living Calm: Mastering Anger and Frustration, I was immediately drawn to it. I think Dr. Ray Guarendi has a very approachable way of offering psychological advice and sharing his knowledge.


Living Calm


Living Calm: Mastering Anger and Frustration is an easy-to-read book. Within the first few pages, I felt like I had already learned so much about the root of anger. Many of his points seemed very obvious and are ideas which have been presented to me for years, but his wording just struck a chord, and I was actually able to take it in and digest it. His words have sat in my heart and created multiple opportunities, in which I found myself pondering my behavior, and really trying to look at the root of my trigger and address the specific behavior being expressed in response.

The text is so rich that it seems unfair to the book if I were to simply read through quickly; therefore, it has become a companion I carry around. The book has traveled with me the last few months, traveling from the car, to appointments, back to my purse, and off to my nightstand. I want to soak it in and so I’ve found myself reading maybe just a few paragraphs at a time, or perhaps a short chapter and then I let that sit and percolate in my brain for a while before moving onto the next section. 

If you struggle with yelling, if you wonder why you get angrier than your spouse, your friends or your coworkers, if you just feel like your frustration level is at a max, then you need to sit with this book and spend some time soaking up the knowledge Dr. Guarendi shares in it. 

I will share one thought from the book, as it continues to ruminate around in my own head:

Anger may change another’s behavior: it’s unlikely to change his mind or heart. Children intimidated by a parent’s erratic eruptions may comply, but they aren’t likely to internalize their compliance. The attitude hardens: “I’ll learn not to provoke you, but I won’t learn to respect you.” (47)


20220823 CVallejo IG

Copyright 2022 Courtney Vallejo
Images: Canva