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7 Healthy Ways to Deal With Anger

7 Healthy Ways to Deal With Anger

Anger is a part of life. We will all come into contact with a person, or a circumstance, that results in us feeling angry. But anger varies on a great scale, ranging from mild annoyance to intense rage. Studies have shown that due to environmental, genetic, and psychological factors, certain people are more susceptible to anger than others. Some people are noticeably angry, others more internally irritable.

Yet when anger becomes too strong it can grow out of context, and we are more incensed than what is considered to be normal. We must find ways to release anger before it multiplies within us. And while it is good to “release the rage” it must be done in ways that are both responsible and cathartic. In other words, we must find resourceful ways to deal with our anger that are also peaceful and beneficial for our health and for those around us. These are a few tried and tested tactics that we can keep with us in times of need.

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7 Ways To Deal With Anger

1.Take 5/ Pause

Seemingly the most sensible of options is often the easiest and most rewarding. The first step is to recognize that the anger is happening. When you feel it bubble up, step away for a minute, pause, and breathe deeply from your diaphragm. Visualize something relaxing. Do this before having a reaction. You will thank yourself.

2. Cognitive rehabilitation

This means to replace negative, unhelpful thoughts with more positive, realistic ones. For example “I am so bad at this!” could be replaced with “Even though this is frustrating, anger will not help me right now.” Again use breathing techniques to pause and reassess. 

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3. Write

A great way to express yourself and release aggression is through writing. It might be the last thing you feel like doing in the moment, but if you can get into a habit of putting your pen to the paper and writing out how you feel, it can become a very helpful habit in times to come. You can tear up the end product if you wish! But getting it out is the main point. (Even if you scrawl really, really hard.)

4. Communicate

Verbalize your meaning. Say what you really wish to say. Listen to what is being said to you, and listen also to what you are really wishing to convey. Try not to let the anger take over (again, step 1). Even though we may feel defensive straight away, if we take the time to better understand the situation, we can get a far more peaceful and happy result.

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5. Have a sense of humor

Silliness can be a great tool. And while it is not healthy to ‘laugh off’ and dismiss your feelings, having a mentally silly picture you can reach for in times of anger can help diffuse the heat. We aren’t talking sarcasm or bitter humour, which is also unhelpful. Just enough silliness to again be able to cool things down enough to deal with the situation rationally.

6. Exercise

Go for a run. Go for a walk. Go to a spinning class. Do anything that will get rid of that anxious energy that is building up inside you, that might otherwise explode in different areas. Release the hostility and just literally blow off the steam. Then see how you feel, when the anger has been physically exhausted. 

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7. Sleep it off

Don’t deal with things when you are tired. If you are grumpy or run down, you can easily snap or say or do things you don’t really mean. Get some rest. Let it cool down. Deal with it in the morning, when your feelings have moved somewhat. And they will. That’s the beauty of feelings. They always change.

Featured photo credit: Albumarium via albumarium.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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