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7 Easy Body Language Tricks to Help You Get Over Anger and Get You Back to Feeling Great

7 Easy Body Language Tricks to Help You Get Over Anger and Get You Back to Feeling Great

We’ve all been there before. Someone cuts you off in traffic. You spill ketchup on your new white shirt. It starts raining on your way to the beach. There’s a never-ending list of why you might find yourself angry and in an unpleasant mood.

And once your day starts to take a turn for the worse, it often feels like there’s no going back. However, there are ways to turn the tide, release your anger, and get back into a pleasant and happy mood.

Here are 7 easy body language tricks to help alleviate anger and get you back to feeling great.

1. Look Up

Just as our emotions affect our body language, our body language also has an effect on our emotions. The next time you catch yourself starting to feeling angry, simply take a few seconds and look up towards the ceiling or sky.

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When we are in a negative state, we tend to look down. Think of a child who is being scolded for misbehaving; what does his/her body language look like? His or her head is down looking towards the floor and eye contact is avoided. This is the body’s natural expression of negative emotion.

Looking down triggers negative feelings. So in order to prevent yourself from spiraling down into more negative emotion, interrupt the pattern, do the opposite and look up. It will interrupt the negative emotive state and naturally trigger happy hormones to be released.

2. Fake a Smile

Research has shown that if you fake a smile and hold it long enough, you will start to actually feel happier.  When you find yourself feeling angry, tighten up those cheeks and show those pearly whites. You can even hold a pen or pencil between your teeth, which will force the sides of your mouth up into a smile. By holding a “fake” smile for just a couple minutes, you may start to feel relief as the anger dissipates and is replaced by happy hormones.

3. Laugh

Laughter is an amazing way to change your state in an instant. When you’re feeling angry, take a few minutes to watch or listen to something funny.  You can search for funny cat videos on YouTube or listen to your favorite comedian, put on an episode of your favorite sitcom or Google “cute babies laughing.” It’s pretty difficult to stay angry while watching an adorable little baby giggling in pure joy. Or quadruplets (trust me, Google that).

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4. Breathe Deeply

When we get angry, our breath tends to become fast and shallow as our body enters its fight or flight mode.  By taking a moment to pause and observe your breath when you feel angry, you can consciously change to longer and deeper breaths, which will help you take back control of your emotional state and calm yourself down.

Lengthen the duration of your exhale to have an even greater effect. For example count to 5 as you take a deep breath in, then as you exhale, count to 10, completely emptying your lungs.

Now add some visualization to it. As you exhale, imagine that you are completely releasing all the anger and negative tension in your body. Imagine the anger leaving your body with your breath and just vanishing into the air. Then as you breath in again, imagine breathing in positivity, joy, and happiness. Do this for a full minute and you’ll feel much better.

5. Meditate

Mediation is training for the mind. It helps to calm mind chatter, manage emotions, and allows you to stay connected to your true self, free of distraction.

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Simply take a short time each day to sit in silence and observe your thoughts. Allowing them to eventually drift away until your mind is still, will help you to stay centered and calm regardless of what’s going on in the outside world.

The next time you’re feeling angry, take 10 minutes to mediate, clear your mind, and bring yourself back to peace. From that state of peace, you will be able to handle the situation that is causing your anger with far more grace and clarity.

6. Get Physical

Anger is a build-up of negative energy that can be released from the body consciously if you choose. The next time you feel yourself boiling up inside with anger, let it out with purpose.

Go into your room and yell, scream, flail your arms around like a madman.  Release the anger through your voice and body, punch your pillow, do pushups, do 20 jumping jacks, jump up and down on your bed.

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Any of these physical activities with help interrupt your angry state and release the negative energy that’s inside you. You can even turn that anger into productive exercise; go for a run or hit the gym and lift weights. It may seem a bit ridiculous in the moment, but all these activities can help you release your pent-up anger and feel better.

7. Write It Out

Writing out your thoughts can be very therapeutic. Whatever you’re angry about, write it down, or journal about it. Simply get it out of your head and onto paper. Not only will this help you clear out your negative thoughts, it can also help you view the problem from a slightly different angle, which might give you insight into a solution.

Then, feel free to ball up the paper and toss it into the fireplace and visualize all that provocation simply going up in smoke – and away forever.

Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com

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Nick Bastion

Love Expert, Relationship Coach, Author

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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