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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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