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The Art of Chill: How to Overcome Anger in Your Daily Life

The Art of Chill: How to Overcome Anger in Your Daily Life

Anger can be addictive. In human neurobiology, the anger center is placed near the edge of the cortex along with other basic emotions, like fear and pleasure, and primal urges such as hunger, dominance, parenting instincts, and sex. A rush of anger is basically a rush of adrenaline, after which your brain rewards your body for “effectively” dealing with a stressful situation by releasing the happiness hormone we know as dopamine.

Anger can act like any other addiction – if you let it consume you for a while, it will become something you can’t live without. However, anger is a particularly dangerous addiction, because it feeds your ego and allows it to flourish in darkness. Below, we’ll discuss some of the important ways you can learn to manage and even overcome anger in your daily life.

1. Understand the Consequences

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    As with any addiction, anger harms your physical and mental self, but that’s not all. Your actions caused by anger can disturb your family environment, make your friends an inch more distant every day and disrupt your office workflow.

    Before you know it, only your anger and you will be left. There’s only so much that the people around you can take, and you shouldn’t look at their patience as a testament to how much you mean to them; your outbursts are actually hurting them and they’ll eventually snap and stop hanging out with you.

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    2. Recognize Your Anger

    Anger is a dark companion and it’s quite possessive when it comes to sharing you with others. In time, you’ll turn to it for compassion or as a means of getting what you want, and you’ll start seeing it as an ace up your sleeve. Obviously, this is one method of avoidance that’s most effective.

    Anger isn’t a problem you must face yourself. You can always ask for professional help, but I personally believe that you can also try to conquer it on your own. You may come out stronger and significantly more confident.

    So, let’s go through those very familiar symptoms: your blood pressure rises, making your whole body boil; you start focusing on one specific thing that keeps enraging you further; your hands start shaking and it feels like your vision is blurred; the adrenaline increases your blood pressure; and the very next thing you do is start yelling and throwing things that have the unfortunate fate of being within arm’s reach.

    3. Don’t Do Anything While You’re Consumed

    Water boiling in glass pan

      Many people who have an anger addiction, and those around them, will take the path of least resistance and use all sorts of excuses instead of pointing out the problem, using words like “temperamental.”

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      You need to face reality. You’re not temperamental, you’re addicted to anger. It isn’t something you can simply shake off, you need to fight it. The fact is, it won’t just go away, but as with any other addiction, recognizing it as a problem is the first and the most important step towards recovery.

      The next situation that makes your face red is your first test. It will be very difficult not to let it consume you and you shouldn’t be mad at yourself if and when it does, so your test lies in handling such a situation effectively. The right thing to do when your conscious self becomes the evil version of you is: nothing. Simply acknowledge that you are in an altered state of consciousness, stop talking, take a few long deep breaths and even excuse yourself and go to the bathroom to splash some water on your face if you have to.

      I’m sure you’re familiar with the regret that comes after your blood pressure goes back to normal. Saying things you don’t actually mean and making others feel bad about themselves while your stress levels skyrocket needs to stop. I know you’ll feel devastated later, but the words “I’m sorry” just lose their true meaning when you repeat them over and over.

      4. Avoid Getting into Stressful Situations

      Man in car gesticulating angrily at another driver (blurred motion)

        Nobody wants to be an angry person, you just become one in time. Do you want to be perceived as a red hot mess that just keeps yelling at people and acting out whenever any sort of problem pops up? I’m sure the answer is no, and it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do something about it, like the mature adult that you are.

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        It’s easy to let yourself be ruled by anger and become a completely different person to who you really are deep down inside. Dealing with anger starts inside, but because it’s affected by outside factors and everyday situations, you need to cut them off temporarily.

        If you feel that someone’s starting a topic that is going to get you fired up or is just being a bit of a jerk, walk away – don’t even engage in a discussion if you don’t have to. Driving around town can be an extremely stressful experience for some, but if you know a thing or two about road rage you can actually work on identifying potential problems in advance and doing simple things like getting up a bit earlier to avoid traffic jams or taking a different route to work.

        Constantly facing your sources of anger and reacting to them with the same heat will get you nowhere. You need to realize that this impulsive and loud reaction of yours is a mask you put on because you can’t find a solution to the real problem. In order to think clearly and explore explanations, so you can discover the real answers your mind seeks, you need to spend some time alone.

        Naturally, you shouldn’t avoid people who don’t cause you any stress, but you should use this time to relax and learn about yourself once again and find out what wonders lie beneath that ugly, angry surface.

        5. Develop Your Own Methods of Calming Down

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          My experience has shown that the best thing to do when you get consumed by anger is to relocate yourself physically and mentally. In time, I developed a routine of my own and at the very moment that I feel the first wave of anger coming on, I imagine how the situation will unfold if I don’t calm down and how it would look to an outside observer.

          Now, learning to be even somewhat objective in these situations takes a lot of time and restraint, but you’ll eventually be able to take your ego and jockeying for social status out of the equation and see things for what they truly are. This is when you’ll realize that you almost started threatening a person with physical violence over something as trivial as a can of soda missing from the fridge.

          It’s a psychological fact that the physical change has a significant effect on your mood. Therefore, standing up, walking, taking deep breathes and even changing your vocabulary when you start getting mad will change your reaction. Also, instead of screaming when you’re upset, you should use talking tools that enable you to express your frustrations.

          By using phrases like “I’m sorry, I just got angry there for a second” or “I’m a bit stressed out right now, let’s discuss this later when I’ve got a cool head,” you’ll encounter acceptance by people around you, which is another great way to lower your anger levels.

          And in the meantime, there’s some work to be done on your mindset. I’m sure you have already heard this piece of advice many times now, but that’s because it works: you should meditate. Meditative exercises will enable you to reach a calm place in your mind and you’ll be able to access it anytime you’re distressed. Beginning each day by having a short chat with yourself about staying calm throughout the day will also help.

          Anger is a normal and natural reaction, but there’s a time and place to express it, and it shouldn’t be done without a proper reason. Basically, you shouldn’t try to suffocate your anger, because that will just feed it further – take things slow, don’t give up at the first sign of trouble and you’re bound to conquer it. Besides, if you feel like you need help, you shouldn’t hesitate from seeing a professional and start your therapy. Either way, you’ll be your happy normal self as a result.

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          Nemanja Manojlovic

          Editor at MyCity Web

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          Last Updated on November 5, 2019

          12 Powerful Habits of a Lifelong Learner

          12 Powerful Habits of a Lifelong Learner

          Formal education is something everyone has to go through to a certain degree, and the knowledge it offers isn’t always that practical in real life. Life long learning is how you improve as a person, bit by bit and day by day.

          Life long learners recognize the importance and joy of growth so they never settle for what they currently know and always seek for improvement.

          Here are 12 habits of people who value lifelong learning have in common – see how many of them you recognize in yourself.

          1. They Read on a Daily Basis

          Whatever problem or dilemma you currently face, there’s definitely at least one decent book that discusses it and presents a variety of solutions.

          Reading is a great way to open up new horizons, train your brain and revolutionize your life. I can’t even count how many times books completely transformed the way I view the world, and it’s always a change for the better. Through reading, you can connect with successful people and learn from the lessons they share.

          Life long learners love to get lost in books and do it regularly. Bill Gates knows that reading matters a lot; on his personal blog, he reviews plenty of game-changing books.

          Due to technology, you can access a bookshelf of the wealthiest entrepreneur on this planet.

          2. They Attend Various Courses

          Whether it’s online or offline, there are countless courses you can participate in without spending a dime on it. These are great opportunities to connect with clever and like-minded people and learn from them.

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          Because of the advanced technology, you can now gain knowledge from online programs, starting from coding through self-improvement to programs from top universities.

          There are literally endless ways to thrive. What life long learners have in common is squeezing as much as possible out of these opportunities.

          3. They Actively Seek Opportunities to Grow

          Instead of spending your free time laying on the couch and watching TV, you prefer doing something creative and practical. You know every wasted minute is gone forever.

          That’s why you’d rather practice your language skills with a native-speaker you’ve met, engage in local meet up or attend a class that teaches something you always wanted to learn.

          Life long learners stay up-to-date with growth opportunities in their areas and participate in them frequently.

          4. They Take Care of Their Bodies

          “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” — John F. Kennedy

          A clever mind combined with a body in a great condition is the best asset you can have. Our bodies were designed to run, walk, jump, swim, lift and much more. Leading a sedentary lifestyle harms both your physical and mental sphere.

          Life long learners know the body is your temple. In order to make it flourish for as long as possible, they train regularly, move a lot and eat healthy.

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          5. They Have Diverse Passions

          Among Steve Jobs’ wise quotes, there’s one I like especially. It’s about connecting the dots:

          “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” — Steve Jobs

          Each dot is some event or skill in your life, and it’s only when you go through these elements that you know how to combine them into something great.

          Having a variety of passions indicates that you love to progress. By practicing different skills, you give yourself an advantage over the rest of the people. During hard times, you are more likely to to act intelligently and solve your problems with less effort.

          6. They Love Making Progress

          If behind the efforts, there is passion and a deep desire to grow, your chances of success are way higher, compared to when you are forced to learn.

          Life long learners love to experience the constant growth and improvement. The breakthrough moments help them to notice the impressive change that took place because of the learning process. Any milestone serves as a driving force for further headway.

          7. They Challenge Themselves with Specific Goals

          In order to keep growing, you clearly define your goals. Smart goal setting is one of the tools to ensure constant growth.

          Since you love challenges, a difficult goal doesn’t scare you. Quite the opposite, it keeps you motivated and engaged.

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          Research showed that precise and ambitious goals increase the performance of an individual. As we already agreed, life long learners are people who care about their performance, hence they never stop improving.

          8. They Embrace Change

          A complete change can lead to incredible results. This is especially visible on the example of successful companies.

          Oftentimes, it’s that transformation which created space for their so-called overnight success. Twitter was originally created as an internal service to serve Odeo employees. Currently, it has over 300 million monthly active users and is considered the second biggest social network.

          As a life long learner, you know a change can lead to extraordinary results so you welcome it and stay open minded about making a shift.

          9. They Believe It’s Never Too Late to Start Something

          Some people tend to think after a certain age, they are no longer allowed to start something and become successful. The truth is, it’s just a lame excuse not to leave the comfort zone.

          Opposite to common misconceptions, there’s no wrong age to begin something. Henry Ford was 45 when he invented the Ford Model T car, which is considered as the first affordable automobile.

          Sure, for some domains like becoming a professional athlete, starting early is required. However, to learn and improve for its own sake, you are never too old.

          10. Their Attitude to Getting Better Is Contagious

          “We now accept the fact that learning is a life long process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” — Peter Drucker

          There’s nothing better than to see your surroundings getting involved in what you actively participate in. Oftentimes, the best way to achieve that is to inspire them and be the example. As Gandhi would say, you need to be the change you want to see in the world.

          As a life long learner, you are extremely passionate about the constant growth and people around you can sense that positive attitude. As a result, they start acting similarly.

          11. They Leave Their Comfort Zone

          Is it really better to step out of your comfort zone? The answer is always yes.

          You always embrace discomfort as you know the path to success leads through hardship and countless obstacles. Instead of being afraid of facing them, you challenge yourself to overcome more and more difficult handicaps.

          Every time you get out of your comfort zone, regardless whether you win or fail, you learn something new. That’s the part you love the most!

          12. They Never Settle Down

          “Knowledge is exploding, so you need to commit yourself to a plan for life long learning.” — Don Tapscott

          A sense of being clever enough is something you don’t experience. Without a doubt, you appreciate what you already know, but that’s never a reason to stop. You just know once you stop learning, you lose the amazing privilege humans have, namely an ability to a never-ending intellectual development.

          More About Lifelong Learning

          Featured photo credit: Christin Hume via unsplash.com

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