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

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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.

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          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 18, 2021

          10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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          10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

          We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

          A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

          So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

          • honest
          • reliable
          • competent
          • kind and compassionate
          • capable of taking the blame
          • able to persevere
          • modest and humble
          • pacific and can control anger.

          The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

          1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

          All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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          But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

          2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

          How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

          I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

          “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

          Abigail Van Buren

          3. How does this person take the blame?

          Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

          4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

          You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

          5. Read their emails.

          Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

          • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
          • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
          • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
          • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
          • Too many question marks can show anger
          • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

          6. Watch out for the show offs.

          Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

          7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

          A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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          Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

          8. Their empathy score is high.

          Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

          People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

          9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

          We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

          “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

          Stendhal

           10. Avoid toxic people.

          These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

          • Envy or jealousy
          • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
          • Complaining about their own lack of success
          • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
          • Obsession with themselves and their problems

          Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

          Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

          Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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