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10 Anger Management Lessons No One Should Miss

10 Anger Management Lessons No One Should Miss

Sometimes we all get a little grumpy. Whether it’s school, work, friends, family, or ourselves, there’s reason to just lose it every so often. We just have to blow our tops, I suppose. I’ve been told plenty of times to seek therapy or deal with my anger problems, so I gathered some experts to weigh in and judge my practical tips to eradicate anger. Here are some Anger Management tips we devised in the process.

10. Admit It

Anger_by_Tyshea lifehack versability

    WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE DEBIT MACHINE ISN’T WORKING?!?!

    Just admit you’re angry; if to no one else, at least admit it to yourself. Hiding behind other adjectives, such as bothered, agitated, irritated, upset, mad, frustrated etc.—they all mean the same thing. Whatever you call the emotion, it’s the same thing—you’re not happy. It’s okay to be down every so often (depression is a real thing), but if negative feelings are motivating you rather than de-motivating you, you’re angry. It’s okay—we’ve all been there. In fact, we see it nearly every day in the most public place we visit each day: the road.

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    “Studies have shown the aggression on the road is usually, like bullying, misplaced aggression,” says Walter Meyer, a public speaker who focuses on bullying. “Drivers get behind the wheel already upset about a fight with their spouse or boss and someone cutting them off in traffic is the final straw, but not the casus belli.” The quicker you admit your anger, the quicker you can dissipate frustration by accepting your anger before going out into public.

    9. Accept It

    Accepting that you’re angry puts you in a powerful position—by accepting your anger, you’re essentially identifying as your angry self and taking responsibility for your choices and actions with that anger. When you accept your anger, you look in the mirror and understand that you’re the person that’s acting angry, and everyone else is responding to your anger. You are your own god and the creator of your own world, so your anger really is your own problem to deal with, no matter what you’ve convinced yourself of otherwise.

    8. Make a Decision

    It’s important to make a decision. According to Dr. Steven B. Gordon, Ph.D., the Executive Director of Behavior Therapy Associates, the best way to do this is to “sort the action as away/toward what you care about.” In doing this, we force ourselves to make our decisions (even when angry) base on a healthy goal.

    What is it you truly care about? Do you care more about hurting that other person or improving yourself or helping people you actually care about? Which is it? Because you can’t dedicate your time and energy to both.

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    7. Keep Your Mind Moving

    “Perhaps recite a nursery rhyme (Not out loud unless you really want to weird out the person you’re dealing with). Or name the Seven Dwarfs,” offers Barry Maher, author of Filling the Glass: The Skeptic’s Guide to Positive Thinking in Business. “It doesn’t matter if you remember correctly. Just the act of dredging up something from memory will tend to short circuit that rush of anger and make it much easier to control yourself.”

    Yogis and meditation experts agree—keeping your mind off your problems is the key to creatively avoiding negative feelings such as anger. If you want to learn more about putting your mind over matters, here’s a great Lifehack about meditation for beginners.

    6. Walk It off

    Speaking of yoga, walking and other exercises (especially stretches and bends) are a great way to unlock your core and relieve the stresses causing anger. Whatever it is you choose to do, go burn off some steam.

    “My kids constantly leave their shoes on the floor when they walk in the door so everyone trips on them,” offers yogi Danielle Diamond, the founder of Xen Strength. “This used to drive me crazy, and set me off into a rant about how irresponsible they are, blah blah blah…Meditation and yoga teach us to stop and pause—to mind the gap, per se—between action and reaction before we say or do something stupid.

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    5. Remove Yourself from the Situation

    Paula Anderson, LPC, LCPC at PACE Consulting offers a different point of view. “Change scenery,” she says. “Go to a different room to remove yourself from the person that you’re angry towards.”

    Removing yourself from the source of anger is useful in both a short-term and long-term resolution. If a particular person is constantly creating anger, it may be necessary for you to permanently relocate yourself to dissipate the anger. Otherwise, you can also have the other person removed.

    4. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse

    Anger is energy; you need to recycle that energy into something more productive. Remember those mottos from the recycling PSAs? Reduce your anger, recycle it into something more positive, and reuse it for something more productive. As for the situation that caused the anger?

    “When you’ve cooled down enough to maintain your self-control, re-engage the situation—if you now think it’s worth it,” suggests Gina Binder, M.A., a Resident in Counseling.

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    3. Smile—If for No Other Reason than Annoying Haters

    If you’re angry at a specific person, the best thing to do is to smile, especially at them. People who hate you will hate to see you smiling, and everyone else will look up to you. Either way, a smile a day does more to keep doctors away than a sugary-sweet apple ever could. Smile like you mean it, if not to make yourself happy, then to annoy everyone else.

    2. Scream!

    Although it’s common to think immediately of calming down, Michelle Morton offers my favorite take on the subject of dealing with anger: a temper tantrum.

    “Sometimes we all need to give ourselves permission to do the things we are ‘not supposed to do,'” screams Morton. “No one said you should go to the store, throw yourself down on the floor and kick and scream, but it is okay to go somewhere and give yourself a few minutes to come unglued!”

    1. Stick to It

    The Mayo Clinic has a great guide online to managing your temper; in it, you’ll find tips to rapidly reducing anger in the middle of highly tense situations. There are two types of anger, and both must be addressed and dealt with separately.

    Short-term anger is the collection of all those trigger moments that started you on the path toward being angry. Long-term anger refers to all the actions you take (and happy moments you reject) because you’re being driven by anger.

    Calming techniques work well when addressing anger triggers, but for long term anger issues, you’ll need to adjust your ways of thinking.

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    Last Updated on January 24, 2021

    How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

    How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

    Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

    For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

    But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

    It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

    And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

    The Importance of Saying No

    When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

    In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

    Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

    Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

    Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

    “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

    When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

    How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

    It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

    From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

    We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

    And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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    At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

    The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

    How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

    Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

    But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

    3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

    1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

    Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

    If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

    2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

    When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

    Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

    3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

    When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

    6 Ways to Start Saying No

    Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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    1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

    One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

    Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

    2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

    Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

    Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

    3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

    Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

    Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

    You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

    4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

    Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

    Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

    5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

    When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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    How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

      Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

      Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

      6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

      If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

      Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

      Final Thoughts

      Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

      Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

      Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

      More Tips on How to Say No

      Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
      [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
      [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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