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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 March 30, 2020

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

    Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

    You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

    This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

    According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

    Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

    There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

    How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

    When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

    Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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    1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

    One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

    The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

    Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

    2. Be Honest

    A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

    If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

    On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

    Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

    3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

    Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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    If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

    4. Succeed at Something

    When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

    Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

    5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

    Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

    Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

    If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

    If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

    Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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    6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

    Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

    You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

    On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

    You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

    7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

    Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

    Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

    Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

    When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

    Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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    In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

    Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

    It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

    Final Thoughts

    When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

    The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

    Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

    Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

    Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

    More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

    Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
    [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
    [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
    [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
    [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
    [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
    [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
    [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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