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How to Stop Being Angry

How to Stop Being Angry

    We all know people who get angry easily. The ones that lash out either verbally or physically and are seemingly out-of-control. What’s interesting is that most of the time, they regret acting the way they did. They wish they had more self-control but they just can’t help it. It seems impossible to change. They see their anger as a genetic flaw that they have to put up with along with the negative consequences that inevitably follow their expressions of anger.

    They are completely wrong.

    Anger is not a genetic flaw and they don’t have to put up with it. Anger can be managed — but not by just breathing deeply and saying “Woo-Sah”.

    The technique I’m about to introduce to you can be used anytime and anywhere. It can be used with people of all ages and the great thing is that it really works.

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    So how do you do it? How can you stop being angry (or teach someone else to stop being so angry)?

    Well, there are two ways:

    1. You can choose to vent your frustrations; or
    2. You can use my “soon-to-be proposed” method.

    Venting takes the energy out of your anger but the anger can always build up again. I’m going to show you how to stop being angry by looking at what your anger is telling you.

    The message your anger is sending is that one of your standards, values or important beliefs is being violated by you or someone else.

    Take a minute to think back to the last time you were angry. Explore the situation and what your anger is telling you. Which strong belief is being violated?

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    After you’ve figured out the belief that is being violated, now it is time to work some “magic” and diffuse your anger once and for all. It’s fast, simple, and effective.

    You just need to adopt one new belief:

    Your beliefs are yours only. Not anyone else’s.

    No one ever decided that your standards should be the ones that everyone follows. Your “map” is not the territory. It’s just your perception of the territory. When you take on this belief, your standards are no longer being violated because you’ve allowed other people to live by their own rules, not your rules. When your standards are not being violated, you have lost the reason to be angry.

    This has been one of the most powerful realizations in my life.

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    Let me tell you a true story…

    * * *

    One day I was driving along a highway in New York City when I was cut off by a young driver in a mid-size sedan. Automatically, I started to “create” a story that he was this rude and disrespectful person that should be taught a lesson. One that I am normally glad to teach. But instead of chasing him down and putting both our lives in danger, I remembered that being angry meant that one of my beliefs had been violated.

    I realized that the driver violated my standard that people should respect others especially when driving. Then I thought, what if he wasn’t disrespecting me. What if he was rushing home because his pregnant wife’s water just broke. Would I still be angry?

    No, I wouldn’t.

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    What’s interesting is that both of these scenarios are equally likely. There is really no way for me to confirm.

    So which belief will diffuse my anger?

    I hope his wife is alright,” I told myself and I continued the drive to my friend’s house.

    What methods do you use to control your anger? What do you find most effective? For those who try this method, let me know how it worked for you.

    (Photo credit: Stress and Anger via Shutterstock)

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    Robert Chen

    Executive Coach

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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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