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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 December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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