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7 Tips to Deal With Anger

7 Tips to Deal With Anger

Anger is an unpredictable thing. It can rise out of nowhere or be the result of a long line of un-addressed annoyances. Everyone feels anger. From a raging teenager to an elderly monk, there’s no escaping the fact that humans get angry.

However, as you may know, anger is not always a fantastic emotion to have. Anger sometimes makes you less appealing as a person; it affects your work, your private life and your sense of well-being. This is particularly true when you feel constantly on the edge of having an emotional breakdown.

Here are seven steps that you can implement to help you rein in your anger demons. Hopefully, this helps you obtain the control you need to be less stressed and avoid a rage-filled day-to-day lifestyle. No promises regarding traffic, however.

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    Step 1: Just breathe

    When you’re angry beyond belief, there’s nothing more that you can do than just breathe and take back control of your body. Slowly breathe in and out. Simple as that.

    Yoga practitioners use a technique called “the cooling breath.” It involves rolling your tongue, breathing in through your mouth and out through your nose. It certainly cools. But if you can’t roll your tongue, try doing the same in-and-out breaths with your tongue pressed to the back of your teeth instead for instant relief.

    Step 2: Take a break

    If it’s your boss, your co-worker or even a friend who is causing your anger, just go take a break. Chances are if you’re having some anger management issues, you’re going to need a five-minute breather to stop yourself from saying or doing something you’ll regret.

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    Is it a long term solution? No. But it can be a part of one. Breaks are a tool you use when anger and rage are too much at a particular moment in time. Go outside, get a drink, have a smoke or whatever, then go back with clearer eyes and a cooler mind.

    Step 3: Visualize your way to calmness

    “Visualize” doesn’t mean to fantasize taking your rage out on the person who’s causing your angry state. Although that is satisfying, and certainly something everyone indulges in, it’s not the best thing to help you calm down.

    Instead, try this technique that’s often used: Imagine a bath full of boiling, steaming water, and physically visualize yourself cooling the water until it’s nice and warm without being hot. This technique gives your mind something to focus on, and it is an active attempt to calm yourself down that should work.

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    Step 4: Count to 10

    This tried-and-tested technique actually works. When you feel your inner Bruce Banner ready to spring into Hulk mode, go ahead and count to 10.

    The reason behind this technique is simple: It forces you to actively calm your heart rate and inner rage by counting a simple sequence with complete self-awareness. The technique ensures that you’re aware of your own anger, and it makes you more likely to calm down because of it.

    Step 5: Channel your anger into your passion

    Passion is a wonderful thing. It motivates millions, generates projects and creates relationships that make life all the more worthwhile. Anger, while not the same as passion, can be channeled the same way. It is always better to create something rather than destroy it.

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    A 2006 study found that people who are slightly angrier make better cognitive choices. Hence, utilizing that anger might help plow through work and make you more productive, if only for a little bit. So go ahead, and channel your anger into your work.

    Step 6: Be a little aggressive

    This sounds like a counterproductive way to control your anger, but sometimes anger is necessary. Holding your anger in will only make you less psychologically healthy in the long run. Have you ever seen a seemingly normal person suddenly start having a breakdown in the middle of a Starbucks? That’s what holding onto anger can do to you.

    Try to channel your rage in a constructive way. Go take a karate class, do Zumba or play a team sport. Anger itself isn’t dangerous, it’s what you do with it. So if you “need” to destroy something, do some cleaning around your home, and tear up anything you don’t need or want anymore. Just make sure you use your aggression to your advantage, and you’ll soon have a handle on it.

    Step 7: Go forth and help others

    There’s nothing better than helping others without any thought for yourself. When you’re struggling to deal with the little red monster, going out and actively doing something that puts your focus on other peoples’ emotions and circumstances can be the perfect antidote to serious stress.

    You don’t have to run a marathon, but getting coffee or lunch for a busy colleague works wonders for calming you down. A good deed helps to move the focus away from an annoyance, or a trigger that invoked your rage, to something calmer and more positive. Plus, fostering positive relationships with others discourages them from do something that might annoy you in the first place.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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