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9 Ways Successful People Deal With Anger

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9 Ways Successful People Deal With Anger

Conventional wisdom teaches us that anger is uncivilized, unsophisticated and socially unacceptable. Its stigma is hard to escape. If you’ve ever been guilty of an ‘outburst’ at work, on the sporting field or even worse, at your child’s soccer match, it’s likely that you’ve built yourself a reputation as someone who can’t control their emotions, even if it was out of character.

However, a research conducted by Henry Evans and Colm Foster, authors of “Step Up: Lead in Six Moments That Matter” and experts in the field of emotional intelligence showed that high-performers experience and harness their full spectrum of emotions, including anger to find success and achieve their objectives.

By harnessing the positive powers of anger, successful people are more focussed, more assertive and more confident. Successful people deal with anger by cultivating a high emotional IQ through success-breeding habits, routines and practices like these.

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In Their Head:

1. They accept that anger is natural and healthy

When you recognise anger as an essential and necessary emotion, you stop being afraid of it. Only when you’re no longer afraid of it can you start managing its manifestations.

Fear breeds defensive thoughts and behaviours, but when you embrace something, you put yourself in charge. Being in charge of your anger allows you to express it calmly and constructively.

2. They focus on ‘I’ statements

Most people experiencing anger talk in ‘you’ statements like “you are making me late” or “you still haven’t finished the report that was due this morning.” This type of language naturally makes other people defensive and less likely to want to help you out.

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By talking in ‘I’ statements instead, the people you’re talking to are more likely to empathise and want to help. Talking in ‘I’ statements will also help you focus on how to fix the problem rather than just complaining that the problem exists. Try these instead: “I don’t like to be late, it reflects poorly on our team” and “I really need that report, is there anything I can do to help.”

3. They avoid negative self-talk

There’s nothing wrong with being self critical, but when your negative self-talk holds you back from personal, emotional and professional growth you need to act.

When you embrace your imperfections you’re more likely to think about how to improve, rather than what’s ‘wrong’ with you, which over a long period of time, can lead to stress and depression. Take a more positive and constructive view of yourself and you’ll achieve more and be happier.

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At Work:

4. They focus on the problem, not the person

Hanlon’s Razor states: “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” In other words, if someone’s done wrong by you it’s likely they didn’t mean it so lighten up!

Accidents and mistakes happen everyday and while it’s easy to blame, getting angry at the person you believe responsible is not going to fix the problem. Stop wasting your time with un-constructive finger pointing and get on with business.

5. They don’t hold a grudge

Holding a grudge doesn’t achieve anything. Moreover, it takes energy and effort to hold something against someone which over time, wears you down and contaminates your mind, leading to a negative world view. Let it go. Forgive and forget and be happier.

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6. They never send an email while angry

The way you communicate with people at work can impact your future career prospects, and email is a permanent record of your communication with the potential to make or break a career. Anger impairs your judgement, which can lead you to write something in an email that you wouldn’t when you’re in a better frame of mind.

If you need to write something, draft an email with an empty ‘To:’ field, save the email as a draft and look at it again tomorrow. Also, checkout number 9 on this list.

At Home:

7. They meditate

Meditation can help you deal with stress and anxiety which are precursors to anger. Regular meditation regulates levels of cortisol, a hormone released during times of stress. It also boosts serotonin, a so-called ‘feel good’ hormone that balances your emotions and can make you more aware of your feelings.

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8. They exercise

It’s widely recognised that regular exercise boosts energy levels and aids focus. Researchers have also found that it can help you manage your anger. Studies have shown that regular exercise dissipates feelings of anger and reduces the risk of it bubbling to the surface. So, get running.

9. They keep a journal

Keeping a journal is an alternative and healthy outlet for your emotions, including anger. A journal is a great place to get your thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions out without the risk of hurting anyone and without fear of judgement.

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9 Ways Successful People Deal With Anger

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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