Anger Leads To Stress
Before we get into our tips for how to reduce anger and stress, lets look at the relationship between the two. Anger is an emotion. Its an emotion that many people find uncomfortable. Moreover, its an emotion that we havent been taught well how to deal with in the United States.
Therefore, people tend to have one of two extreme approaches:
- Some people try to stuff down their anger. It bottles up inside.
- Other people let their anger loose, through verbal and or physical outbursts.
Both methods lead to stress. This happens at a physical level. Anger ignites your fight-or-flight response. Your body releases adrenaline and cortisol. These are stress hormones.
You literally feel stress in your body when you are angry. This manifests as physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, and changes in breathing.
People with unhealthy anger over a long term period of time can experience numerous health problems including headaches, digestion problems, heart attack, and stroke. Excess anger is also correlated with mental health issues including anxiety and insomnia.
Tip : Use Humor To Relieve Tension
When things get tense, humor and playfulness can help you lighten the mood, smooth over differences, reframe problems, and keep things in perspective. When you feel yourself getting angry in a situation, try using a little lighthearted humor. It can allow you to get your point across without getting the other persons defenses up or hurting their feelings.
However, its important that you laugh with the other person, not at them. Avoid sarcasm, mean-spirited humor. If in doubt, start by using self-deprecating humor. We all love people who are able to gently poke fun at their own failings. After all, were all flawed and we all make mistakes.
So, if youve made a mistake at work or youve just spilled coffee over yourself, instead of getting angry or picking a fight, try making a joke about it. Even if the joke falls flat or comes out wrong, the only person you risk offending is yourself.
When humor and play are used to reduce tension and anger, a potential conflict can even become an opportunity for greater connection and intimacy.
Avoid The Impulse To Cut Off
When a person is fighting with their significant others, sometimes they may feel the urge to slam a door and give them the silent treatment. Going silent can calm you down temporarily, but it is likely to increase your partners anxiety or anger. This doesnt mean you have to sit down and solve a problem in the heat of the moment. Instead of quickly zooming out of the driveway or walking away, consider telling your partner that you need some time to calm down so you can organize your thinking. Let them know that its important to you to work out difference and consider whats an appropriate amount of time for you to think and come back to them.
If your partner tends to give you the silent treatment when youve forgotten an anniversary or skipped dinner with their parents, youve probably experienced some anxiety not knowing whats going to happen. You cant make them talk to you, but you can share that youre ready to share your thinking and work together when theyre ready. Trying to coerce or threaten them into a quick reconciliation is likely to backfire and cause them to cutoff even more.
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Why Won’t My Anger Go Away
If someone deliberately treats you unfairly it is normal to feel angry. Often this kind of anger dissipates quickly, and you calm down.
Sometimes, however, the trigger for your anger isn’t something that just happened, but something more general in your life or circumstances, or a past experience which is still causing you distress. When this is the case, you may seem to become suddenly angry about very small things, but the real cause of your anger is something deeper, and ‘slow-burning’.
This kind of lasting anger can be difficult to deal with alone. It usually means you have not been able to resolve or come to terms with the cause of your anger. That might be because you have been treated unjustly, and it may seem that there is nothing that you can do to fix this. When this is the case it makes sense to get help. Counselling and talking therapies can help you understand your anger and the causes of your anger.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment For Anger Disorders
One of the most common types of psychotherapy is cognitive behavioral therapy. The purpose of the treatment is to help an angry person recognize the self-defeating negative thoughts that lie behind anger flare-ups. Patients work with a mental health professional to learn how to manage stressful life circumstances more successfully.
The cognitive behavioral approach has many benefits. Patients learn to:
- Cope better with difficult life situations
- Positively resolve conflicts in relationships
- Deal with grief more effectively
- Mentally handle emotional stress caused by illness, abuse or physical trauma
- Overcome chronic pain, fatigue and other physical symptoms
Cognitive therapies are structured and may offer quicker results than other approaches. Better yet, the results are lasting, with patients showing significantly decreased relapse rates.
This sort of treatment tends to focus on specific problems and personal triggers. Youll learn how to deal with your particular issues using conscious, goal-centered strategies.The specific steps in cognitive behavioral therapy include:
- Identification of situations or circumstances in your life that lead to trouble
- Awareness of your thoughts and emotions surrounding anger triggers
- Acknowledgement of inaccurate, negative thought patterns
- Relearning of healthier, positive thought patterns
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Tips For Dealing With Anxiety And Anger
If you have been struggling with anxiety and anger, it may be useful for you to introduce a few practical coping strategies into your daily life to help you improve how youve been feeling:
- Take a few minutes for yourself: if something is making you feel stressed, anxious or uncomfortable, remove yourself from that environment if you can. Find a quiet space and give yourself time for your stress responses to reduce. You may want to try some deep breathing â take in a slow deep breath through your nose for four seconds. Imagine filling your lungs from the bottom right to the top, making them as full of air as possible. Hold the breath for another count of three, and then exhale gently through your mouth for another count of six
- Exercise outdoors doing something that requires a lot of energy like running or cycling can help. When you exercise, you focus on your body, which gives you little time to concentrate on or mull over any anxious or angry thoughts. Moving and being outdoors are also well-known mood boosters. They stimulate the release of neurotransmitters including endorphins, oxytocin and serotonin, which can leave us feeling more positive
- Write down your thoughts whether you have a physical diary or keep notes on your phone, writing can be a good way to release any anxious or angry thoughts. The act of writing or typing these thoughts can feel as though they are flowing from your mind onto the paper or phone, helping to create some distance between you and them
Be Respectful And Be Specific
For example: ‘I am upset that you arrived home late when I was expecting to go out,’ instead of ‘you’re always late and you don’t care what I want.’
For example: ‘I am tired and feeling overwhelmed by housework. I feel I am doing more than my share.’
Avoid accusations and try not to back the other person into a corner or make them defensive:
- Criticise behaviours not persons, so say ‘you didn’t tidy up’, not ‘you’re lazy’.
- Try to avoid absolute words like always and never. For example: ‘You never help with the housework.’ ‘You always answer back.’
- Try to avoid telling others what they should or must do.
- Don’t say: ‘It’s not fair.’
- Try to avoid forcing them into saying what you want them to say. Try not to tell them you dislike, don’t love, or hate them. If they are angry too, then they won’t respond to these statements in the way you feel they should.
- Try not to tell them what you suppose their excuse is. For example: ‘I suppose you’re going to tell me you’re too tired.’ Try not to ask questions that are actually an accusation. For example: ‘Why are you so lazy?’
- If you feel you need to make a demand, make it a demand that you try to solve the problem together, and set a time frame. For example: ‘Later today, when we’ve both calmed down’.
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Reduce Your Angry Reactions
While you probably won’t eliminate anger completely, you can certainly reduce the frequency and scope of your anger. The less angry you are in general, the more control you’ll have over your emotions. Since much of our anger can come from frustration and stress, if you work on ways to ease and reduce these causes of frustration and stress, you’ll reduce the amount of anger in your life.
Use Problem Solving Skills
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A great way to reduce stress is to improve your problem solving skills. We sometimes feel that everything we do needs to be correct and turn out well, and this can be frustrating when things don’t turn out as they should. Instead of expecting yourself always to be right, commit to doing your best. That way you can be proud of your effort even if the end result isnt what you want.
Also, accept that when something doesn’t work out, the world usually won’t end. Sometimes you just need to relax and not let things bother you. We may think that we should have an answer for everything but the truth is, we don’t!
Is There A Cure For Anger
Anger is not something you can get rid of. It is a normal, healthy emotion shared by all people everywhere. When it gets out of hand, though, anger can become destructive and lead to all sorts of personal problems.
While you cant cure anger, you can manage the intensity and effect it has upon you. Effective therapeutic strategies exist for managing anger and can help you become less reactive. You can even learn to develop more patience in the face of people and situations you cannot control.
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What Are ‘issues With Anger’
People sometimes talk about having ‘issues with anger’, meaning that either you or others are uncomfortable with or worried about your anger, or that you are seen as being angry more often than is ‘normal’.
Issues with anger include:
- Feeling angry a lot of the time.
- Feeling stressed, tired and even physically unwell because of your anger.
- Having a ‘short fuse’ – reacting with anger quickly or disproportionately to things that distress or challenge you.
- Directing your anger the wrong way – for instance, at the wrong person, or at things rather than people.
- Displaying verbal or physical aggression, which may intimidate others.
- If you feel very angry but are unable to express it, you are likely to feel both physically and psychologically unwell. Symptoms like poor sleep, waking early, feeling agitated, experiencing nausea or heartburn, and a thudding heart are common.
Learning Difficulties And Anger
Children who have difficulties with speech and language, communication problems or other developmental difficulties may have particular difficulties in expressing their anger and may need specialist help. Your GP will be able to advise on this.
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How Can Anger Affect Me
When we get angry, it can be hard to think things through especially if that anger seems overwhelming or uncontrollable. And if we feel angry a lot of the time in other words, if we get into constant patterns of thinking angry thoughts about ourselves or others its hard to take a step back and communicate in a healthy and productive way.
We may tense up and clench our teeth. Our hearts might pump faster, our stomachs might churn, and we may clench our fists. These are useful early warning signs that we are getting wound up.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to recognise just how much anger you are feeling, and how it is affecting you. This might be because you have lots of things going on in your life.
After getting angry about something you might start to feel guilty about it, and this can make you feel worse.
The same young person wearing a grey jumper holds three signs. The signs read:
Here are things I do when I feel myself getting angry1. I talk about how I am feeling2. I try and recognise I’m angry and listen to others
The same young person has long brown hair and wears a yellow jumper, they hold three signs which read:Here are things I do when I feel myself getting angry1. Putting on my favourite music really helps2. Doing an action that helps me feel something different, like walking my dog
Give Yourself A Pinch
Heres how to calm down fast: Pinch yourself every time you hear yourself using the words never or always. The all-or-nothing mentality only shortens your fuse even more, which doesnt help you learn how to deal with anger. Instead, suggests Nicholson, look at things in shades of gray instead of black and white. Acknowledge that sometimes life is unfair and sometimes the person who is making you angry does the wrong thing. But dont fuel the fires with phrases like always disappoints or never comes through. And dont pinch yourself so much that it causes bruises or other injuries!
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Outpatient Anger Rehab And Treatment Programs
Sometimes, the commitment of a residential program is not possible. If your anger issues are not physically dangerous, and if you are unable to break completely free from your everyday life, an outpatient anger management program may be right for you.
Outpatient programs offer intense individual counseling, typically for six to eight weeks, and help prepare patients for more limited follow-up care moving forward. You will have to deal with external people and situations during your treatment, so supportive friends and family members can make a big difference.
Ways Anger Is Ruining Your Health
Constantly losing your cool can hurt more than your relationships.
Sometimes anger can be good for you, if it’s addressed quickly and expressed in a healthy way. In fact, anger may help some people think more rationally. However, unhealthy episodes of anger when you hold it in for long periods of time, turn it inward, or explode in rage can wreak havoc on your body. If you’re prone to losing your temper, here are seven important reasons to stay calm.
1. An angry outburst puts your heart at great risk. Most physically damaging is anger’s effect on your cardiac health. In the two hours after an angry outburst, the chance of having a heart attack doubles, says Chris Aiken, MD, an instructor in clinical psychiatry at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and director of the Mood Treatment Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Repressed anger where you express it indirectly or go to great lengths to control it, is associated with heart disease, says Dr. Aiken. In fact, one study found that people with anger proneness as a personality trait were at twice the risk of coronary disease than their less angry peers.
To protect your ticker, identify and address your feelings before you lose control. Constructive anger the kind where you speak up directly to the person you are angry with and deal with the frustration in a problem-solving manner is not associated with heart disease, and is actually a very normal, healthy emotion, says Aiken.
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Dont Put Your Anger On Display
Remember, too, that displays of anger dont accomplish anything except to anger or intimidate others. Anger should not be used as a disciplinary tool, a communication method, or an emotional weapon for how to deal with anger, Jordan says. It is a damaging, personal, emotional state that is symptomatic of an underlying problem. So dont ever let yourself use anger as a threat, particularly with your children. Your anger should be your problem, not theirs. Look out for these 11 telltale signs youre being passive-aggressive.
Expressing Anger In Healthy Ways
Suggestions on how to express your anger in healthy ways include:
- If you feel out of control, walk away from the situation temporarily, until you cool down.
- Recognise and accept the emotion as normal and part of life.
- Try to pinpoint the exact reasons why you feel angry.
- Once you have identified the problem, consider coming up with different strategies for how to remedy the situation.
- Do something physical, such as going for a run or playing sport.
- Talk to someone you trust about how youre feeling.
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Luxury Anger Management Facilities
Inpatient treatment doesnt have to mean sterile, inhuman conditions. Many luxury facilities exist and are dedicated to inpatient anger management therapy. Comfortable and serene accommodations have a positive effect on mental health and mood, so its wise to consider treatment facilities carefully.
If you want to learn more about what to look for in a treatment facility, contact us at .
How Do I Defuse Anger
Anger management techniques involve helping you manage and disperse your anger when it takes hold of you and might otherwise make you act rashly or harmfully. There are many techniques.
- Some are aimed at helping you to stop and think before you act.
- Some are aimed at using and therefore dispersing the surge of adrenaline that goes with your anger.
- Some are aimed particularly at young people and children, others work for all ages.
Different techniques will work better for different people.
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