Anger and stress go hand in hand. As stress levels rise, so do our levels of frustration and tension. When we carry repressed or uncontrolled anger, those will cause us aggravation and stress.
Effectively handling anger requires us to use a combination of stress and management exercises. These techniques may be learned on your own, or for maximum benefits discussed with a qualified therapist.
There are things you can do to dissipate anger:
Physical exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce feelings of anger and stress. It gives us the opportunity to release our emotions and can help reduce stress levels, by increasing our body’s production of endorphins, which are natural ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters that promote feelings of well-being. The next time you feel stressed or angry, try going for a run or a walk.
Reframing is a mental technique used to diffuse hostile feelings and anger. It helps by changing our attitude about a given situation so we can see it in a more positive, productive light. To do this, we must write down our negative, angry feelings for two days.
Every time you experience a negative or angry thought, write it down. At the end of the two days, see if you can notice a theme in your thought patterns. Take one of the negative, angry thoughts you’ve written down and try to figure out a positive or productive counter-argument.
For example, if you’ve written “everyone is out to get me,” instead you could think, “everyone has bad days, other people have problems, too.” This exercise is particularly helpful if you are able to discuss your reactions with a therapist or good friend.
Deep breathing exercises can help you to relax, take time out and help you to gain control over yourself and the situation you’re in. Deep breathing reduces stress and anger by re-focusing your mind on bodily sensations instead of negative thoughts.
Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down. Place one hand on your stomach and close your eyes. Inhale and focus on filling your abdominal area, then your chest, with breath. Pause, and slowly exhale. Continue breathing like this until you feel calmer and more relaxed.
Progressive relaxation is a technique that can relieve stress, anger and tension, and is best performed lying down. You consciously tense and relax the major muscle groups in your body.
For example, close your eyes, and tense your toes and feet for a few seconds, then release. Next, tense your calves and lower leg, then release. Continue tensing and relaxing your muscles until you get to your head.
As you tense and relax each muscle, breathe deeply and allow your mind to focus solely on the physical feelings you are experiencing.