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Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. When it gets out of control and turns destructive, it leads to problems at work, in your personal life and in your quality of life. Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury. It is accompanied by physiological and biological changes-your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do your energy hormones and adrenaline. Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person, an event, about personal problems, or memories of traumatic events.
The natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. People use three main approaches to deal with their angry feelings. They are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive, not aggressive, manner is the healthiest. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are and how to get them met. Unexpressed anger may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression. To manage your anger, it’s best to learn what triggers it, then develop strategies to keep your anger under control.
Relaxation - Simple relaxation tools such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery can help calm down angry feelings. Some simple steps you can try to relax:
Change the Way You Think - Try replacing exaggerated, aggressive thoughts with more rational ones. Try and count to ten or pause before responding to someone who angers you. Think logically and be less demanding of others. Realize that things will not always go your way.
Problem Solving - Sometimes anger and frustration are caused by very real, inescapable problems in our lives. Not all anger is misplaced and often it’s a healthy response to those difficulties. The best attitude to bring to a situation is not to focus on finding a solution, but how you can face the problem. Make a plan and check your progress along the way. Resolve to give it your best, but also not to punish yourself if an answer doesn't come right away.
Better Communication - Angry people tend to jump to and act on conclusions and some of those conclusions can be very inaccurate. When in a heated discussion, slow down and think through your responses. Don't say the first thing that comes into your head. Listen to what the other person is saying.
Use Humor - "Silly humor" can help defuse rage in a number of ways. It can help you get a more balanced perspective. Humor releases tension. Smile, laugh, or think funny thoughts to yourself.
Change Your Environment - Sometimes it’s our immediate surroundings that cause us irritation. You may feel "trapped". Give yourself a break. Make sure you have some personal time scheduled for times of the day you know are stressful.
Timing - If stressful situations occur at certain times during the day, rearrange your schedule or habits.
Avoidance - If you know something will anger you, avoid doing it or being part of it if possible. If your commute through traffic leaves you in a state of rage and frustration, try to find an alternate route or means of getting where you need to go.
Try Physical Activity - Being active will help you release tension. Running, walking, playing tennis, working in your garden, or any activity you enjoy will help you feel more at ease.
Share Your Stress - It helps to talk to someone about your concerns and worries. It also helps to share a good laugh.
Know your limits - If a problem is beyond your control and can't be changed, don't fight the situation.
Take Care of Yourself - Get enough rest and eat well. If you are tired or hungry, you will have less ability to deal with stress.
Be a Participant - Helping others or spending time volunteering can give you a different perspective.
Check Off Your Tasks - Make a list of things you need to do and check them off as you get them done. You will have a sense of control and accomplishment and not feel as overwhelmed.
Must You Always be Right? - Try cooperation instead of confrontation.
It's ok to Cry - A good cry can be a healthy way to bring relief and may even prevent a headache or other physical consequences.
Avoid Self-Medication - Drugs and alcohol do not remove the conditions that cause the stress and can become habit-forming.
As you start using some of the suggestions and begin to understand how stress affects you as an individual, you will come up with your own ideas of helping to ease the tension.