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Anger can show up in many ways such as annoyance, frustration, irritability, hostility, yelling, physically fighting and much more. Not fun, right?
There are so many ways to apply anger management strategies to change this negative and sometimes destructive emotion. But why do we often avoid implementing them? Usually for two reasons.
We don’t fully understand how anger functions within the body. So how would we know how to resolve something we don’t understand? Or we don’t understand the rationale behind the methods of releasing anger. Hint: it is not “letting it out”.
To be less angry, here are five methods of anger management that will give you more ease in your life starting today.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has gained world-wide credibility for its’ simple, accessible structure. It is mixed with its’ highly effective outcomes for problematic emotions. Mindfulness practices are an amazing tool for anger management.
Becoming more present in the moment during mindfulness exercises can help your brain translate it into your daily life without any effort at all. Being more present means less anger. Start small. You can start by searching YouTube, Spotify, and apps like Insight Timer or Headspace for mindful meditations as short as four minutes.
Exercise helps keep your mood balancing hormones in check. This makes it less likely for an anger-based response. This means that dopamine and endorphins (the happy hormones) are increased and cortisol (the stress hormone) is decreased. This makes exercise a totally natural drug for anger management!
Exercise helps keep the oxygen flowing throughout the body even after your workout. That means you will have more oxygen flowing to your brain too. When your brain is functioning with these resources, you are more easily able to access that sliver of time to pause before an anger-based response. Exercise can be a run, weight lifting, riding a bike, or even a simple walk.
Your breath is deeply connected to the survival part of your brain. This means when we participate in slow breathing, the mind gets the message that everything must be okay and then feels safe to shut off the survival mechanism of anger.
Use your conscious, thinking mind to tell yourself (the survival part of the mind where anger comes from) that you are safe, and everything is okay. It might sound like you are tricking the mind into thinking everything is okay, but that is exactly what you are doing.
Anger management can mean simply telling the mind “there’s nothing that needs to be done, there is no immediate danger or threat”. Or you can face the anger rather than push it away, which also tells the mind that everything must be okay.
Say “I acknowledge I am feeling angry, I accept it”. Trust me, these small things can really work.
If anger has impacted your life in a negative way and you feel stuck, working through it with a neutral third party can help you get to the root of the issue. Check out our therapists and book an appointment today, for personalized, one-to-one anger management support.