From minor troubles to global problems, there have been so many negative events in the world in recent years that anger, anger, disappointment and rage have become the predominant emotions among people.
The Guardian newspaper, citing experts, makes recommendationshow to cope with such a condition. For example, with anger. As Dr Nadia Heim, Associate Professor of Personality Psychology and Psychopathology at Nottingham Trent University, says, anger is not always negative:
“Anger is a programmed emotion that is our defense against threat. This is normal, healthy and evolutionarily important.”
Anger specialist and psychotherapist David Wolfson absolutely agrees:
“It can be a powerful force for good. Anger makes us achieve something – fight for justice and interests, win marathons, correct mistakes.”
These seem to be strange judgments at first glance. But think about it: Anger’s bad reputation isn’t because of it, but because of the behavior it can cause. Anger can cause us to react badly and then regret it, so it’s helpful to know how to deal with it in the healthiest and safest way. Here are some recommendations.
Count to three
“When we are very excited, it is difficult for us to think. Overcoming this physiological arousal is an important part of reducing the risk of inappropriate behavior that we later regret. Stop, count to three, think, and then act. This will engage your cognitive brain, calm you down and give you time to realize whether this is a real threat and whether the response is proportionate.”
Water splashes in the face
US family therapist Erica Curtis, author of Working with Anger Creatively, advises:
“Anger engages the sympathetic nervous system, which increases energy and prepares us for action. Sometimes this surge of energy is quick and intense, prompting us to do something impulsive, unproductive, and even harmful. Reduce the energy of anger by splashing cold water on your face several times while holding your breath.”
“Some people might have a rubber band on their wrist so they can snap it. Or you could run up and down the stairs five times so that the angry energy has somewhere to go before you start thinking again,” recommends Nadia Heim.
Anger on… paper
Do you really want to yell at someone? Try doing it in writing, Curtis advises. This is the best way to achieve clarity and meet your basic needs, he believes. Think about what made your blood boil and try to “scream” on paper using whatever angry words come to mind. Curtis says, “Then take it one step further: think about more vulnerable feelings—such as disappointment, hurt, embarrassment, jealousy—and write them down. Then add your needs and wants. Finally, circle the words that will help you communicate the need clearly and non-aggressively.”
Fly on the wall
In a triggering situation, says cognitive neuroscientist Christian Jarrett, author of Be Who You Want, “try to create distance between yourself and your angry thoughts and feelings”:
“Try to imagine this scene in third person, as if you were a fly on the wall. Or step outside of yourself and describe what is happening using your name and third-person pronouns.”
Another way to distance yourself from strong emotions, Curtis says, is to “imagine your anger as a color or shape separate from yourself. It doesn’t have to make sense – just pay attention to the space between you and your anger. If necessary, imagine asking him to give you a little more space or stepping away from him to see his edges. This may reduce its intensity.”
William DeFore, author of Goodfinding: A User’s Guide to EQ and Your Brilliant Mind:
“Constantly irritated by the news? Many people form their identity around what they don’t like and what they oppose. These people will always be angry. Instead, focus on what you like, what you believe in, what you support, and what you want more of.” “
Pour out your soul to your interlocutor
Wolfson says: “I can swear with you or at you. This is a very important distinction. When I swear at you, I drive you into a corner, but if I say, “I really need to get something off my chest, will you listen?”, then we have communication that brings us closer.”
There is a simple and effective way, according to DeFore, to deal with anger. He suggests “hitting a pillow or mattress, or screaming alone without talking to anyone.” Wolfson agrees: “I teach people to hit pillows or sit in a car when no one is around and just cry.” He emphasizes that these methods do not get rid of hidden anger, they simply deal with it in the moment.
Take the initiative
It’s no secret that many of us are outraged by what is happening in the world and around us. “Look for constructive ways to express these legitimate feelings by writing to the newspaper or your MP; or by taking part in a grassroots campaign,” suggests Jarrett.
Heim recommends: “Cuddle with your pet, your child, or your partner. “Hugging releases oxytocin, a hormone we think we need for bonding, but it’s also important for processing threats when we have to fight them or deal with them in other ways.”
Look beyond the rage
Wolfson warns with a simple example:
“It’s hard to put a lid on a boiling pot; the harder you try to push it, the more pressure it creates, and eventually it will explode. This pressure usually involves ignoring all the feelings that cause anger, which are often resentment, fear, shame and sadness. When we don’t pay attention to this, we ourselves accumulate anger.”
Take a cold shower
“You get tense and you get hot, so cooling down can be a good way to reduce that temperature. For example, we know that as temperatures rise, aggression tends to increase. This is because we feel irritable in hot or crowded places, and the discomfort increases the risk of our reaction,” says Heim.
Breathe deeply, you can cry
Heim explains, “When we’re overstimulated, we breathe shallowly, which pumps up our sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the fight-or-flight response.” Taking three or four deep breaths while focusing on the breath reduces anger. Do you want to burst into tears? Why not? Releasing emotions in a proportionate and appropriate manner is better than holding them in.”
Calm, just calm
“Remind yourself,” Wolfson says, “that your reaction is your choice. The stereotype of anger is yelling and insulting, but we can express anger in a truthful, measured, dignified and healthy way.