“Every minute you get mad at someone, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.”
When we are angry, this is reflected not only in our mood. Anger can affect our decisions, actions, and ability to do simple things.
None of us want anger to govern our choices, but at the same time, we often do just that. Moreover, splashing out anger, we harm not only ourselves but also others, causing a chain reaction.
What should be avoided in a fit of anger, and how to calm down so as not to let anger take over you?
People in anger: what you shouldn’t do:
1. Hide anger
We are taught from childhood not to show our anger, but it is much easier than learning how to deal with it. It is known that restraining anger can adversely affect our health.
Studies have shown that containing anger increases the risk of developing diseases of the cardiovascular system and affects overall health.
This does not mean that if restraining anger is harmful, then it must be openly expressed. Just instead of reacting at that moment, find ways to work out your anger by considering the whole situation.
2. Go to bed
Often in a fit of anger, it seems to us that it is better to postpone the decision until the morning and just fall asleep. But the decision to go to bed when you feel angry is not a good idea. So you can only increase your anger in the morning.
Do not go to bed immediately after an argument. A study by the University of Massachusetts published in the Journal of Neuroscience showed that when you go to bed when you feel angry and irritated, you can only aggravate negative emotions.
The thing is that sleep pumps emotional memories, combining all the negative emotions in the brain, because of which you wake up tired and emotionally exhausted in the morning. It’s best to say what bothers you before heading out to the side.
3. Blowing steam
We all need to let off steam from time to time, but this is not always the best solution. It may seem to you that, having spilled anger, you will throw a stone from your soul, but such a decision can make you even angrier and make you feel miserable.
A recent study at the University of Wisconsin found that people who had to read vicious comments online for 5 minutes began to feel angry and depressed.
Jamming negative emotions when you are angry can have unpleasant consequences for your figure.
When we get angry, we are much more likely to choose junk food. Remember how often you ate broccoli when you were enraged?
Most often, we choose something harmful with a high content of sugar, salt and fat. But the so-called comfort food calms only for a short period, depleting our energy.
Your digestion will not work properly if you are angry, because in this state our body is in a state of “struggle or flight” and digestion fades into the background, which often leads to constipation and diarrhea.
Driving in a state of anger can be no less dangerous than when drunk. A study presented at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Conference showed that when we are angry, we are more likely to take risks, which can lead to accidents on the road.
Anger leads to tunnel vision – a narrowing of visual perception due to which we do not notice what is in the zone of peripheral vision, such as pedestrians crossing the street, or another vehicle.
Never drive when you are crazy or annoyed. Better to walk or ask someone to give you a ride. The advantage of walking is also that any form of physical activity makes it easier to deal with anger.
In a state of rage, there is a great desire to throw out your emotions on social networks. However, remember that revelations about your friends and family are more likely to make you regret it later. Keep your feelings to yourself or talk with a close friend if you feel the need.
Also, do not write someone angry messages or letters.
Remember that by sending someone a letter, you will not be able to take your words back. If you need to give vent to emotions, write your thoughts on paper or in an online document, or just draw scribbles.
By writing a letter, you can erase or leave it to yourself. So you can direct all anger and irritation without risking important relationships.
7. Continue to argue
If it’s difficult for you to control your anger, then the continuation of the dispute is more likely to lead to harsh statements, which you will later regret.
Ask to pause and return to the conversation later when you cool. Remember that one person needs 10 minutes, and another 10 days before recovering. Focus on your feelings and use this time to calm your mind and body.
Do yoga, meditation, or just walk alone. So you can express your thoughts more deliberately and calmly convey your point of view.
Many people are used to solving problems with alcohol, believing that this will help calm down.
In fact, this habit can have the exact opposite effect. Alcohol removes internal prohibitions, which affects self-control, because of which you are more likely to pour out anger.
Drinking alcohol affects the frontal lobes of the brain that control our impulses, and you are more often reckless when intoxicated, which you later regret.
9. Ignore blood pressure
Did you know that the risk of stroke and heart attack increases within 2 hours after an outbreak of anger? At the same time, the risk of stroke increases 3 times, and heart attack – 5 times.
If you suffer from hypertension, it is best to check your blood pressure after situations that cause you negative emotions. If it rises, you should take steps to regulate it, including full sleep and exercise.
10. To focus on this
Thoughts about quarrel and offensive phrases that someone has expressed in your direction do not bring you any benefit. A focus on the situation can inflate it to an even larger scale and exacerbate the conflict.
Instead of thinking about the situation, try directly in a respectful way to speak with the person.
Keeping calm, you can reassure the person who directed his anger at you. By refusing to participate in the conflict, you will lead yourself and your opponent to a calmer state of mind, and if an outburst of anger still occurred, you do not need to worry about it for hours, otherwise, it will lead to anxiety and depression.
How to deal with anger and irritability:
You think that if you start to beat the pillow, then this will help you calm down? Contrary to popular belief, such a reaction does not dissipate anger. Moreover, the researchers found that this could further increase your hostility.
There are more effective methods to deal with anger.
1. Take three deep breaths
When you are emotionally excited, your breathing becomes shallow and quick, and your heart rate rises. You can reverse these processes by intentionally slowing your breathing and systematically relaxing your muscles.
This will help you regain control of yourself.
- In order to recover, take at least 3 deep breaths, inhaling slowly and deeply, and exhaling twice as long.
- Count to 4 on inhalation, and exhale on the count of 8.
You will notice how your lungs open and you begin to breathe easier.
2. Understand that you are angry
Try to think like a detective and start figuring out exactly what situation, people or events provoked your anger. Once you realize this, try to avoid these situations.
If you cannot avoid it, you will at least know what to expect, and you will have more time to prepare and not to react so sharply.
3. Play the situation in your head
To learn how to calm down quickly, imagine a scene in which you got angry and play it several times in your imagination, each time imagining how you will react differently.
You, in fact, will rehearse different reactions and several scenarios. The next time you start to lose your temper, one of the options will pop up in your head and give you the opportunity to respond better.
4. Go for a walk
When you are truly angry, move away from the source of your annoyance. Create a physical or mental exit from the situation.
Even a 5-minute walk can be a great way to deal with surging emotions. If you get nervous in traffic, turn on the radio and hum a song.
5. Imagine a stop sign
Another psychological trick is to imagine a red “Stop” sign in your head or wear an elastic band and click it when you feel that you are starting to boil.
Then for a few minutes try to imagine the situation in perspective and ask yourself if you should lose your temper.
6. Pinch yourself
Don’t know how to calm down quickly? Pinch yourself every time you say to yourself always and never.
Such categorical thinking can rekindle your anger even more. Instead of seeing everything only in black and white, look at annoying factors in shades of gray.
Recognize that life is sometimes unfair, and the people who make you angry do wrong. Do not stir up negativity in yourself with thoughts such as: “He always disappoints me” or “It will never end.”
7. Dissolve anger with laughter
If you are dealing with a negative family member, try making him laugh. For example, take a funny photo together, dance or make some kind of surprise.
The goal is to make something easy, funny and laid back. This will not only relieve stress but also remind everyone that you are primarily bound by things like love and forgiveness.
8. Set the timer
When you get angry, look at the clock. Allow the second hand to walk the dial for two minutes before taking any action.
You will have time to think and respond in a more acceptable way. In addition, the observation of time itself can serve as a kind of meditation to calm the nerves.
9. Write a letter of forgiveness
You do not have to send it. Even the action itself will remove from your part of the burden that you experience when you are angry. If you want to establish a relationship with the person you are angry with, you can send him a letter.
A study at Hope College in Michigan found that when we think of a person who makes us angry, we have increased pressure, pulse, and muscle tension. But, if we imagine how we forgive this person, these indicators do not increase so much.
10. Learn empathy
True empathy is to try to feel in the shoes of another person. This can be done in different ways: imagine a situation through the eyes of this person, telling a story from the point of view of another, or sharing a situation with a friend.
11. Remember simple truths
Accept some things to cope with many life situations more easily.
- Most people do it one way or another because he believes that doing the right thing.
- Most people are not evil or vile.
- Most of them are much more sensitive and insecure than they appear.
- Many do not fully understand how their actions affect others.
In other words, we are not saints or villains. We are just people who are trying to live a happy life in this complex world. Even those who make you very angry. And especially they.
Thinking this way, it will be much easier for you to forgive them.
12. Use the rule of 5
The best thing you can do when angry is to look at things from another angle. Ask yourself: Will this matter in 5 minutes? 5 days? in 5 years time?
If you answered “No” to these questions, then you should not be angry and waste your nerves.