How to Cope with Stress by Dealing with Anger Effectively
There is a saying that goes, “Anger is one letter short of danger.” This is very true and anger can really stress a person out if it’s not managed effectively. There are many people who bottle up their anger and it brews inside them like toxic fumes which poison their mind and body.
Usually, anger is caused by a situation that one deems unfair or someone may have said or done something that offended them. People who stress out over such slights and unfair treatment, replay the same scenario in their heads over and over and over and experience the same negative emotions repeatedly.
Over time, this takes a toll on their mental and emotional well-being. They view life in a negative way and develop negative attitudes to cope with the world as they see it.
There are 5 steps that you can take when you get angry. While some people may get explosive and shout and rant as an outlet to vent their frustrations, it’s not really an effective one. In fact, if such outbursts become a habit, it can really affect you in many detrimental ways.
Now let’s look at 5 effective steps to cope with anger.
Step #1 – Breathe deeply
Deep breathing has a very calming effect on the body. When you’re angry, the body breathes more rapidly but in a shallow manner. This deprives your body of oxygen which further exacerbates the situation.
By taking deep breaths, you’ll not only be calming your overactive brain but you’ll also be giving yourself some time to think and not react hastily in a way that might be embarrassing or unnecessary.
Step #2 – Step back
This is a very important step. You must take a step back from your anger and view it from the perspective of a third party. If someone said something mean about you, the natural human response is to get defensive or angry.
Take a step back and ask yourself why you’re stressing yourself out over this. Do you secretly believe that what the other person said about you is true. Very often, people feel insulted by comments from others because they believe them to be true on a subconscious level.
If it’s not true, why would the other person put you down? Are they normally unhappy people who take pleasure in tearing others down?
By reflecting on this, you will be thinking instead of reacting. You’ll realize that in most cases, there’s nothing much to be upset about. You can just dismiss these comments and move on with life without being stressed or aggravated.
Analyze the situation, the people involved, the reasons they behave the way they do and see if you can figure out why… and when you do, you’ll be able to act in a level-headed manner.
Step #3 – Smile
It may seem crazy to smile even if you’re furious. However, the mere act of smiling will help to relieve some of the tension you’re feeling. Your body is trained to be happy when you smile. So, the act of smiling will calm you down and de-stress you.
Step #4 – Write it down
Abraham Lincoln, used to write long letters to people who caused him grief. However, he never sent any of those angry letters. He burned the letters after writing them. The writing process was cathartic since it helped him express his anger, bitterness, disappointment and other negative emotions.
Do write down how you feel and you can say whatever you want. After penning it all down, either burn the paper or throw it away. If you don’t wish to write, you could type it all out and delete the document when you’re done. The goal is to express yourself instead of keeping it all bottled up inside and getting stressed out.
Step #5 – Realize your own mortality
This is a big one. People often forget that they’re mortal and that death is the great equalizer. The average person lives about 28,000 days. That doesn’t seem like a lot, does it?
No, it doesn’t… and it’s not. Yet, we go around being angry and upset like we’re immortal. Cast your anger aside. Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s mostly small stuff anyway. Be happy for what you have and if anyone aggravates you, let it go.
Don’t use up your precious days sweating over nasty comments, unfair treatment and irrelevant negativity. You know better.
“Be happy and a reason will come along.” – Robert Brault.