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9 Ways to Deal with Anger & Emotional Stress

Anger is an emotion we all experience from time to time, but if it becomes a daily trigger it can greatly impact the quality of your life in a negative way.

There are many reasons why people can experience anger or emotional stress including, making poor decisions or mistakes that lead to painful outcomes, having unrealistic goals or expectations that aren't fulfilled, or situations that are beyond someones control that can lead to personal frustration.

It is a primal human instinct to feel anger when someone does harm to an innocent other, when there is clear injustice, or when someone else is at fault for an undesirable outcome that affects us.

Also, there are many moments and events throughout life that can cause us to react with anger, however it is important to not allow anger to become a predominant emotion because it can be destructive to yourself and those around you.

Here we explore 9 ways for dealing with angry emotions in a more positive way, for your own benefit and for the benefit of everyone you come in to contact with.

1. Monitor The Triggers

Monitor the trigger points that cause you to react with Anger.

This can be as simple as maintaining a 'mental log' of the situations or triggers that cause you to feel angry and how frequently this occurs.

Monitoring the triggers is all about bringing greater conscious to the things that cause the negative emotion so that you can begin to notice patterns.

As you notice the things that trigger anger, you can then begin to assess the impact of that anger and ultimately whether it is actually justified, or if there is a better, more productive way to react that serves you better.

2. Interrupt The Anger or Stress Cycle

By consciously identifying the triggers that make you angry or stressed out, you can begin to work on ways to avoid those triggers or pull yourself up when anger sets in.

The art of self-improvement is about not doing the same thing over and over again - or reacting the same way to the same old things - and expecting a different result!

In other words, if you know the triggers that cause you to feel angry and then can find ways to interrupt this pattern consciously, you will likely begin to experience more positive reactions, perspectives and outcomes to triggering situations.

Simple techniques such as asking yourself, "what can I learn from this or what can I be responsible for here?", can be quite effective at shifting the way that you react to certain triggers.

Other ways of interrupting patterns that lead to anger, include walking away from the situation and taking some time out to calm yourself down, a few minutes of meditation or deep breathing, having a productive conversation with someone about the trigger and how it can be improved moving forward.

3. Strive for Empathy

Whenever you feel anger towards something or some one, try to put yourself in the other persons shoes.  People don't usually intentionally do things to make you angry even though there may be a better way of doing it.

If someone does something that makes you angry, realise that it's more likely a function of their own understanding, circumstances or insecurities - not yours.

This will help you gain a different perspective. Keep in mind that we are all humans, and subject to making mistakes. Recognising this in the moment that you’re angry can make a huge difference in terms of how you react and how you manage anger as a response.

4. Look For The Bright Or Funny Side

In most difficult situations, often there is a bright side or even some element of humour that can be found.

Learn how to laugh at the situation or even yourself and to see humour in difficult times.

Often in difficult or challenging circumstances, you can completely shift your emotional state just by laughing about the situation.  It's about not taking life too seriously and always looking on the bright side, finding humour in every moment that tests you. This is a great way to reduce tension and calm yourself effectively. Never forget that laughter truly is the best medicine!

5. Learn to Relax More

When you learn to relax and breathe more you can become better at managing the triggers that cause anger and negative emotions.

Learn how to relax and breathe. If you're used to carrying tension in your body, it's probably not something that you do consciously with intention.

Although you may have heard that expressing anger is better than keeping it in, remember that frequent outbursts of anger are often counterproductive and may alienate others.

Relaxation techniques like meditation, detox baths, focussed diaphragmatic breathing and brisk walking are all effective ways to instil calm in you when there is emotional stress, anger or chaos around you.

Also, simple self care tools such as pure essential oils can be profound in levelling out your emotions in times of anger or stress.  If you're prone to tension, outbursts or triggers, some good essential oils to have handy to help you stay grounded include Balance, Lavender and Forgive Essential Oil Blend.

6. Learn To Trust Others

A lack of trust in others can evoke emotional tension and anger - particularly if you're always looking for what's "wrong" in others rather than what's "right".

One of the best skills you can develop is to trust in others who you put your faith in - friends, family, team mates, work and business colleagues.

Trust is a natural leadership attribute that manifests itself the more that you do it.  The more people can feel your trust in them, the more they are likely to do the right thing by you and give you the outcomes you want.   

Always remember, that it’s easier to be angry than to trust.  Trusting someone is a positive emotion, but definitely not an easy one.  It's a learned skill that you need consciously work on until it becomes subconscious, but it's worth it and can give you significant emotional freedom.

7. Become A Great Listener

Good listening skills improve communication and can facilitate feelings or trust and connection between people. This trust can help you deal with otherwise potentially hostile emotions in a more positive way. 

To improve your listening skills, maintain eye contact with the person your communication with, really listen to their conversation and remember to use their name.  It is important to not interrupt or ask questions until they’re done speaking, and keep in mind that listening to someone is ultimately beneficial for you, not just them. 

Listening is an important life skill that will help you to cultivate greater levels of understanding and reduce your levels of emotional stress.

8. Put Things Into Perspective

If you live your life with a healthy, big picture perspective, you will realise that life is too short to get upset for too long over little things.

There will always be challenges, but it's how you react and deal with them that matters most.  When you're able to stay focussed on the bigger picture and live your life with a "glass half full" rather than "glass half empty" attitude, it can work wonders in helping you to manage anger and emotional stress more effectively.

9. Practice Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful trait that will help you to reduce and even eliminate anger and emotional stress.

People who choose not to forgive typically only punish themselves in the long run because they essentially allow the party at fault to have emotional control of their life.

By letting go of the resentment and relinquishing any thoughts of retribution, you’ll release the weight of anger from your shoulders more easily.  Of course, learning to forgive is easier said than done and does take practice and consciousness, but it is definitely a skill worth working on for anyone who is prone to anger and stress.

The Main Take Away

Anger is a natural human emotion that can be triggered due to some kind of mistake, injustice or when things don't go to plan. 

The problem with anger is that if you're unable to manage it effectively, it can end up impacting your life in a negative way as well as the lives of everyone around you.

So if you struggle with anger, emotional stress or outbursts, it's a good idea to consider ways that you can rewire your response to the triggers that spin off these negative emotions.

Start with some of the suggestions we've shared with you here and you'll go a long way to being more conscious about the causes of anger and emotional stress so that you can better manage the difficult situations that life will inevitably throw your way.

Tolman Self Care. 


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