Tags: anger | manage | health | heart | inflammation | pain | digestion

How to Deal with Anger in a Healthful Way

angry man driving car

By    |   Thursday, 27 July 2023 10:38 AM EDT

The hot weather is bringing out the hotheads. While anger is one of the most primitive emotions, people do not like to feel fired up and furious, and yet is seems anger is all around us.

“People don’t like to feel angry and most people who do feel angry want to get rid of that anger,” Brad Bushman, a professor of communications at Ohio State University who studies the causes, consequences, and cures to the problem of human aggression and violence. “But it also makes people feel more powerful.”

According to TIME, anger can help generate a positive response to social ills, such as women’s suffrage.  Unfortunately, however, most of us don’t deal with anger in a healthful and positive manner and it is the most difficult emotion to manage.

“That’s why courts send people to anger-management classes—if it were that easy, they wouldn’t have to do that,” says Bushman. The expert says that anger is the largest risk factor for aggressive and violent behavior, fueling road rage, domestic violence, and murders. Plus, it can affect your health causing inflammation, increased risk of chronic illness, reduce lung function, chronic pain, and digestive problems, not to mention cardiovascular events such as high blood pressure and heart rate. In the two hours after feeling angry, a person’s risk of having a heart attack jumps nearly fivefold, says TIME.

Here are some ways to cope with anger in a more positive and healthy manner:

Focus on relaxing. To turn down the heat of anger, Bushman recommends practicing deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation. Yelling, screaming, kicking, or even running or working out when you are angry just fuels the fire of arousal.

Take a time out. Tony Fiore, author of Anger Management for the 21st Century, tells his clients that it is okay to get away from each other. Fiore, a psychologist, says that “sometimes getting away for 10 minutes — or an hour or a couple of hours — drastically changes things when you come back.”

Don’t hold a grudge. According to the Mayo Clinic, forgiveness is a powerful tool to manage anger. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself drowning in your own bitterness or sense of injustice. Forgiving someone who angered you might teach you both a lesson while strengthening the relationship.

Try the 30-30-30 intervention. Laura Beth Moss, a supervisor with the National Anger Management Association, created this method years ago. Take 30 seconds to extract yourself from the situation, then spend 30 seconds doing something else, like taking deep breaths, and finally, use the last 30 seconds to create a coping statement to de-escalate the situation. For example, if you are fuming about what a jerk your boss can be, state to yourself what exactly is making you angry and understand that his tone of voice, or condescending demeanor, has nothing to do with you. You may not like the situation, but with a different perspective, you can tolerate it.

Communicate assertively. Julia Baum, a therapist who practices in New York and California, recommends using respectful communication to express your anger. “You’re trying to take care of both of you in this conversation,” she says, according to TIME. “You’re not out for yourself, but you’re also not diminishing your feelings or thoughts and putting the other person ahead of you.” It’s helpful to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements, says the Mayo Clinic. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, "I'm upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes" instead of "You never do any housework."

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The hot weather is bringing out the hotheads. While anger is one of the most primitive emotions, people do not like to feel fired up and furious, and yet is seems anger is all around us." People don't like to feel angry and most people who do feel angry want to get rid of...
anger, manage, health, heart, inflammation, pain, digestion, breathe
Thursday, 27 July 2023 10:38 AM
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