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Anger Management – The Aftermath


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In our fast-paced world, mastering anger management is essential. This blog explores strategies for handling anger constructively, promoting inner peace and healthier relationships.

We’ve all been there – those moments when anger seems to take over, causing us to explode in frustration, saying or doing things we later regret. While anger and other emotions can be overwhelming, it’s crucial to find healthy ways to manage and channel them constructively.

In this blog entry, we’ll delve into some valuable strategies to help you regain control when anger starts to bubble up.

1. Recognize You Are Not in Control:

Sometimes there’s no doubt when we are angry or overwhelmed. Other times it can sneak up on us and we may find ourselves lashing out at others or saying things we normally wouldn’t. Recognizing your personal external triggers (e.g., driving in traffic) that make you prone to being overwhelmed and internal symptoms of being overstressed (e.g., clenched fists) are good indicators to pay attention to.

2. Practice Deep Breathing: The Calm Amidst the Storm

Deep breathing is a powerful tool for managing intense emotions. When you’re angry, your body enters a “fight or flight” mode, causing your breathing to become shallow and rapid. Practicing deep breathing exercises can activate your body’s relaxation response, helping you calm down and think more clearly.

One technique is called “box breathing in which you breathe in over 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, breathe out over 4 seconds, and wait 4 seconds before repeating. This is done 3-5 times or as necessary. When you practice box breathing, you’re essentially telling your body that it’s time to dial down the threat response and dial up the relaxation response. It’s like swapping your racing thoughts for a serene breeze, and your clenched fists for a soothing touch.

Deep breathing using the box technique isn’t just a fancy trick; it’s grounded in science. When you’re angry, your body’s sympathetic nervous system – responsible for responding to threats – goes into overdrive. But deep breathing does something remarkable: it taps into your parasympathetic nervous system. This system is like your body’s pause button, responsible for keeping everything under control when you’re at rest.

3. Take a Timeout: Your Stress-Busting Sanctuary

Let’s have an honest moment – despite our best intentions, we don’t always remember to do calm breathing exercises when stress knocks at our door. Hey, life happens, and sometimes our emotions get the best of us. But worry not, for there’s a powerful alternative that can still rescue us from the clutches of stress-induced chaos: the magnificent timeout. A timeout is like a mini-vacation for your mind and body. It’s your passport to calm amidst the chaos. When you or someone else notices that stress is wreaking havoc, the best thing you can do is press the pause button. Step away from the situation – whether physically or mentally – and give yourself permission to indulge in a 20 to 30-minute breather.

Stress has a way of flooding your body with a cocktail of adrenaline and other hormones. It’s like a storm surge that leaves you feeling out of control. But here’s where the timeout swoops in to save the day. By giving yourself this pocket of respite, you’re allowing your body to filter out those stress-inducing hormones. As these hormones gradually exit the scene, your body’s equilibrium begins to restore itself. This means that the frenetic pace of your heartbeat begins to steady, the tension in your muscles eases, and your racing thoughts find their rhythm once more. Your body’s natural state of calm gets the chance to shine.

One fascinating benefit of the timeout is its effect on your brain. Remember that executive functions suite – the part responsible for logic, problem-solving, and scheduling? Well, it doesn’t operate at its best when you’re in the heat of the stress moment. But once you’ve had your timeout, this part of your brain springs back into action. Think about those times when anger had you blinded, and later, when you’ve calmed down, you realized things weren’t as dire as they seemed. That’s the timeout at work, helping you see things from a more balanced perspective.

In moments of overwhelming stress, once you’ve surpassed your capacity to handle it, there’s limited recourse. While deep breathing can initiate a sense of calm, for more significant relief, a 20-30 minute timeout becomes essential.

Remember, recognizing that you’re not in control doesn’t mean you’re weak; it means you’re human.

It’s the first step in a powerful process of learning how to manage and ultimately conquer your anger.

https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body#:~:text=The%20SNS%20response%20is%20fairly,opposing%20effects%20to%20the%20SNS

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