Monday, 4 September 2017

Relieve Stress and Anger

Anger and stress are the little monsters that sit on your shoulder, telling you to be more negative, encouraging you to act out and snap. It can be a seemingly uncontrollable force that impacts on your emotional state and your general wellbeing, however there are a few methods that can be used to relieve stress and anger as well as minimise the effects that anger and stress have on you both short term and long term.

One of the first things that can relieve stress is preparation. When you prepare you can anticipate. Preparation for the next day or the next few days can greatly reduce stress because the activities and tasks have already been planned out and sorted before completion which will make them much less daunting and stressful. When you are able to prepare you can relax because there is no need to worry about the upcoming tasks or even human error such as forgetfulness. Make lists, focus and organise to be fully prepared. You will have a sense that you are in control of the situation and can handle much more than you initially thought you could.

Remove the word 'why' from your vocabulary and thoughts. Why is a winey word, it holds us into the past negative and holds us to self sabotage. Why am I failing? Why am I so stressed? Blame, blame and blame again, just take control, release why from your thoughts and add 'what and how'. They are practical words that hold us in the present positive. 'What' can you do to make your life better? How can you create a happier future? Notice with these words you are dismissing the past and promoting a more positive outcome for your present and future self. 

On another note, repeat performance can greatly improve stress and can even help to recover from a place of anger because doing almost any routine or repetitive activity can very quickly distract your mind from the negativity and can create a calmer and more enjoyable environment. This also works with the verbal repetition of a word or phrase. Simply reciting a word the represents how you want to feel or a phrase that resinates with you can bring your mind back to the present and abolish the negative thoughts that keep sneaking in.

Focus on one thing at a time. You can't be expected to constantly multitask or you will just burn yourself out. Sometimes doing multiple things at one time is needed however at other times you need to consider what makes you stressed and juggling too many things is definitely a trigger for many people. Step back for a moment, prioritise and then jump back in, this doesn't just work for tasks, it also works in more personal situations as it allows for the situation to be considered more in depth and gives a second for the mind to be put at ease overall.

When you feel yourself getting angry try to identify at least one good thing. If you are angry about a task try to focus on something you have done well or how far you have progressed, if it is anger based on a problem, a mistake or something more personal then look back to a previous success and think about how you got there. Focusing on a positive can help to encourage more positive thoughts and can pull you away from the anger and negativity. Of course there will be times where looking into the past may not resolve things however it is always good to take inspiration and be motivated by your past successes. 

If looking into the past for positivity and relaxation techniques seems a little difficult then consider it savouring. Savouring involves mindfully engaging in thoughts and behaviour that bring forward positivity. One type of savouring is reminiscing where you look into the past, reminiscing is a way to review the past and rekindle positive feelings, it is never used in a negative manner and is always considered a positive and sometimes nostalgic experience. As well as reminiscing you could also try savouring the moment which involves focusing on what you are currently doing and simply enjoying and intensifying the positivity of a current experience. 

Worry can bring on stress and anger, one of the best ways to overcome this is by writing it down or talking about it. Although it may seem easier to deal with problems alone, sometimes the help of someone else or reading back your own writing can really help to put everything into perspective and resolve issues before they have escalated. Taking to someone about your worries is a very effective method for resolving issues and can help to gain some valuable advice from your peers and writing problems down can help for you to take a step back and look at the situation as if you were not involved which will help you resolve any issues in a more effective and efficient manner.

Writing, making music, dancing and painting can release tension and reduce feelings of anger. Get creative! Even if you see yourself as a not very creative person, there is always going to be something that you are good at and creative methods to undertake to achieve a successful outcome. Creativity can be such a powerful thing.

If creative methods are not your forte then you can bring down your general stress levels that lead to anger with exercise and relaxation. Exercise is a great way to release unwanted energy and when it is worked into your daily life, even just walking to the shops, it can help to reduce stress by releasing endorphins that promote positive emotions as well as improve your health in general. By using exercise as a stress and anger relief you will be able to control it much more effectively and when you can control stress, it can no longer control you.

Another great way to relieve stress and anger is physical interaction. Simply giving someone a hug can help to relax and control emotions as well as promote a more trustworthy and compassionate atmosphere. A hug can completely alter your state of mind and can make you go from angry to calm in a few seconds. Obviously not every issue is resolved with a cuddle but it is a great quick fix for something that might have been blown out of proportion or even for someone who is overwhelmed and just needs some comfort. 

One of the most important things that you can do to relieve stress and anger is to look after yourself! Drugs and alcohol can make anger problems much worse as they lower inhibitions and can cause us to act out when we are angry, if this is an issue then there are many support groups and services available that can really help you. Your mental health is also a very important part of keeping yourself immune to stress and anger, exercise is a great help however meditation is also very effective as it allows for you to clear your mind and focus on one thing at a time. Just like the physical side of this, there are many support groups and services that can help control stress and anger as well as helping you understand the workings of your mind.

Another part of looking after yourself is learning how to self sooth. We have a built in fight or flight response that is intended to help us escape a threat, however anxiety, stress and anger can all trigger this response which is then an unnecessary and very uncomfortable situation. To fight this response you can self sooth by doing breathing exercises, talking more positively about yourself, changing your perspective and meditation. All of these methods can help to clear your mind and allow for you to gain control of your stress and anger. 

To control your anger you first need to understand your anger. Think about your anger signs. Your heart beats faster, you clench your fists, you breathe more quickly and you gain tension in your shoulders? These are all recognisable signs of anger and if you notice these signs you should get out of the situation and re-assess. As well as this you need to think about what triggers your stress and anger, it could be anything but as long as you know what it is you can control your reaction to it.

Finally, remember that this will pass. The most important step towards overcoming negative feelings that lead to stress and anger is to recognise that you are experiencing a very common emotional state that many others have gone through and have successfully overcome. Although it is uncomfortable, the negative feelings will pass. Fighting this can sometimes not have an effect and occasionally accepting that you are feeling this way helps for the mind and the body to recover and relax.

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