Managing emotions effectively in stressful situations will help us find the right solution and leave a good impression in the eyes of others.
Sometimes, we may get into situations that are difficult for us to face calmly. Emotional behavior and outbursts due to anger can lead to many unintended consequences, breaking relationships and even hurting others. Therefore, learning how to control our anger is very important to avoid situations that can cause conflict, and resentment.
Is anger completely harmful?
According to Ohio State University professor, Dr. Brad Bushman, anger is a negative emotion, but it’s not as bad as we often think. Depending on the situation, anger makes us feel stronger, or gives us the motivation to stand up for what we think is right. In everyday life, anger sometimes pushes us to overcome obstacles to achieve important goals .
However, angry emotions, if they appear at the wrong time or are not properly controlled, can easily lead to violence, which adversely affects relationships. In addition, when you are angry, the body will release stress hormones such as Cortisol, Adrenaline, which has an effect on the nervous and immune systems. Many studies show that people who are often angry have a higher risk of heart attack that can lead to stroke. Therefore, we need to learn how to control anger to protect our health as well as the relationship we have with those around us.
The secret to control your emotions when angry
1. Stop expecting too much
According to psychologist Bernard Golden, author of Overcoming Destructive Anger: Strategies That Work , much of our anger stems from unrealistic expectations about ourselves. , about other people and this world. Have you ever been in situations against your will and then have to say: “Why is life so unfair? Why do other people treat me like this? If that person really loves me, they shouldn’t…” so on and so forth. To avoid negative emotions, stop putting expectations on things you can’t control. Focus on the things that are within your power and only spend time with the people who really matter.
2. Reconsider your responsibilities
When things don’t go as planned, we often get angry and tend to blame the situation or try to push the responsibility onto someone else. This action not only cannot help us solve the problem, but it will make the situation worse. Instead of being irritable and annoyed with everyone around you, carefully consider whether you yourself are one of the causes of this situation. When you are aware of your responsibility, you will find a suitable way to handle it, avoiding personal emotions affecting the rest of the things in your life.
3. Pretend you’re an outsider
Sometimes, unresolved problems make us feel resentful and uncomfortable. It even makes us hate the other person for not being able to understand our side, at the same time it also makes us question our reasons for getting worked up in the first place. These conflicting emotions when not resolved may lead to good relationships turn to bad ones.
So, the next time someone makes you angry, pretend to be an outsider. This doesn’t mean you are not going to care and just pretend you don’t see the problem at all. It means, you try to see and understand the situation as an onlooker. Taking notes of the concerns and predicaments of both sides so you can weigh in and identify the right solution to the problem. This will help you observe the problem and see your emotions more clearly, thereby being able to control your anger.
4. Practice meditation
Mindfulness meditation helps us focus on our feelings and thoughts in the present moment, calmly reflecting on how we should behave to avoid conflict. Over the past two decades, there have been many studies showing that meditation is really effective in controlling emotions especially anger. A study published in 2017 in the journal Mindfulness found that practicing meditation every day for 3 weeks helps us effectively control anger, and reducing aggressive behavior. However, you also don’t have to spend too much time in the day practicing meditation. Just about 5 minutes a day will make a lot of difference.
5. Take a deep breath
If you don’t have time to meditate, you can practice deep breathing every day. This method not only brings many health benefits but also slows down your heart rate, helping you regain your composure to think through and find a suitable solution. Relax your body and apply this exercise about 3-5 times per day to better control emotions in stressful situations.
Exercise is a healthy way to express anger. Not only has the effect of relieving stress, calming the spirit , helping you control emotions effectively, regular exercise will give you a healthy body, full of energy. You can choose simple exercises such as yoga, skipping rope, jogging … combined with outdoor exercise to breathe fresh air, helping the body and mind to relax.
7. Think about what others have done for you
When there is a conflict, do not rush to criticize or take out your anger on others because angry words can make them feel hurt. Calmly remember the times when they helped you, be grateful for the good things they have brought you to dispel the negative emotions of the present. Try to imagine in the future, when you look back at this moment, how you will feel with your behavior so that you can control yourself and avoid leaving regrets later.
8. Get enough sleep
A study published in the journal Sleep in 2020 found that we are more easily irritable on sleep-deprived days. When you lack sleep, stress hormones suddenly increase, making you always in a state of fatigue, irritability, and anger. Therefore, we need to arrange a reasonable rest time so that the mind is always at ease.
9. Use cognitive-behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used to treat mental health disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders. With this method of therapy, you will talk to a therapist about the problems you are having. However, you don’t have to have a mental health problem to use this therapy. Talking to a psychologist can help you become aware of your negative thoughts and find effective ways to manage your emotions when dealing with stressful situations.