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Ever wondered why people get angry? Anger is one of the many complicated emotions felt by human beings, and it arises due to an inherent need within us to set something right or retaliate something wrong. In many cases, anger is motivating and pushes us to take action. However, when this anger gets out of control or takes the form of aggression, that is when it spells problem.
Another emotion that we all feel, and which is a widely accepted problem in today's day & age is, stress! Did you know? stress is a vital part of our lives and has always been. There is 'good stress' that keeps us disciplined and motivated to wake up each day and go about our jobs and 'bad stress' that is harmful to us. Constant negative stress makes one irritable, easily annoyed and angry. One could even say that stress is an integral part of anger.
What Causes Anger and Stress?
Both stress and anger have similar causes and can arise due to:
- Unfair treatment
- Feeling helpless or powerless
- Lack of respect from others
- Not being able to achieve targets or goals
- Constant troubles or problems in life
- Feeling vulnerable or threatened
However, it is essential to understand that the mere presence of these causes or factors, doesn't make one inclined to anger or stress. In the same situation, two different individuals can react differently where one takes it all calm and relaxed, whereas the other person gets all agitated, stressed and angry. This is because some people are more prone to both anger and stress, due to external causes & condition this can be attributed to:
- Low tolerance to changes or unfair occurrences
- Too observant: Notice minor things which most people might ignore
- Having a hot-headed parent or one who stresses out frequently
Why are Anger and Stress a Problem?
Though it is reasonable to feel both stress and anger, being frequently stressed or angry is a problem. Being angry or stressed all the time can take a toll on one's emotional and physical well-being. It begins to affect and even change one's personality. Even the most jovial person might become aggressive and behave rudely due to stress and anger.
In many cases, people are so caught up in their world, and the stresses associated with it, they fail to see these apparent changes in their behaviour and health. This is when both stress and the anger associated with it become a problem.
Management of Anger and Stress
After having understood what and why about stress and anger, it is essential to learn to keep both of them in check and under control at all times. Here are a few ways to manage anger and stress:
Management of Anger
- Acceptance - If your loved one informs you that you may be having a problem with anger, listen and contemplate. Most people who are prone to anger immediately refute these observations and end up yelling or being aggressive with the family member or friend.
- Breathing and counting: Once you have identified your signs and the fact that somethings push you to the edge, learn to practice breathing or counting backwards from 20 or 10 down to zero to control your anger.
- Regular exercise: Performing routine exercises and workouts help to release some pent-up aggression or negative energy and calms the mind down. This has been proven to reduce anger and aggression in individuals prone to it.
- Speaking your mind: Discussing your troubles with someone helps you feel lighter and often results in being able to find a solution for the problem at hand.
- Let go of negative thoughts and words: Make it a habit to leave out thoughts and sentences that contain negative words such as 'never', 'not', 'no', 'impossible' etc. Use positive words instead.
Management of Stress
Reducing stress is probably a step before managing anger as it plays a crucial role in anger development. Some practical ways to manage stress include:
- Regular meditation, yoga or breathing exercises.
- Pursue a hobby: Picking out something that you love to do, acts as a distraction as well as positive reinforcement on your mind. Hobbies also help you deal better, with negative or stressful situations better.
- Writing a journal or diary: Putting down your thoughts is often a great stress buster and relieved your mind off the burden of all negative thoughts.
- Speak to a loved one or seek help from a counsellor.
- Increase social activity and meet new people: This helps in opening new avenues of personal growth and provides different perspectives, to look at some stressful situations.
- Avoid certain foods that tend to increase stress levels such as caffeine-containing drinks and food, excessive sugar and nicotine.
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