How to Manage Stress, Anxiety, And Anger? (12 Powerful Ways to Tame Your Temper)
Many psychologists believe that the best way to manage your anger is to release your repressed feelings in a safe and socially acceptable way.
Such ways include punching a pillow, shouting and screaming, or even stamping your feet.
However, in one study, people who released their anger and punched a bag reported feeling more aggressive and angrier than those who sat quietly in a room or distracted themselves.
In short, doing nothing at all is more effective than venting anger (1).
So if punching and screaming don’t help to quell feelings of anger, what does?
Anger management courses or deep meditation is one answer, but there are many simple and fast ways to relieve your anger.
These ways include being able to find benefits, doing nothing, and getting a pet.
This article contains 7 scientific proven ways to tame your temper and help you manage stress, anxiety, and anger better.
Ready? Let’s get started!
1. Finding Benefits
Given that punching a bag or screaming isn’t likely to relieve your anger, behaving in a way that is incompatible with being angry can help you feel better.
Distracting yourself by watching something funny, or doing something you enjoy may help reduce your feelings of anger, but it is unlikely to provide a long-term solution to more serious sources of frustration.
“Benefit finding”, on the other hand, can provide a lasting solution for feelings of anger and frustration.
In fact, in one study, participants were asked to focus on the benefits that came from unfortunate experiences, including, for example, becoming a wiser or mentally stronger person.
The results revealed that the act of focusing on the benefits that could be derived from a seemingly hurtful experience, helped participants feel significantly more forgiving and less upset and angry about the situation (2).
Finding benefits has also helped people with serious physical illness feel empowered and increase their appreciation for life (3).
So when you experience an event that makes you feel angry or upset, spend a few minutes reflecting on the positive outcomes of the event.
For example, maybe it helped you grow stronger or become more appreciative of your life. Maybe it helped strengthen important relationships or end bad ones. Maybe it helped you become more forgiving or compassionate.
Write down how you have benefited from the event.
2. Get a Pet
Several studies have been conducted that examine how you can benefit from owning or spending time with pets.
These studies show that dog owners coped well with everyday stress, had higher self-esteem, and were less likely to get depressed (5).
However, when it comes to cats, studies show that although living with a cat may help alleviate negative mood but isn’t likely to make you feel especially good.
One of the main reasons why dog can improve the quality of your life can be the exercise associated with daily walking, which can benefit your physical and mental health.
Another explanation could be the possibility of meeting new people while walking your dog. Strangers are more likely to approach you when you’re walking a dog than when you’re alone.
If your lifestyle isn’t compatible with owning a dog, you can go online and watch a video of a cute animal. It was proven to help people feel much more relaxed and reduce their stress levels.
When you’re anxious or angry, you tend to have high-intensity, fast-paced breathing.
Breathing deeply helps you go from emergency state to relaxation state. It helps you go from feeling anxious to calm.
Step 1: Place one hand on your belly and inhale through your nose. Direct the breath to the belly feel your belly expand.
Step 2: Fill your belly to what you can comfortably hold.
Step 3: Exhale slowly and smoothly through your nose.
Step 4: Repeat ten times or as many times as you need to regulate your breathing and calm your nerves.
The goal is to allow deep breathing become a second nature to you.
4. Quit or Reduce Coffee
Caffeine has been referred to as a psychoactive drug.
The American Psychiatric Association has even named four caffeine-related syndromes: caffeine-intoxication, caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, caffeine-induced sleep disorder, and caffeine-related disorder not otherwise specified.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can give us a jolt and a burst of energy.
When you’re prone to getting anxious or stressed out, the last thing you need is adding a stimulant.
Step 1: If you’re used to drinking two or more cups of coffee a day, start by reducing to one cup a day.
Step 2: If you drink one coffee a day, try switching to decaf for a few weeks.
Step 3: Once you get used to decaf, try switching to a delicious herbal, caffeine-free tea.
5. Drink Herbal Tea
A cup of herbal tea can be therapeutic with benefits that will help you not only temper anxiety and stress but be a healthier person all around, such as:
- Helping you stay hydrated unlike the diuretic properties of excess coffee.
- Soothing achy cold and flu symptoms. When you’re feeling under the weather, try teas with ginger, rosehip, or chamomile.
- Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile and lemon balm have a calming effect that is linked to stress reduction.
- Ginger tea can reduce nausea and calm an upset stomach.
- Lavender tea helps you relax and induces sleep.
6. Move Your Body
Other than controlling your weight and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, regular exercise helps you channel your anxious feelings, and prevent future ones.
There are different fun and inspiring ways to move. The key is to find a way that works for you, one that you love or at least enjoy.
7. Praying For Others
One study conducted by Neal Krause at the University of Michigan revealed that praying for others helped reduce the financial stresses and improved the well-being of the person doing the praying (7). In fact, our subconscious mind doesn’t make the difference between wishing well to ourselves or to others.
So when you wish well for others, you benefit too.
8. Listening to Classics
Research revealed that listening to classics such as Pachelbel and Vivaldi helped people relax much more quickly and lower their stress levels.
In contrast, listening to pop or jazz music had the same restorative effect as total silence (6).
Research shows that spending more than thirty minutes outside when the weather is pleasant, helped people boost their mood and improve their memory (7).
10. Allowing More Humor Into Your Life
Laughing has been proven to instantly boost your mood and improve your health.
So make sure to get your regular dose of humor by watching a funny video or any other humorous material.
Researchers recommend that people laugh for at least fifteen minutes every day.
11. Put Your Phone on Silent
Social media and apps are designed to over-stimulate our minds, which can create major anxiety in our lives.
Keep your phone on silent and keep it away in the evening or at least two hours before bedtime.
Meditation doesn’t need to be complex or complicated.
Just sit, breathe deeply and slowly, and focus on your breath.
Try not to let the mind wander. If it does, just bring it back to the breath.
You can help yourself relax by focusing on the things you’re grateful for or repeating a simple mantra with each inhale and exhale, such as “I am relaxed,” or, “I am grounded.”
Did I miss anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Which techniques from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favorite techniques.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now!
Wondering what to read next?
- Building Mental Strength: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
- How to Be Whole on Your Own: 3 Crucial Steps to Feel Complete and Whole
- How To Reclaim Your Life: 5 Steps to Take Back Your Power And Start Loving Your Life
- How To Get Over Yourself And Stop Feeling That The World Owes You Anything
- Facing Your Fears: 5 Truths About Fear And 5 Ways To Conquer Fear And Get Unstuck
- How Gratitude Can Change Your Life Overnight
- 15 Easy Ways to Be a Happier Person
Like This Post? Please Consider Sharing It On Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
- Portions of this article were adapted from the book 59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot, © 2009 by Richard Wiseman. All rights reserved.
- Portions of this article were adapted from the book Own Your Anxiety, © 2019 by Julian Brass. All rights reserved.