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Temper, Temper: How To Gain Control Of Your Anger:

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

With life getting progressively more stressful, we are becoming less adaptable and able to handle the pressure. And, we all know what happens when too much pressure builds up, there’s usually an explosion.

Somehow, this normal chemical and human reaction has fallen into the category of yet another “psychological” disorders that affect our ability to live, work, play and function appropriately, and most likely warrants a prescription of some sort.

Yet, many professionals agree that the term disorder simply means that something, in this case, our emotions, are simply out of order, and need a bit of organizing. In fact, when it comes to anger, some agree that it can be a useful, self-protective emotion signaling that something is amiss in our lives and that we need to make necessary changes or shelter ourselves from the situation.

The only time normal reactions become harmful, threatening and a reason for concern is when we, those who are experiencing them, exhibit unacceptable, inappropriate or illogical ways of responding to or dealing with them. Here’s a few ways to keep your cool in control:

1. Unleash Your Anger: Most of us don’t express our frustration over “small”, “insignificant” annoyances. We merely accept them as part of life, try to “swallow them” and move on. While this is certainly effective in avoiding frequent and often un-necessary confrontations, it may prove detrimental in the long run. If you can truly accept the situation, then by all means avoid dwelling on it, but if something truly bothers you, make it known or you are bound to blow up later. You don’t have to yell, scream, or carry on, but experts suggest dealing with emotions so that they don’t accumulate and push you to a point beyond return.

2. Accentuate The Positive: To avoid further aggravating yourself, creating a rift between you and your partner, child or the person you have the discrepancy with, try not to use derogatory language that will negatively label the individual. Use “I” messages instead of assigning the blame. Express frustration, not anger by stating: “I” become very disconcerted when you tell me……, instead of saying: “You are so lazy, that you never…..

3. Keep Your Thoughts To Yourself: Venting rarely solves the problem. In fact, the person you are venting to most likely doesn’t have anything to do with the situation or can’t do anything about it. While venting may be a stress relief for you, allowing you to walk away feeling better, the only thing you’ve accomplished is getting worked up, blowing off some steam (which probably “didn’t” solve the problem), AND, now you’ve also upset someone else and possibly ruined their day. Experts suggest healthy venting through creative outlets such as logging your feelings in a journal or writing a letter to someone who can rectify the situation. You may even want to refocus your frustration on something positive like a project, a workout, etc.

4. Talk It Out: Don’t assume the person you are speaking to knows what you want or knows how to “fix” the issue. Professionals recommend being kind, courteous, yet very explicitly clear. Tell them why you are upset and exactly what you would like done to rectify the situation and see how you can reach a compromise. Don’t sugar coat your expectations, even if it’s not always possible to get them. At least others will know and understand what you expect and want.

5. Everything Happens For A Reason: Review the situation and see if you can derive something positive from it. Perhaps there was a lesson to be learned. Use your anger and energy in more strategic ways, especially in the workplace. Before creating more problems, focus on how this instance can help you grow and accomplish your task better and how it can be avoided in the future.

6. Get Away From It All: When the going get tough, the tough get going (as the old adage says), the question is where do they go to. If you’ve got the cash, probably on vacation, otherwise, they may retreat into a quiet peaceful place in the neighborhood or house. Take some time out to focus on your own person needs and underlying anger….perhaps even on what is truly making you this upset. Consider also if it’s worth getting angry over, if anger will accomplish anything and what you want to be the ultimate goal consider expressing your deeper feelings instead of your outward anger, and perhaps there will be less hurt feelings and ‘casualties” that way.

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