Monday, 13 April 2020

How can we prevent anger during times of stress?

What do you do to #reduce #stress in your life? :: Click here to ...

I joked with someone the other day that as soon as the lockdown is lifted I bet there would be a lot of couple heading to divorce lawyers. But it is not funny. In fact, it has been reported in some cities in China, which has lifted some lockdown restrictions, divorce rates are at record highs.

When we are cooped up, it can be very easy to allow anger to overwhelm you. But are there practical things we can do to help this situation. Let's take a look at when experts online, and thee media, are saying about it.

If you miss targets
Sometimes the anger arises because you get angry at yourself for not achieving what you set out to do. One big one here is when people are trying to lose weight. They set themselves a target, sometimes unrealistic, and when it does not happen they want they get angry.
The real problem here is recognising the pressure you are putting on yourself. In this example, instead of saying "it's okay, I'll go again next month and get back on track", you think "I've mucked it up, which means 'll never do it,  which means I am such a failure ... which means etc.".
In fact the only person creating these targets are yourself.  You need to step back, and instead say "I did not lose the weight I wanted this week, but I can do it next week and beyond. It's not the end of the world."  You can actually relax. Look at the bigger picture. The next time, inevitably, you don't reach a weekly target, you can train yourself to the new response.

Experienced something devastating
Trauma can be incredibly difficult to deal with, and in many cases is beyond your control. I'll use an example fro my own life. One of my closest and best friends conned me and stole my life savings around seven years ago. It was extremely difficult to deal with, especially as he planned it at a time I was recovering from depression and it sparked incredible anger, not just on him but also at myself for being so trusting.
How did I manage to overcome that? It wasn't easy, but talking about it to a professional counsellor was amazing. I was encouraged to write down an unsent letter to him - for me to release the feelings. I was also shown that I would not get answers that I felt I needed, I have appreciate that would never happen, but I needed to let go and allow my life to carry on. I could not control what happened, but I could control my reaction to it. It helped me anyway.
(I will add I continue to get a four weekly payment direct from his salary, decided and overseen by a Court of Law, until the total is paid back - will take around another two and a half years - yay!!)

You feel shamed or humiliated
This is more common than you think, as it could be being reprimanded at work, or someone publicly disagreeing with you or joking at your expense. How many household arguments are two people with different opinions??  You hate the fact the other person does not agree with you, or sees things in a different way.
The experts say - instead of saying "this is making me angry, I am right, I will turn this back on you", stop and look at yourself.  Is the criticism of you acceptable. Could you have done something better at work? Is this possible? An argument at home. See their side. Is it really worth causing an argument over this? Does it matter if your opinions differ in this case?
Try and understand that it is okay to have varying thoughts and opinions. Maybe practice listening a bit more. This is something I am continually trying to improve in myself - as I know I have a knack of interrupting people if I have an opinion.
Finally, don't take things so personally.

Your needs have not been met
How many times do we feel anger when we think we have been disrespected. It can leave us feeling unwanted, unloved, unappreciated and unsupported.
The experts say that this kind of anger can be a result of not being able to articulate your own emotional needs.
Take a step back. If we feel unappreciated, does the other person actually know what we need, what we feel is important?. Do you actually talk enough?
So instead of getting angry, in a sensible way let the other person know that you were maybe upset at a reaction or comment, and why. Do it without aggression, or even passive aggression.  Let others know your targets, your goals, but also appreciate other people. Respect is earned.

Stress itself
Stress can feed to anxiety, which can lead to outbursts of anger. It can be a feeling that your life is in crisis and there is no way out,. People who are long-term unemployed can suffer this, for example. A feeling that whatever they do life is just not going to get better.
All medical advice is about getting support. It's funny how many of us do not feel that we should be asking others to help us. It feels quite a British reaction. Are we really ashamed to let people know we are suffering?
The more we hold on to stress, the worse the anger will be. So, whether it is a friend, family member, or a recognised health expert (which we recommend), you need to stop telling people "I''m fine" and instead open up ab out what is making you stressed. It can help relieve even the biggest worry.
There are no promises that everything will sort out the way you want - but you also need to appreciate that.

HMHB hopes that helps a bit, especially during this lockdown. Lazza is on his own, but both Dean and Luke are with others.. We can all go through stress though. Please talk to people. Stay sane, stay inside, and stay safe.

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