People who are more likely to think maladaptive thoughts tend to be angrier overall. They express their anger in unhealthy ways and experience more days with negative emotions, aggression, and risky driving.
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Anger is not actually bad for us - it alerts us to the fact that we've been wronged. The racing heart and hot face is your body preparing for a fight or flight response, energizing you to confront injustice.
Anger only becomes a problem if we are unable to manage it, and it manages us instead.
Managing your anger is all about managing your thoughts. Your thoughts will determine how you respond.
Strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy can teach people healthier thought patterns.
It helps a user read a set of blood-boiling scenarios and rates how likely they are to have each of six possible reactions. It enables you to recognize unhelpful thoughts that cause a knee-jerk reaction. For example: When you are driving through a residential area, and someone backs their car out of a driveway and nearly hits you. There are six possible reactions:
Inflammatory labeling is incredibly toxic as it degrades a human into an object and minimizes any or all of their other qualities.
The antidote to inflammatory labeling is empathy. When you start to think of other people from a different perspective, you will do the opposite of labeling.
Instead of escalating your anger with insults or vengeful thoughts, start by focusing on the facts. Rational thinking can reduce your anger.
Changing your angry thoughts takes time. But if you can recognize your thoughts, you can learn to stop yourself and refocus your attention.
Eat well: Make sure you eat healthy vegetarian food.
Rest: Ensure at least 6-8 hours a day.
Meditate daily: can be done at any time, in a quiet place and doing so in a group has a greater impact.
The most valuable way to understand, manage and use your anger is to keep a mood log.
Using a mood log for a week or two will help you identify the relationship between your feelings, thoughts, and situations. It will give insight into how you tend to think and behave when you're angry. You might notice that you get angry when your goals are blocked, or you are more prone to thoughts such as blaming. With this knowledge, you can consider whether your anger is productive.
Meditation - mindfulness, focusing on the moment - is an excellent anti-anxiety, anti-anger tool..But accepting suffering and finding contentment in that means you can't move into doing something good in the future.
One important idea is hope. Positive human future doesn't come about by accident - it needs hopeful people who plan for it and make it happen.