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How To Get Rid Of Anger: 3 New Secrets From Neuroscience - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Dealing with Anger According to Context

Sometimes suppression is the only thing you can do to avoid an escalation. And sometimes reappraisal can cause you to tolerate bad situations.

But that said, telling yourself a more compassionate story about what’s going on inside the other person’s head is usually the best way to go. 

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How To Get Rid Of Anger: 3 New Secrets From Neuroscience - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

How To Get Rid Of Anger: 3 New Secrets From Neuroscience - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/10/how-to-get-rid-of-anger/

bakadesuyo.com

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Key Ideas

Dealing with Anger According to Context

Sometimes suppression is the only thing you can do to avoid an escalation. And sometimes reappraisal can cause you to tolerate bad situations.

But that said, telling yourself a more compassionate story about what’s going on inside the other person’s head is usually the best way to go. 

The Power of Forgiveness

Forgive. Research indicates that forgiveness makes you less angry and more healthy.

The Harms Of Holding Anger

“Correlational studies support these laboratory findings. Individuals who typically use suppression report avoiding close relationships and having less positive relations with others; this dovet...

“Correlational studies support these laboratory findings. Individuals who typically use suppression report avoiding close relationships and having less positive relations with others; this dovetails with peers’ reports that suppressors have relationships with others that are less emotionally close.”

English, John, & Gross, 2013; Gross & John, 2003; Srivastava, Tamir, McGonigal, John, & Gross, 2009

The Brain’s Limited Supply of Willpower

Suppressing your feelings uses our limited supply of willpower, meaning you’re more likely to do things you regret after you’re angry.

Meanwhile, neither sadness nor neutral arousal results in destructive risk-taking.

Don’t Vent Your Anger

Venting your anger intensifies emotion. Meanwhile, sharing this feeling constructively or distracting yourself are good ideas.

“…focusing on a negative emotion will likely intensify the experience of that emotion further and thus make down-regulation more difficult, leading to lower adjustment and well-being.”

“…focusing on a negative emotion will likely intensify the experience of that emotion further and thus make down-regulation more difficult, leading to lower adjustment and well-being.”

Handbook of Emotion Regulation

Emotion And Cognition

Distracting yourself allocates your brain’s limited resources on something else, leaving it less power to dwell on the bad.

Research suggests cognitive and emotional tasks use the same limited mental resources, so engaging in a cognitive activity, things that require thinking impairs your brain’s ability to remain angry.

Reappraisal as an Anger Management Tool

Scientific evidence suggests that when someone goes off on you, simply thinking: “It’s not about me. They must be having a bad day,” can soothe anger

Shifting your beliefs about a situation makes your brain calm down the amygdala, changing the emotions you feel.

The same works for anxiety, by reappraising stress as excitement you reduce the former.

“Our emotional responses ultimately flow out of our appraisals of the world, and if we can shift those appraisals, we shift our emotional responses.”

Your Brain at Work: Strategies for...

“Our emotional responses ultimately flow out of our appraisals of the world, and if we can shift those appraisals, we shift our emotional responses.”

Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

“Reappraisal, by contrast, has no detectable adverse consequences for social affiliation in a laboratory context. Correlational studies support these findings: Individuals who typically use reap...

“Reappraisal, by contrast, has no detectable adverse consequences for social affiliation in a laboratory context. Correlational studies support these findings: Individuals who typically use reappraisal are more likely to share their emotions— both positive and negative— and report having closer relationships with friends, which matches their peers’ reports of greater liking."

Handbook of Emotion Regulation

The Dangers of Negative Reappraisal

When you get angry and you think “people are out to get you” you are reappraising, too. You’re telling yourself a story that’s even worse than reality. And your anger soars. So don’t do that.

“… if people can change how they mentally represent a stimulus, they can exert self-control and escape from being victims of the hot stimuli that have come to control their behavior."

...

“… if people can change how they mentally represent a stimulus, they can exert self-control and escape from being victims of the hot stimuli that have come to control their behavior."

Walter Mischel 

Three Quick Steps to Get Rid of Anger

  1. Suppress rarely. You’ll feel worse inside and hurt the relationship.
  2. Don’t vent. It increases anger. Distract yourself, instead.
  3. Reappraisal is often the best option. Think: “It’s not about me. They must be having a bad day.”

Dealing with Anger According to Context

Sometimes suppression is the only thing you can do to avoid an escalation. And sometimes reappraisal can cause you to tolerate bad situations.

Telling yourself a more compassionate story about what’s going on inside the other person’s head is usually the best way to go. 

The Anger Fighting Power of Forgiveness

Forgive. Research indicates that forgiveness makes you less angry and more healthy.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Reappraising Conversations
Imagining a conversation as a game you are to score as many points as you can. 
6: Shared feeling/experience (that’s when acquaintances become friends)
5: Confirmation of an emotion’s legi...
Don’t Be Self-Centered

It’s key to connecting with people to suspend your ego; to put your own needs, wants and opinions aside. Anxiety does the opposite bringing your feelings and expectations to the forefront.

Focus on the other person. Simply listen to what they have to say and ask them to tell you more. 

Reappraisal

Just because you feel it doesn’t make it real. Feelings come from beliefs. Change the beliefs and feelings will change.

Research and anecdotal evidence show that the simple act of positively reimagining something can be enough to decrease anxiety.

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Feelings are summary judgments

Most of the time we don’t second guess them, and even if we do, they often end up overwhelming us. 

Negative feelings are very powerful and harder to question: we identify with them effo...

Misunderstanding resilience

Resilience is most times associated with being tough. But that’s not gonna get you very far with feelings. Don't try to be invulnerable. Aim for flexibility instead.

You cannot avoid or resist all pain in life. But you can learn to live with your discomfort better.

"Solving" emotions

We have trouble dealing with feelings because the usual problem-solving rules don't really apply to them.

When faced with a problem, we can always avoid it or deny it. But attempting to resist negative feelings won’t work. Any attempt at suppression only amplifies them. We must go from avoidance to acceptance.

one more idea

Mindfulness
It involves paying attention to something while letting go of judgments and assumptions. Don’t try to change it. Instead, be open to the experience, regardless of whether you like or...
Knowing what triggers your anger
Usually we don’t even realize we’re angry until furniture is being broken. But if you know the circumstances that trigger your anger, you can avoid them or prepare yourself.
Emotions are made up of 3 components:
  • physical (the way your body responds when you experience an emotion),.
  • cognitive (the thoughts that go along with the emotion).
  • behavioral (the things you do or have urges to do when you experience an emotion). 

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