The Harms Of Holding Anger - Deepstash
The Harms Of Holding Anger

The Harms Of Holding Anger

Suppressing feelings works but it makes them stronger. When you suppress, your ability to experience positive feelings decreases while your stress soars as the amygdala (a part of the brain associated with emotions) starts working overtime.

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

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.

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The Anger Fighting Power of Forgiveness

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

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Don’t Vent Your Anger

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

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  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.”

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

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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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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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RELATED IDEA

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 legitimacy
4: Pursuit of the topic
3: Acknowledgment
2: Implicit recognition (but changing the topic)
1: Perfunctory recognition (autopilot)
0: Denial/contradiction

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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 dislike it. 

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Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Listen to your thoughts — but don’t necessarily believe them.

They're suggestions, possibilities. But they’re not gospel. You can’t control what thoughts pop up, but you can decide what is helpful and choose not to give the unhelpful thoughts any more attention than they deserve.

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