Posts Tagged ‘anger’

Stress Self-Assessment

March 14, 2016

Feeling stressed? While everyone reacts differently to stress, your body, brain, and emotions have a unique stress response. Understanding these reactions can help you fine-tune your stress-reducing strategies.

  • Pain – Stress can bring on immediate or chronic pain, such as back pain, headaches, nausea, jaw or fist clenching, muscle tension, etc.
  • Depression – Extreme amounts of stress can lead to symptoms of depression, including feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty.
  • Anger – Arguing and feeling short-fused with coworkers or loved ones is a common reaction when under stress.
  • Anxiety – Stress can trigger you to feel anxious, worrying or fearing the worst possible scenario.
  • Substance Use – Smoking, drinking excessively and drug use are all unhealthy ways of self-medicating your anxiety.
  • Eating – Overeating, skipping meals, and eating junk food with little nutrition are all ways people change their eating habits when under extreme stress.

Ask yourself the following questions to understand how you’re managing your stress load.

  • Do you have a support network in place?
  • Are there activities you enjoy?
  • Do you regularly get enough sleep?
  • Are there responsibilities you can delegate?
  • Do you practice relaxation exercises such as mindfulness, yoga, or meditation?
  • Do you have access to professionals who can help you?

After you’ve evaluated coping methods, here are a few action steps you can take.

  • Address physical concerns – See your physician to assess any immediate physical concerns or questions you might have. Seek their recommendations for changes in your diet, exercise, or other habits.
  • Start small – Start with simple tasks, such as turning off screens or electronics earlier before bed or taking five minutes for deep breathing.
  • Recruit a friend – Accountability is key, so choose a friend or family member to encourage you on the path to positive changes in your life.
  • Take notes – Everyone responds differently to relaxation techniques or organizational tools. Keep a journal or use an app to track the strategies working for you. Seeing your progress can be just the motivation needed to continue good self-care.

THINKING WELL: Anger Management

February 15, 2016

Feeling angry is normal and healthy. What you do with your anger is what matters. We’re biologically wired to become angry in response to potential threats. However, we can’t respond with anger to everything. Anger management can help you learn the signs of anger and how to manage your reaction positively.

Some people are more likely to become angry than others. Even if they aren’t physically violent, they might be irritable, sarcastic, or constantly grumpy. Anger causes physical symptoms too, such as digestive and heart problems, high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, headaches and the risk of substance abuse.


How do you know if your anger is controlling you? If you answer yes to any of the following questions, consider seeking help.

  • Are you feeling constantly irritated or impatient?
  • Do you engage in frequent arguments with others?
  • Are you physically violent or considering violence?
  • Do you occasionally feel out of control?
  • Have you felt anxious or depressed about your anger?


  • Identify stressors – Discover what is triggering your anger, such as work, rush hour traffic, or financial woes.
  • Notice indicators – Pay attention to any physical, emotional, or behavioral signs you experience when angry.
  • Examine thinking – Strive to correct your thinking and operate based on facts and good rationale.
  • Learn relaxation techniques – Practice mindfulness and deep breathing to soothe your body and focus your thoughts.
  • Focus on solutions

Anger management can help focus your energy on problems solving rather than frustration and hopelessness.

Remember, asking for help is never a weakness. Consult your doctor, mental health professional, or your employee assistance provider (EAP) for a referral. Consider attending a support group or check out other resources available online. Invest in yourself and learn to manage your anger instead of letting it manage you.

Self-Control – An Exercise To Help Keep It Together

December 16, 2014

Most people have good self-control. Even when angered or jostled, most people can keep it together.
But some people sometimes lose control and go into fits of rage, creating tense moments for those around them.

For someone who wants to regain control, it’s important to identify how rage begins and what alternative behaviors are available. Therapists recommend these four steps for accomplishing these tasks.

  • Tune in to what is going on in your body that lets you know you are bout to lose control.
  • Figure out what happened to make you feel this way.
  • Think about ways in which you might control yourself.
  • Choose the best way to control yourself and do it.

It’s unrealistic to expect someone who has lost control to calmly and deliberately go through each of these steps. So here’s an exercise that may help: Think back to a time when you lost control. What triggered the event? What signals did your body give off that you were about to lose it? With the answers to these two questions, you can engage in a mental exercise that can help prevent losing control in the future. Picture the same circumstance. Imagine your body giving you the same signals that you’re about to lose control. then, imagine yourself doing something else, anything else, constructive. Imagine this over and over again until you have the alternative behavior firmly imbedded in your mind. You’ll find that the next time you begin to feel rage, your mind will already be sending you the message that you have a choice – you don’t have to lose control.

A Thoughtful Perspective on Anger

June 6, 2014

A recent study shoes that a hostile person is about three times as likely to have a heart attack as someone less prone to anger. The article in the Journal of the American Heart Association on Circulation said hostile people are also at higher risk for stroke, and holding in anger may suppress your immune system.

But we are not only affected physically by the effects of simmering anger. Frequent displays of anger can drive others away. This isolation can lead to a downward spiral of reduced social support and an increase in risky behaviors like smoking and alcohol and other drug abuse.

Here are some ways to help avoid constant angry outbursts.

Examine your own actions. The first thing we should do is examine our own hostile behavior and ask ourselves how others might experience it.

Exercise self-restraint. When interacting with someone who makes you feel angry, instead of giving in to the anger and frustration, you could say to yourself, “I have the power and will to endure this person for a while.” Remind yourself that you will not have to be around this person 24/7/365. You only have to bear what’s upsetting you for a little while.

Preprogram your brain for love, joy and compassion. When you go to a rose garden, you notice the roses not the thorns. Even though you may never notice the thorns, they outnumber the roses in a garden by far. The reason you did not notice the thorns is because you did not go to the garden or meadow with the intention of observing thorns. Even before going to the rose garden, your brain is preprogrammed for observing the beauty there – not the prickly thorns. In other words, we should not concentrate on or preprogram our minds about other people’s faults. The more you pay attention to a person’s positive traits and talents, the less angry you will feel.

If you need help managing anger or know someone who does, please give us a call at Soundside Wellness Consultants to set up an appointment today.

Understanding the Grief Process

January 28, 2014

The grief process due to loss can be difficult to go through, but it helps if you know what to expect.

During grief, it is common to have many conflicting feelings. Sadness, anxiety, loneliness, sorrow, anger and guilt often accompany serious losses. Having so many strong feelings can be very stressful.

Identifying your feelings and failing to work through the five stages of grief is harder on the body and mind than it is to actually go through them. Often times people suggest to “look on the bright side,” or other ways of cutting off difficult feelings. The grieving person may feel they have to hide or deny these emotions. Instead, this makes it take longer for the healing to take place.

Some stages of grief are easier to handle and quicker to resolve, while some may seem to go on for an eternity. Often, something you thought was resolved may reappear.

The following are the key components of the grief process:

  1. Shock. You may experience disbelief, denial or feel numb. It may seem as if the world has fallen apart.
  2. Flood of emotions. Crying, screaming and other emotional releases are normal. Crying is a natural healer and stress reducer and should not be held back.
  3. Physical symptoms. You may experience insomnia or sleep more than usual; or you may experience discomfort, fatigue, and loss of appetite or other changes.
  4. Anger. It’s not uncommon to be angry with the loved one for leaving. The best way to work through this is to share these feelings with someone. If you express your anger, it will eventually subside.
  5. Guilt. Even if there is no factual reason for it, you may feel guilty. You may go through “if only” feelings. Openly sharing these feelings with others is very helpful in forgiving yourself.
  6. Depression. You may feel that you will never recover – never be happy again. If you allow yourself to grieve, however, you will eventually regain your happiness. (If you have suicidal feelings, please contact an emergency help line, a family member, or a friend immediately.)
  7. Idealization and realization. At first you may feel that the past was perfect and the future will never be quite as good. As you work through your grief, however, you’ll find that the past was good and bad, and that the future may not be so bleak.
  8. Detachment. As you begin to see the past as the past, you can develop new routines in your life.
  9. Continuing your life. Over time, if the normal stages of grieving have not been inhibited, you will adjust to the loss and go on with life. You do not forget the loss (and are still periodically saddened by it), but you will no longer be consumed by the grief or let it dictate your life.

When Anger Strikes

July 11, 2013

Steps to defusing another person’s anger.

Listen. When someone expresses his/her anger, your first reaction may be to defend yourself or to try to calm the person with your words. But doing so may easily escalate the situation. Remain calm and silent as the person vents – unless you feel as though the person might become physical, in which case you should seek safety immediately.

Maintain a neutral stance. Keep your face and posture relaxed and open. Expressing any tension or aggressiveness may make the person angrier.

Keep a level voice. An excited or loud voice also may increase the person’s anger. Speak slowly and with a low voice.

Use reflective listening. When the moment permits, restate what the person is saying, using your own words. Begin with, “If I understand you correctly, you’re saying….” This is called reflective listening.

Use the person’s name when you speak. This makes your speech personal and friendly.

Use calming statements. “[The situation] must have really been uncomfortable for you” or “I’m sorry this has happened to you” are good calming statements.

Problem solve. “How can the situation be made better?” or “What can be done about this?” are questions that may lead to a solution.

Use numbers. An angry person is operating from the emotional right side of the brain. To move the person to the logical left side of the brain, list items using numbers. “Let’s see, one, you didn’t get A, which, two, led you to feeling B, which, three, made you do C….” Getting the person to switch sides of the brain in this way may calm him/her down.