Articles on anger management

Six Simple Ways to Manage Your Anger

Ms. Pallavi Tomar, Psychologist
Anger is one of the most challenging emotions we experience and a lot of us struggle with. It is one of the most difficult to understand and manage. This post addresses simple techniques to better manage your anger and ways to facilitate a healthier way to respond to it. As discussed in my previous post, the concern is not with experiencing anger, it is with understanding what makes you anger, why it makes you angry and how you choose to respond to it. Anger management begins with understanding your anger and what makes you angry. To better understand your anger, refer to my earlier post  'Why Do You Get Angry and How Well Do You Manage It?'.Let’s look at what does and does not help us manage your anger better:Venting DOES NOT help, ever!: Screaming, shouting and reacting in the hope that venting will help us feel better is a myth! Venting your anger only worsens the emotional intensity and does nothing to help. In fact, it may cause more damage to an already difficult situation. Especially if you find it difficult to manage your anger, reacting to it only escalate the feeling and adds fuel to fire.Time Out: Learn to catch your early signs of getting angry. Some people may experience tensing of muscles, some may feel an increase in their body temperature, few others may experience their heart racing, some may find themselves get easily irritable etc. Learn to step out of situations where you observe these early signs coming in. Take a time out and calm yourself down before engaging with the situation again.Preparing for difficult situations: Know your triggers and the situations you easily feel angry in. Think about how you would ideally like to respond and prepare yourself to respond accordingly. Changing the way you respond to challenging situations also alters the feedback and responses you get from others in the situation. You cannot expect a different outcome if you continue to approach the situation in the same manner as always. Hence, go over the situation, prepare yourself in terms of what you would like to communicate and go over the best possible ways to do so.Knowing what you can influence and what you cannot: A lot of anger is experienced in situations where people tend to influence change where no real change can be brought about. This eventually leads to frustration and anger outbursts. An important thing to understand about challenges in life is to know the ones you can really take up to change from the ones where the real challenge is of acceptance. Learn to differentiate between the two.Using Distraction: This technique works best in situations where escape is difficult and you know they bother you enough to elicit an unpleasant reaction. Learning to use distraction at such a time can be a very useful technique. Zoning out or thinking about something pleasant or simply focusing on your breathing will help one tolerate being in such a situation and even take away the need to react. Being assertive: The biggest problem with managing anger is that people think the only way out is suppression. This cannot be farther from the truth. Suppression of an emotion is as detrimental as its exaggerated and out of control expression. A lot of anger generally emanates from feelings of being treated unfairly, not feeling heard or understood by others. However, lashing out and losing control is definitely not helpful and neither is suppressing the emotion. The healthy way out is learning to be ‘Assertive’ – learning to express one’s dissatisfaction, concern or worries without getting abusive or threatening the other person. It is the ability to set boundaries and learning to say no when required without humiliating the other person, crossing their boundaries or belittling them. This is an important characteristic to learn when managing a challenging emotion like anger.  

The Ways of Dealing With Anger, Depression and Fears of Emotional Abuse

Mr. Azeem Dana, Psychologist
Emotional abuse happens to most of the women, even men, all over the world. Like physical wounds, even emotional abuse wounds are taking too long to heal. Those emotional wounds are so deep that adverse effects of it take time to wear off.It affects physical health as well as the emotional state of mind, relationship with others and behavior. Self-esteem to deal with abusersIn any Psychological Counselling we cannot generalize. The solution has to be found out based on particular situation. And it is true that every issue can be sorted out with a solution. In the case of abuse, it is nothing but part of personality or behaviour. Personality is influenced by psychological, biological and social factors and hence, we call personality is a learned behavior, and whatever a person has learned can either be re-learned or unlearned.In the case of the victim to maintain self esteem, the victim should understand the psychological, biological and social factors from both the end, of being a victim and from the end of abuser. If the Boss or a Relative is abusing, find out the cause for his or her outrage. One reason can be, that the person is not educated, i.e., not knowing what he or she does, or it can be that they are brought-up in such a way influenced by psycho-bio-social factors or it can be the pressure created by others or can be some sort of illness. As a victim, once I understand the abuser, find out what makes me a victim of abuse. Whether I do not remain assertive due to lack of communication skills - like using questions of what, where, when, how and with whom -  to know exactly what other person mean to say or what they expect me to do. Or do I have to get trained in coping skills, so that I can fulfil my responsibility in a better way and if required I can undergo the training to enhance my skills. Or find out if I have to learn time management or share responsibilities, or it can be simply that I have to voice my concern, that is to speak out rather than suffering within, so that the other person understands my concerns better. The ways of dealing with anger, depression and fearsTo deal with anger, fear and depression, I should understand that any emotion that I express is not there just because of current situation. It is a repeated pattern of expression that I have been expressing throughout my life at various situations since my childhood days. So, to deal with any particular emotion, I should know about, or write down, my complete life history and identify the various situations of my life that made me to experience this particular emotion or anger. Then I have to find out the psychological, biological and social factors that made me to experience that particular emotion repeatedly from my childhood days. Once knowing them, find out what is that inner strength or ability that I was lacking to deal with that particular emotion. Then work on to develop that quality within myself.Meditation - Practicing silence of mind by relaxing the physical body- helps to overcome any type of depression, fear and anger by strengthening our mind and will-power.Belief in abilities and self-love to get rid of effects of emotional abuseThe effects of abuse can be overcome by knowing that personality is nothing but a learned behavior, and whenever we want we can change our personality with the help of knowledge – understanding of self and others gained by using our logical mind, will power – to maintain the desire for change, acceptance – without any guilt feelings of whatever has happened in the past, patience - giving time for change, hope, determination, love for self and others. Even if we do not have control over the stressors – person, place,situations - or the abusers, still we can deal with them when we remember ourown inner abilities and strengths, when we have faith in our own self, when weare able to maintain our self respect. To remember this at the time of need,every day morning and evening, practice simple visualization or imagination ofown strengths and abilities that are appreciated by our parents, relatives,friends since our childhood days to till date. The victim can also visualize and see in their mind how they are dealing with their abuser maintaining their self-esteem.Stop being abusedInstead of dealing with the situation by seeing one as a victim and other as an abuser, focus on the cause and solutions. Instead of reacting by revenge, respond to the situations using the logical sense of mind. The points to remember is:1. Try to understand using logical mind - understand the abuser and own self.2. If the abuser is not really an abuser but has real reason, try to make him or her understand, and if required, try to improve the self.3. If you find, the abuser is really an abuser, for his/her own reasons like illness or when you feel out of your control, speak out being assertive or act finding a new job, complaining to police, complaining to mental hospital or move away from the abuser.4. Forgive the abuser by understanding and remove the victim attitude from the self, learn from the past to begin a better future by adding coping abilities to the self. 

Anger Makes You Unhealthy and Sick

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
There is now a clear evidence from worldwide research that it is unhealthy to indulge in angry thoughts, words or actions. Anger contributes to blood pressure disorders, cancer and stress-related illnesses, as well as weakening the very fabric of our society, the family.On one hand, an angry outburst can be a stress release, better for you than keeping seething feelings bottled up inside. But chronic anger can make you physically sick, researchers say.Frequent angry episodes can raise your risk of heart attacks and strokes and weaken your immune system, reports the U.K. Daily Mail. Chewing over past mistakes and missed opportunities -- "looking back in anger" -- can make you more sensitive to pain, too, say researchers at the University of Granada in Spain.It's well known that anger affects the body: The heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and blood flow to muscles is reduced; glucose levels and adrenaline rise to give the muscles a shot of energy for the "fight or flight" response.But never expressing anger when that's what you're feeling can be downright deadly. Swedish research shows that those who walked away from conflict without saying anything (though they had reason to be upset) had double the risk of a heart attack compared to men who challenged authority. Unexpressed anger is also linked to a lowered immune system.Here’s what you do to break the anger cycle:1. Keep a Diary - Write down every occasion when you feel angry in any way.2. Cool Off - When you notice yourself getting caught up in an angry situation, apply one or more of these 5 cooling-off techniques:- Move away from the situation, out of sight and hearing of the other person if possible.- Drink a glass of ice-cold water to cool the blood.- Lie down on your back until the anger passes.- Count to 10 if slightly angry, to 100 if very angry, before saying another word.- Do something very physical like furiously cleaning the house or garden, or a non-competitive exercise.If none of these works, look at yourself in a mirror and see how ugly your face has become. This will shock you into banishing the anger.3. Listen Well - When someone expresses irritation or anger towards you, try listening without interrupting, defending or attacking back. They will feel valued and understood, you don’t fuel their fire and there might be some useful tips in their complaint.4. Accept More - A lot of anger rises up because we want people or situations to be different. Accepting things as they are is not necessarily a sign of weakness. When we choose to enjoy a rainy day even though it cancels our plans for a barbecue, that’s common sense not weakness.5. Sympathize - A friend of mine handles customer complaints for a telephone company. When someone is angry, she sympathizes with them: "Your phone cuts out? That’s terrible! No wonder you’re upset." The caller feels grateful at being understood and anger dissolves. Look for the hurt underlying the person’s anger – then you’ll feel compassion instead of reacting with anger yourself.6. Be Assertive - If you say "Yes" when you mean "No", and "No" when you mean "Yes", resentment festers and builds up into anger. Get angry at your fear of speaking the truth, instead of feeling hostile towards the person you fear.7. Look for the Good - Seeing only the negatives in another person can fan a small spark of anger into an uncontrollable blaze. Look for the strengths and virtues in the person you feel angry towards. Insist on thinking that way, and speak well of them at all times. This smothers the blaze and the anger has nothing to feed on.We hope you find these few words helpful. However, it is not always easy to deal with anger by our self. Sometime it helps to discuss the matter with a professional. Don’t let anger ruin your life.

Why Do You Get Angry and How Well Do You Manage It?

Ms. Pallavi Tomar, Psychologist
Anger like any other emotion is a healthy, completely normal human emotion. We all are very familiar with the experience of anger. The main concern surrounding anger is not its experience but rather its management. It is when anger spirals out of control or when it’s experience is overly suppressed, is when it becomes a problem. It definitely is a very powerful emotion, and if understood and managed in the right manner it does help signal to us something of concern which must be addressed. If you have a tough time dealing with anger or know someone who does, following are a few ways to understand what’s going on and if you should consider doing something to change it.Before we come to ways on managing anger effectively, here are a few ways in which you can better understand your experience of Anger:Know the triggers: Pay attention and become aware of the people, situations and circumstances where you frequently find yourself angry. Is there something in common between these triggers? It’s generally not the person or the situation, but something about them which angers us, try understanding what that ‘something’ is in your case. ‘What about them makes me angry?’ Is it when you feel your authority is being questioned, or when you feel you are being treated unfairly, or a situation which feels difficult to manage?Know your Anger umbrella: Anger generally stems from varied emotions and feelings. It’s called an umbrella emotion because its expression may encompass experience of other emotions too. For a lot of people, when they get angry they are probably actually experiencing hurt, sadness, dissatisfaction or shame (to name a few). Try and understand what emotions and feelings you tend to carry under your anger umbrella. Are there other emotions that you respond to with irritation or rage?Physical changes: Observe yourself and notice the physiological symptoms you experience in anger. The state of arousal in anger may be expressed differently by different people. It may be tightening of fists, grinding of teeth, sweating, shortness of breath, heart racing or something very different. Ask yourself how intense are these changes and do they impact your reaction.Your response to Anger: The most important aspect in dealing with anger is understanding how you generally respond to it. What are your instinctive reactions to people or situations that anger you? People respond with aggression either towards the other person or themselves, physically or verbally. Some may move away from the situation till you feel calmer to deal with it. Some others may push away their feelings to avoid an unpleasant confrontation. Others response to your Anger: Apart from your own assessment of yourself, try to gauge and see how others react to your anger. It is an important aspect of assessing the intensity of your reactions. Do people step away and would rather leave you alone, have others made comments about being vary of your anger or that they feel intimidated? Or do you think others tend to push you in situations till you eventually react? Have you  frequently felt guilty about your reactions in anger that your regret in retrospect? Even feeling that you cannot ever share your feelings of anger with others is a concern. Such a strong emotion should never be suppressed or bottled up.Extent of impact: It’s important to understand how the experience of anger impacts your relationships and functioning in various domains of your life. Are there frequent difficulties in your relationships with family, significant other, colleagues or friends that surround the experience of anger or the suppression of it? Has your work or other activities been affected by anger? There may be feedback from significant  people in your life or even from superiors at work about your reactions to difficult situations. Reflect on those to understand how anger impacts your life and those around you.If most of your responses to the above aspects lead you to feel that your experience of anger must be better managed or that you feel at the mercy of this powerful emotion, its reason enough to proactively work on this.  

Stress Management: How to Reduce Stress

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Our lifestyle is getting busier day by day, as we are adding multiple works in our daily schedule and when we face difficulty in managing different areas we have put our hands in, we get stressed. You get stressed when you feel you have to handle more than you are used to. When you get stressed sudden changes occurs in your body like headache, upset stomach, trouble sleeping etc. It can make you moody, tense, or depressed and you are not able to concentrate on your work. It also weakens your immune system making it harder to combat the situation. If you are suffering from heart problems then stress is worst for you.  It’s very important to manage stress and reduce stress form our life, it will not only help you to make you feel better but by avoiding stress you will be able to avoid the problems which are caused by stress.Here we tell you some tips on how to reduce stress from our lives.Eat Healthy: Eating well and Healthy will provide you energy and all important nutrition that your body needs.  Eating well will help you to reduce stress (mental and Physical Stress). Taking a healthy diet will not only help you to reduce stress but will also help you boost your health. A healthy diet which includes plenty of omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, can lift your mood.Relax: Try to keep relax; Relaxation might help you to reduce stress, Depression and Anxiety situations. Breathe calmly and slowly whenever you feel stressed out. Breathing will help you regulate your heart rate and help you to calm down.Sleep: - If you are not getting the right sleep you may feel stressed out. So, to reduce stress you need a regular and sound sleep.Exercise: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. It helps your body produce endorphins; the neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel good. It also forces you to focus, helping you forget what's making you anxious. Exercising in warm, sunny weather can boost your mood.Laugh out loud: There are so many things you can do to reduce stress. Enjoy a comedy movie, invite over some friends, and share a few good laughs. Every time you crack up, increased oxygen courses to your organs, blood flow increases, and stress evaporates. In fact, just thinking about having a good laugh is enough to lower your stress hormone levels.Go Out: It’s very important to keep your mind free from all the stress and depression. So, it’s better that you go out for a walk in a nearby park or garden or terrace. Fresh Air and environment also helps in reducing stress levels .Speak up: Not being able to talk about your needs and concerns creates stress and can make negative feelings worse. Assertive communication can help you express how you feel in a thoughtful, tactful way.Enjoy your hobby: Doing what you like may help you to reduce stress .When you engage yourself in something enjoyable, it can soothe and calm your restless mind. Try reading, gardening, crafts, tinkering with electronics, fishing, carpentry, music — things that you don't get competitive or more stressed out about.Stress management gives you a range of tools to reset your alarm system. Without stress management, all too often your body is always on high alert. Over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems. Don't wait until stress has a negative impact on your health, relationships or quality of life. Start practicing a range of stress management techniques today.

Pain Management: Why Is It Important

Dr. G P Dureja, Spine and Pain Specialist
Most of the people suffer from different kinds of pain because of various reasons. Most of the people also tend to ignore it and move on. It is not advisable to ignore pain because you don’t know if that is casual or something serious to pay attention to. Avoiding pain will only make it worse, so it is essential to manage and treat pain. What is pain management? As the name suggests, managing your pain in a way that either it is treated or relieved, is pain management. It is also a branch in medicine called Pain Medicine, which involves in-depth procedures and techniques to ease out the pain. What are the types of pain?Majorly pain can be classified into two types, acute and chronic. Any pain that is short lived or short lasting comes under acute pain while, any pain that is long lasting or forever, comes under chronic pain. Chronic pain generally is the pain that lasts for 3 or more months. Based on, where, in the body, the pain is present, there are further three types. Somatic This type of pain is more like an exterior pain. Caused generally by the activation of receptors on the body surface or musculoskeletal tissues, it can be treated with proper rest and medication. Surgical pain comes under this type. Visceral Internal pain caused due to damage to the organs or tissues is known as visceral pain. This is not localized to just one body part. It might pain in different organs or body parts. Neuropathic Pain related to the spinal cord or peripheral nerves is called neuropathic pain. It generally occurs at the level or below the level of injury. How can you manage pain?Managing acute pain is easier than chronic. You can involve in a healthy lifestyle and physiotherapy but for advanced management and care, there are pain hospitals that manage pain well. These healthcare facilities are established especially to diagnose and manage chronic pain. What are the kinds of pain that can be treated?Various kinds of chronic pain can be treated in pain hospitals such as cancer pain, back pain, knee pain, neck pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, etc. What are the treatments available? There are various treatment procedures that are involved in treating pain. These can be simple and complex both. It truly depends on upon the kind of pain you are suffering from. Some pain needs just lifestyle modification and counseling to be treated while the others require more complex treatments. Treatments like X-Ray guided injections, intrathecal pump implants, radiation therapy, Botox therapy and Platelet rich plasma therapy are some from a several more. These treatments can be very effective when performed by experts.

5 Ways to Start Losing Weight Today

Ms. Harpreet Pasricha, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Most of us in the life try to lose weight with our own methods. Are you also one of them who wants to lose weight but aren't sure how to start? Worry no more. Follow my five easy steps to weight loss today. No more delays. No more waiting until Monday or the New Year. Follow these simple and effective steps and you'll get started losing weight today and keep it off tomorrow. 1. Carry a notebook and a pen.Make sure you write in that notebook! Every single thing that you swallow should be written in your notebook, preferably as soon as you swallow it. If you finish your daughter's leftover porridge at breakfast, write it down. Sample a cake at a friends place? Write it down. Just a 'taste' of the curry you're making for dinner? Write it down! Writing down what we eat and drink forces us to be aware of what we're putting in our mouth. It also gives us an easy way to track our intake and decide what changes we want to make.2. Ask 'why?'Every time you start to eat or drink, ask yourself one word: Why? Why am I eating this? Am I hungry, tired, bored, stressed, lonely? The correct answer is simple: hunger. If you're not hungry, don't eat. Figure out what you need to do to satisfy that emotion: Take a nap, read a book, yell at your spouse, call a friend -- just don't eat if you're not hungry.3. Eat to lose.That's right; if you skip meals you won't lose weight. Why not? Because then you'll get so hungry that you snack, or eat more than you want to, or end up feeling miserable and quit right away. Everybody needs to eat and deserves to eat three meals per day. Snacks, too (if, of course, you eat right kind). Wrong ways of dieting just leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied. A meal should include whole grains, fruit and vegetables, protein and even a small amount of fat. 4. Remember your favourite things.If you've ever tried to completely avoid your favourite food, then completely lost control and devoured the entire bag of cookies, you know what I'm talking about. Stuck on chocolate? Eat one delicious, exquisite piece of high-quality chocolate every evening. Savour that chocolate. Sit down, relax, and do nothing but enjoy the flavour, texture and experience of eating the chocolate. Eat slowly, enjoying every bite. And whatever you do, don't feel guilty. A small portion of your favourite food will keep you satisfied and happy -- and losing weight.5. Find a part of your body that moves (not your mouth) and move it.Everyone can move something. If you have bad knees you can still exercise your arms or even do water exercises in a pool. Take up line dancing or karate. Walk the dog in the morning before work, take the kids for a bike ride after school, or listen to favourite music while using your treadmill. Even housework can become exercise if you move vigorously enough. There simply are no excuses for not moving.There you have it: five simple, easy-to-start steps toward weight loss and long-term weight management. Start right now.

How to Kick Out Stress From Your Life

Dr. Rohit Garg, Psychiatrist
The current scenarioWe live in times where stress has become an embedded part of our daily routine life. Ever wondered how our body deals with stress? Our body activates resources like adrenaline and cortisol, which sharpens our senses to deal with stress or a pressure situation. But many times these resources supplied to cope up with stress reach a shortfall, just like while doing a physically challenging task our body starts running low on fluids. As a result of lack of available resources (adrenaline and cortisol), we start experiencing increasing levels of stress.How do you think?One of the most important factors that determine your stress levels is your thought process. The more you worry, feel uncomfortable, frustrated or angry the more will the stressor inflate on you. By being impatient and impulsive one fuels the fire of stressors in their life. With time, the stressor becomes your own mind and you become the reason for all the irrational fear and worries surrounding your life. What started as stress now turns into Generalized Anxiety Disorder in many cases.Reasons for StressThe primary reasons for stress surrounding individuals in our country are disintegrated families, work pressure, financial insecurity and personal relationships. One case which I witnessed was of a woman in her late twenties fearing her partner will cheat on her and marry someone else, she admitted her fears were irrational but couldn’t help thinking about the worst. Her fears and angry outbursts were stretching her relationships thin, further aiding stress in her life. This behavior is common in all cases, people worry about finances for the future without really living and enjoying the present moment. The Dependency“Things are made to be used and people are meant to be loved, the problem in our time is things are being loved and people are being used”The above quote is apt and a major cause of stress in life being hooked to social media, mobile phones, cigarettes or alcohol can’t help you in curbing stress. A healthy conversation, human emotions and acceptance of a situation certainly can. But this takes more effort, which implies one thing that we have stopped caring for our own self. We need to change this.Some ways to cope-up with StressHere are my suggestions to deal with stress in a healthy way:Talk about it- Don’t keep negative emotions buried inside you,talk about your problems with someone who you trust and if you can’t trust anyone seek advice from a psychiatrist or a counselor.Do something you enjoy- Grow out of the monotony of your routine life. Invest atleast 15-20 minutes in doing something you enjoy.Gardening, playing, going for a walk or watching a movie it can be anything.Spend time with those who matter- Spend some time with people who you care about, who make you happy. It will go a long way in making you feel better about yourself.Get a pet- Shelter a dog, bird or any other pet; according to research, dogs have been found to be big relievers of stress in our lives.Look at the bigger picture- Don’t get bogged down by small stressors like heavy traffic, unpleasant people or work problems. Always look at the bigger picture and divert your energy in making things happen.ConclusionNo situation is impossible to comprehend and dealt with. What matters is how we perceive people and problems in our life, most of the time all demons are in our mind. Seek help to fight them to attain a healthier and meaningful life.

How to Manage Stress

Ms. Anu Priya, Alternative Medicine
MODERN LIFE IS FULL of deadlines, frustrations and demands, leading to the development of stress. But it isn’t always bad thing because a moderate amount helps you to stay focused as well as motivates your performance. However, if stress is too intense or is experienced for a long period of time, there can be harmful impacts to the mind and body, and may increase your chances of developing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions.Warning SignsStress can display emotional, behavioral, physicals and cognitive symptoms:The Tips to Manage StressPractice Relaxation TechniquesControlled breathing: Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Take a slow deep breath in through your nose for three seconds, and then breathe out through your mouth for three seconds. Do this exercise for one minute.Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Close your eyes and focus on your body. Relax each muscle group from your feet all the way to your head. Tense the muscle as you breathe in, and then relax as you breathe out. Allow 15 to 20 seconds between each muscle group.Exercise RegularlyPhysical Exercise helps to relax tense muscle and reduce the level of stress hormones.Plan your time wellOrganize your time. Make a “to do list” and priorities daily tasks.Plan in advance and do not leave things to the last minuteReward yourself with little things that you enjoy (for eg. A massage or a movie) when you deserve it.Balance work and play; make time for doing things you enjoy.Maintain a healthy diet and sleep patternEat a well balanced diet; include plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains.Limit food intake that is high in fat, sugar and salt.Drink at least two liters (eight glasses) of water daily.Try to get six to eight hours of shut-eye every night. Sufficient sleep can allow you to focus better, be more productive, and deal with stressful conditions more efficiently.