Anger, irritability or a terrible temper can harm your relationships and your health; here’s help:
#1 Identify the warning signs
Recognize the early feelings of irritability, agitation and annoyance before they develop into full-blown anger or aggression. Try and discover why you’re having these feelings by asking yourself: am I upset about something? If so, what is it and why? Did I get enough sleep? Did I take my medication? Is this the symptom of my depression and not the experience I’m having? This self-awareness can be key to intercepting potential trouble.
#2 Recognize when you are predisposed to becoming angry
When you are feeling irritable and annoyed, this is not the best time to pursue a discussion on a sensitive matter. Often there is no “best time” to discuss such serious topics; however, it helps if you can identify a time during the week when you are at your best to tackle potentially upsetting issues. Sometimes keeping a journal to record your feelings and what you’re doing at the time will help to look for common themes.
#3 Redirect your thoughts
Anger is full of energy and naturally increases your adrenaline, and with that comes a strong urge to act immediately! The old strategy of counting to 10 has endured because it works. For others, singing the words or melody to a soothing, inspirational or funny song does wonders to avert an episode. The trick is to have this go-to refrain at the ready!
#4 Manage your stress
Since stress is a major depression trigger, it’s in your best interest to do what you can to simplify your life and relieve stress in your personal and work life. This may mean considering a new job if yours is high-pressure with many hours or asking family members to share more household responsibilities.
#5 Avoid alcohol and non-prescription drugs
Alcohol can provoke depression and also stir up negative emotions and agitation. Likewise, non-prescription drugs affect the neurotransmitters that are important to mood. Alcohol can also interfere with the depression medication you may already be taking and alter your mood. Any of these substances can also affect sleep, which will act negatively on your system. Remember that even a small amount of drinking can upset your state of emotions and could spark an angry outburst.
#6 Consider your health.
Studies show that rage can have very serious effects on your health. Anger triggers the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline because our bodies go into a fight or flight response. Over time, elevated levels of stress hormones affect all our body systems, from our immune system to an increased risk for heart disease.
#7 Find a positive outlet for your anger
Redirecting your feelings takes practice. Some have found that vigorous exercise seems to lessen the irritable emotions—something like dancing, whether it’s in your kitchen with the music up loud or at a club with a friend, it just seems to bring us all to a happier place. Physical exercise stimulates feel-good endorphins. Some have found that when things escalate, taking a pen to paper (or to a keyboard) to journal these emotions helps.
via Esperanza – Hope To Cope
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