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4 Everyday Exercises to Manage Your Anger

Unless you’re a Tibetan monk, surrounded by nothing but other peaceful Tibetan monks, chances are you run into people and events that make you plain ol’ angry sometimes. And that’s okay. Anger is a very common human emotion, and in many instances, it can serve as a compass that guides you to better choices and situations.

For instance, if you feel yourself become angry on more than one occasion at work while interacting with your boss, it may be an indication that you need to learn to communicate your ideas better, not take things personally, or even find a job and work environment that is better suited to your skillset and personality.

But while anger can serve as a guide to some people, to others anger is like an uncontrollable monster. It wreaks havoc on everything it encounters, including personal relationships.

If you are one of those people who find that they get carried away with anger emotions, it’s important that you learn how to manage your feelings and reactions to those feelings. Here are 4 everyday exercises you can do to manage your anger.

1.  Recognize It

Your very first step to control your anger is to recognize when it is creeping up on you. Be honest with yourself and admit that, for whatever reason, you seem to be getting very angry very quickly these days. Pay attention to the events of your life and your reaction. When you feel that feeling coming on, recognize it. What does it feel like? What are some of the triggering events that usually bring it on?

The very act of being aware of the anger in the moment can help dissipate it. When you recognize it, welcome it rather than fight it. Get curious about what you are feeling.

2.  Reframe the Situation

When we haven’t slept well, have low blood sugar, or we’re just in a grumpy mood for whatever reason, it’s entirely too easy to see a situation in a way that is not realistic. When you are called to anger, stop and reframe the situation to see if there is a better explanation for a triggering event.

For instance, if someone cuts you off in traffic you have two options: You can assume they did it intentionally to p*ss you off, or you can reframe that to come up with a better explanation: it wasn’t intentional, they didn’t see you.

While getting cut off in traffic is never pleasant, you have the ability to rethink the situation so it is less angering. You can reframe any situation that might trigger you. Try it.

3.  Take Deep Breaths

You’ve probably heard countless times that breathing deeply in stressful situations can relax you almost immediately, but have you ever tried it? Slow, deep breaths can have a profound impact on our entire body, relaxing our muscles and slowing our heart rate. Give it a try the next time you feel your anger rising. You will be shocked at how effective deep breathing is.

4.  Visualize

Your imagination is powerful. We knew this as kids, but for some reason puberty seems to have dulled our awareness of this.

As you breathe deeply, visualize a pleasant environment or situation. You could imagine you are back in your grandparent’s house, the smell of gingerbread cookies in the air and the sound of the radiators hissing on a December morning. Or you could imagine you are on a tropical beach. Hear the waves lapping against the white-sand shore… smell the sea breeze and see the palm fronds swaying overhead.

Your consciousness doesn’t know real from imagined situations. As you imagine yourself someplace that is peaceful and happy, your body naturally reacts as if you are actually there and actually peaceful and happy.


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Emotional Wellbeing Check

An Emotional Wellbeing Check is a 30 minute consultation to give you an overview of how you are doing with your psychological wellbeing. It will highlight key areas of your wellness and give an indication as to whether there are any areas of your life that would benefit from some attention. Like any other health check up, an emotional wellbeing check is an important part of staying on top of your mental health. With no commitment to engaging in regular therapy, this service offers a useful measure of your overall emotional wellbeing.

When might an emotional wellbeing check be beneficial?

  • Something feels “off”, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is
  • You are considering embarking on therapy, but you remain uncertain as to whether this would be beneficial for you
  • You have a history of mental health difficulties and want to stay on top of your emotional wellbeing

Following the wellbeing check you will be provided with a brief summary report with recommendations from Dr Shamarel. As this is not a service that insurance companies typically reimburse for, you will not be given a formal diagnosis.