Do you feel like you can’t control your anger sometimes?
Do you find yourself lose ‘it’ and all of a sudden you’re shouting to other people?
Do you wish you can be cool-headed all the time and get the problem solved instead of getting angry?
Do you probably already try all of those anger management technique but nothing seems to work?
But even if you do, don’t worry. Not every anger management technique is suitable for you.
Sometimes you’re just too quick to get angry to even remember take a breath. Other times your anger is just too intense it takes more than a quick cool down like walking around your office to make it disappear.
That’s because most anger management technique focused on ‘resist the urge to get angry or channel that anger somewhere else’ instead of addressing the real problem that made you angry in the first place.
So, how to deal with stress and anger? Is there any new way for stress and anger management?
Bingo! Thankfully, we’ve found a new anger management technique that recently surged into popularity because they were proven effective, scientifically, to control your anger and by extension may reduce your stress. This new anger management focused on the problem solving inside your own mind!
This ‘how to deal with stress and anger’ technique is called mindfulness.
Does the name ring a bell to you?
If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything. (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Maybe you’ve heard it one time or two. After all, as the researches about mindfulness prove that they’re maybe a new way to reduce stress and control anger, information about them also grow and they were featured in many magazine, TV program, and many other medias.
But sometimes, the instruction to follow the technique of mindfulness is hard to follow.
It looks like it require a long time and need a dedicated information research. So, sometimes you skip them for ‘later’.
But, we couldn’t let this information just pass you by.
Do you know that you can apply mindfulness with regular practice?
By regularly practicing mindfulness, at the end of the day you can finally understand how to deal with stress and anger – one that last for a liftime!
We’ve prepared five steps of mindfulness practice on how to deal with stress and anger. These steps are based on Mindful.
As you continued to practice, you will be able to immerse yourself into mindfulness in a short time (like in the split second before you get angry) or even can unconsciously slip in the mindfulness mode.
But before we go to the practice, we should ask this question first:
What is mindfulness?
Have you ever feel like your mind and your body is detached?
Or have you ever feel like your mind is in different place from your body?
I’m sure you have. Like in that school days when your body is in class but your mind is at home, playing video game. Or like in that boring class reunion when your body is present in the event, smiling to everybody, but your mind is in home with your partner and kids?
Well, that feeling certainly is NOT the definition of mindfulness. It is the exact opposite of mindfulness.
So, according to Mindful, mindfulness is when you are truly there in mind and body together. Like when you are in office and enjoying your job, or when you are at home with kids and the only thing in your mind is how to make them laugh and what game should you play together.
Sadly, when we get angry mindfulness often leave us alone.
When we get angry, it is easy to forget that we are in a public place, workplace, or wherever. It is also easy to forget that we are talking to fellow human, who has feelings.
For example, when your coworker makes mistake and you gets angry, you will usually forget that you’re doing something bad because your mind already think about the problem this mistake will cause and the effect for you.
Thankfully, all of them can be avoided.
That’s why we’ve prepared this anger management techniques for you.
With a little, almost effortless exercise everyday, you can adopt mindfulness into your usual reaction toward stress!
Did you know?
Mindfulness has been recognized by science to the point that several therapy programs have been made based on mindfulness. They are:
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
This program is aimed for people that were initially difficult to treat in a hospital setting. It is developed Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn from University of Massachusetts
Mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP)
This program is aimed to individuals who suffers from addictive trappings and tendencies of the mind. It is developed by Bowen, Chawla, and Marlatt from University of Washington.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
This program is aimed for individuals with major depressive disorder. It is developed by Philip Barnard and John Teasdale from Oxford University.
First mindfulness exercise: breathing
How to deal with stress and anger? First thing first, by breathing.
Do you breathe consciously or unconsciously?
Of course we do it unconsciously because we do it all the time. We do not awake every morning and purposely think ‘I will breathe today’. To be conscious of our breath every moment will be tiring and impossible.
But, when we do it in the right time, breath is a powerful mechanism to cope with stress and anger.
Mindfull breathing is when you breathe consciously. In other word, it’s when you aware that you are inhaling breath and exhaling breath.
When you do this, your mental discourse will stop. You will focus in the action of breathing and stop whatever it is that you’re thinking. This can make you forget the intensity of your problem that trigger your anger.
To practice this daily, set aside time to breathe consciously several times a day. Breath in and don’t think about anything else.
Focus on the physical sensation of breathing and feel how the air enter your lungs.
Refuge to the man is the mind, refuge to the mind is mindfulness.
Next, breathe out and don’t think about anything else. Feel your lungs relax and how the air leave your body.
The effectiveness of mindfull breathing to reduce stress has been proven in a study by Greg Feldman, Jeff Greeson, and Joanna Senville from Simon College, Boston. The three researchers compared mindful breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and loving kindness meditation techniques among participant, noting their decentering mechanism as a level of effectiveness in reducing stress.
They found out that participant who practice mindful breathing has a better level of decentering compared to the other two, confirming the effectiveness of mindful breathing to reduce stress.
If you want to learn more about breathing and its technique, check American Sleep and Breath Association for some best material about breathing. If you want a more specific material, especially about breathing product to help those who can’t really breathe normally, you can find some nice info on Power Lung..
Second mindfulness exercise: concentration
After you can manage and remember from time to time to breathe consciously, you will be ready to improve your concentration to understand how to deal with stress and anger better.
The best illustration to depict concentration is this man below:
Yes, that’s Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the greatest fictional detective in the world. This man here practice the mindfulness technique, specifically in the form of mindful concentration.
When he’s solving a case, Holmes doesn’t have a room to spare for any unrelated thought, like how he may fail the case or whether the pay for this case is enough or not.
He only has room to think about the problem, the fact surrounding the case, and how to solve it.
Do you want to have that level of concentration? Of course you do and you can.
Remember how ability to focus on breathing can clear your mind from scattered thought as your mind shifts focus to your breath only?
Now, keep that state of mind of not letting any other thought enter except about your problem that you are going to solve. Only the problem, the fact, and the solution.
Don’t even let any thought of fear about the following consequence or the need to blame other people enter into your mind.
The practice of Sherlock Holmes like concentration is the very idea of mindfulness. Study says consuming brain supplement that helps us gain more concentration.
Try practicing this concentration five minutes a day. How?
- Pick a problem and try to answer it. Maybe a math problem, maybe a riddle, maybe a random question you ask yourself about the news you watch in TV, and start observing it carefully. Read the math instruction, read the riddle word by word, observe the question and decide whether the question is asking straight answer or you’ll need to give the answer from different perspective. During this observation, don’t stray your thought away from your problem.
- Pick an object and observe. It can be a random object you find – a pencil, a flower, a bottle. Then notice everything about that object – the size, the texture, the color, the smell. Try to find out how this object is made and where it comes from. Don’t let your thought stray away from the object during your observation.
After you’re able to concentrate mindfully, next time you feel like getting angry, it will be easier for you to start consciously breathing and shift your anger to focus on your problem and its solution.
One should become master of one’s mind rather than let one’s mind master him. (Nichiren Daishonin)
Third mindfulness exercise: aware of your body
How to deal with stress and anger? The third answer is by being aware of your body.
After you can fully control about your mind’s focus, it’s time to move to
the next step and control your body.
Often, we find our mind and body move in the opposite direction.
Like that one time when you know that you shouldn’t get angry but your mouth already shouted some hurtful things or your fist already banged at some surface firm.
Now, you can practice awareness on your body. You can connect your mind with your body fully, so you can synchronize them.
The exercise to practice awareness of your body is called ‘body scan’.
You can start by simply lying down and do nothing except breathing. When you can concentrate enough, start feeling your body.Be aware of your little toe and your strands of hair, as well as your body as a whole.
According to Shamash Alidina, the author of “Mindfulness for Dummies”, body scan trains your mind to be able to move from detailed attention to a wider awareness.
Body scan practice can be done in three minutes only, like this video below. There are also the 5 minutes and 10 minutes version
Fourth mindfulness exercise: releasing tension
The fourth answer for ‘how to deal with stress and anger’ is by releasing tension.
When you able to be aware of your body, you will notice that stress and anger can be physically present in your body, in the form of tension and pain.
Now, you can help your body by releasing those tension and pain with mindfulness.
You can practice tension release in whichever position you prefer: whether sitting down or lying down.
Try sitting upright but relaxed or lying down straight with your arms at your sides.
Then close your eyes and start your body scan. You will feel tension in your shoulders, neck, back, and even face. Soften them by relaxing them.
Guide your awareness to the area of tension, one area at a time. Take a deep breathe and massage the area gently. Repeat for the next area of tension.
When you finish, open your eyes and start moving gently.
Listening to some tension releasing such as this one can also help.
Fifth mindfulness exercise: walking meditation
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. (Thich Nhat Hanh)
The last exercise is to incorporate all of the mindfulness before in your everyday life.
The true mindfulness is when you can be in full awareness of your surrounding and not just aware of the inside of yourself.
You can do that by practicing mindfulness when you’re walking. This is called walking meditation.
When you’re walking, you keep your eyes open – unlike other meditation – thus you’re not detaching yourself from outside world completely. We must be aware of our surrounding, whether there are any stone that can trip us or whether we’ll need to cross a street.
But, at the same time, we have to be aware of our inner self. We have to be aware of our body condition, from head to toe, we know the feeling of them. We also have to be aware of our breath. We must be able to feel the air entering and leaving our body.
When you can achieve mindfulness when you’re moving or when you’re walking, it means you can be mindful both in outer self and inner self, meaning you can do meditation without having to make any effort to pull yourself from outer world.
In the end, when you are triggered to get angry or feel stresses, your mind and your body can automatically react with mindfulness, so there is not even a chance for the anger and stress to enter your mind.
To understand more about this powerful meditation, checkPeace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Vietnamese monk, a renowned Zen master, a poet, and a peace activist. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1967
In the end, you can achieve your goal of mastering stress and anger management.
Get this powerful weapon for life by starting now
To be able to achieve mindfulness means a lot for your life, especially because it can help you understand how to deal with stress and anger.
You will less likely to be stressed and angered by problems around you.
You can live peacefully and happily, and this will benefits not only you but also people around you.
Do you want to be able to achieve mindfulness?
Are you willing to set aside a little time everyday to exercise mindfulness?
Share what do you think about mindfulness in the comment below.