You need to spend valuable time watching over your assistant to be sure s/he follows your instructions and gets the work done how you want it and when you need it.
Your least favorite client is on your case about his portfolio or the latest product you convinced him to purchase.
Your teenager mouths off to you when he doesn’t get what he wants.
Of course, these are all potential triggers for anger and frustration on your part. Many of us spend a good part of our waking hours dealing with these emotions.
Anger and frustration are perfectly normal emotions. In fact, anger can alert us to changes we need to make in our lives and can motivate us to make those changes; but if these emotions flow without being checked, it can affect both our mental and physical health. It has been said that “Every minute spent in anger and frustration is sixty seconds of happiness wasted.”
The Connection Between Anger and Stress
Stress can make us more prone to anger, because stress triggers the fight or flight response, which can trigger multiple emotions. Anger and stress can feed off each other. You are more easily angered when under stress and reacting to anger can actually create more stress.
When anger isn’t handled properly, not only will it contribute to your stress, but it can lead to difficulties in your relationships and can damage your health.
For example, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that men with higher rates of hostility had significant breathing issues and their overall health declined as they aged.
A study from Ohio State University showed that those who had less control over their anger tended to heal more slowly from wounds.
Other studies have shown that the immune system, itself, is impacted by uncontrolled anger and hostility.
Using anger management techniques can definitely impact your health, relationships and overall happiness.
Proven Anger Management Techniques
1. Understand the sources of your anger
I have treated many professionals who were sent to me by their spouses or colleagues because of anger issues.In most of these cases, they really didn’t have a clue that they were exhibiting anger and hostility.
Keep an angry journal, noting what makes you angry throughout the day. That could be quite enlightening.
2. Recognize that it’s all because of the conversations you have with yourself
Once you have discovered what you consider to be the “sources” of your anger, by keeping track of your angry feelings during the day, ask yourself what you said to yourself about each situation, because it’s that self-talk that causes the anger, not the situation.
Example:Your assistant tells you that your least favorite client is on the phone and he is demanding to speak to you.You feel a surge of fear and anger.These emotions are not because the client is on the phone and is upset.It’s because of what you are saying to yourself about that situation.
If you say to yourself, “I am sick and tired of him demanding to speak to me and then treating me like I’m ignorant,” anger and even fear may result.
However, if you say to yourself, “I will assert myself and stand my ground and I’ll feel much better about myself when this conversation is over,” this self-talk leads to a calmer, more controlled emotion, rather than anger and irritation.
So, learning how to take charge of your self-talk and changing it on the spot is the most important anger prevention and management technique.You can learn much more about the methods for changing your self-talk quickly in my book, “The Financial Advisor’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide.”
3. If you must obsess, obsess with positive affirmations
Many people ruminate about the situations and events that lead to their angry self-talk.Studies show that people who ruminate over situations that trigger their anger producing self-talk have higher blood pressure, which, of course, puts them at risk for many health problems.
A much better idea is to develop the habit of ruminating with positive affirmations on a regular basis.
An affirmation is a positive statement you say to yourself and you believe it to be true.In order for the affirmation to be effective, the following characteristics must be maintained:
It must be positive
It must be said and felt with passion and power
It must be said in the present moment
It must be possible
It must be personal
Examples of Affirmations to Deal with Anger
“I am learning to express my anger in healthy, assertive ways.”
“As I breath in and out, I can feel my anger melting away.”
“I am learning how to calm down, change my thinking, and distance myself from tension and conflict.”
Develop the habit of writing down these key affirmations on 3×5 cards, putting them on your mirror as you shave, in your car to repeat on the way to work, etc.
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