Anger is a basic human emotion. It manifests itself in times when individuals feel stressed, frustrated, or treated unfairly. Anger can also be a response to pain or the threat of injury. For most individuals, anger is related to the stress response, the primal instinct to respond to threats through fight or flight. Never expressing anger can be unhealthy, leading to hypertension, headaches, and muscle pain from carrying tension. On the other hand, anger that is out of control can be dangerous. When anger turns to rage, the angry individual may hurt others or themselves. Anger will make it difficult to make thoughtful decisions, leading to impulsive behaviors. It is very important for everyone to learn how to manage anger appropriately.
Take Some Deep Breaths
One of the first steps to healthy anger management is to take some deep breaths. The stress response turns on very quickly, especially when an individual is angry. In preparation for a powerful, physical action, the heart rate increases, along with blood pressure. Stored energy is released from fat to provide energy for the muscles. However, there is one aspect of the process an individual can control: their breathing. During an episode of anger, breathing becomes faster and shallower. If an angry individual takes some deep, mindful breaths, the other systems will also slow down. Then the individuals can approach whatever made them angry from a calmer place.
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