Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.
about How to Manage Your Anger:
1) Explore the root of your anger. Anger is a secondary emotion in that there are other emotions that manifest as anger. It can be especially helpful to explore the underlying emotions that are leading to anger as they provide insight into what is the root issue. It can also be helpful as these underlying emotions pave the way to a better understanding of your feelings by giving you more adjectives to use. For instance, you might be frustrated, sad, or feel that you have been treated unfairly, feel that you have no power, etc. When you can use more words to express yourself rather than that you are just angry, it not only feels better but it helps others understand you better.
2) Change your thoughts. The quickest way to relieve anger is to address it early and change your thoughts. It takes roughly 90 seconds for emotion-generated chemicals to wash through your brain. If you continue to feel the effects of a certain emotion, it is because you keep rethinking the same thought. Instead try to think about something different.
3) Reframe your thoughts. If you are mad about being quarantined, perhaps you can be happy you are not stuck in a hospital. If you are angry about there being so much negative information in the news, be grateful you have access to technology.
4) Limit your exposure to negative things you cannot control. While you may not be able to change the world, you can change the people next to you. Start small and focus on the things you have power over. This will make you feel much less fearful, tense, and irritable.
5) Yawn. There is quite a bit of research surrounding the benefits of yawning. If you fake yawn 3–5 times, you will begin to naturally yawn. This is the fastest way to get oxygen to your brain and relieve stress.
6) Retrain your brain. For every negative thing you think or say, it takes 3 positive things to neutralize that thought. If you would like to create a more positive brain (and have more positive relationships), the ratio should be 5 positive things for every one negative thing. Use these ratios and you will train yourself to be more positive.
7) Tell yourself a different story. Are you a victim? Are other people villains? Change your story to one that empowers you and you will feel less angry and more invigorated.
Interviews: Carol Barkes
Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs: Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Secrets for Breaking Through to Success.
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