Let it Go – 3 tips to manage stress and anger

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This past week I experienced the dreaded power of three. Three things going wrong in one week dampened my spirits.  I shattered my cell phone screen and my new car is broken. There’s more but I won’t bore you. Here’s the good news – I am resilient. I said to myself what can I let go of to get through this? I found the answers I needed to do that and sought the silver lining in all the bad stuff. People were super nice to me and I proved to myself I could get through some tough times and keep smiling!

Ask yourself the following:

  • What could I let go of?
  • What could I drop?
  • What could I do to feel better right now? (Ideally a healthy choice)

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3 tips for Managing Stress and Anger

Sometimes stressful situations can seem to stick with us. Most of us find ourselves ruminating or holding onto negative feelings we have about stressors or conflicts in our lives at one time or another. Unfortunately, this tendency can prolong the stress that we experience. Here are some proven strategies for letting go of rumination, letting go of anger, and holding onto peace.

Expressive Writing

Some people write an angry letter that they later burn.

Others write about their feelings and brainstorm solutions. A few even write books or short stories that express their feelings and combat rumination. Regardless of the form it takes, many people have found journaling and expressive writing helpful in letting go of stress and negative emotions. Research confirms that expressive writing can be helpful for the stressed: One study showed that expressive writing was effective in reducing symptoms of depression among those with a tendency toward brooding and rumination.

Meditation

It seems that everyone from Oprah to Sting is touting the benefits of meditation and mindfulness for stress relief, and for good reason. A key ingredient of meditation is a focus on the present. When you actively focus on the present moment and gently prevent your mind from fixating on past events or future fears, it’s much easier to let go of negative emotions surrounding these things.

Research confirms that meditation-based stress management practices reduce stress and rumination, and also enhance one’s tendency toward forgiveness, which brings its own rewards.

Change Your Thoughts

The basis of cognitive therapy is that the way you think about an event can shape the emotional response that you have in a given situation.

For example, if you perceive a situation to be a ‘threat,’ you will have a different emotional (and therefore physical) response than if you viewed the same situation as a ‘challenge.’ This assertion has been supported by research as well. Looking at a situation from a new lens, rather than just dwelling on the negative, can help with anger management and lowering one’s stress response. Once you understand how your thoughts color your experiences, you can use this information to reduce stress with a process known as cognitive restructuring.

Change Your Behavior

Perhaps the simplest is to make conscious choices to add some new stress management activities to your life: Get regular exercise, practice meditation a few times a week, or have a hobby that helps you relieve stress. Another effective strategy is to change your behavior when you find yourself dwelling on the negative: Actively get involved in doing something that will take your mind off of what’s stressing you.

Tips curated from VeryWell.com 

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