Have you been feeling angry lately? Maybe you snapped at someone who wasn’t wearing mask… Or you went on a Facebook rant. Well, there’s a good reason why we’re feeling angrier than usual lately… and it’s because we’re actually anxious!
Maurice Schweitzer is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who studies the regulation of emotions. And he says most of us are more comfortable being angry than anxious. That’s because anger gives us motivation. It makes us want to DO something to change a situation - and that helps us feel more in control.
The problem is, when we’re angry, we’re not thinking clearly. Anger reduces our cognitive and decision making ability.
Anger is also bad for our physical health! It’s linked to higher blood pressure and inflammation, infections, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
So how can you release your anger in a healthy way?
Pinpoint the source of your anger. Research shows that when people correctly identify the source of their anger, they can think more strategically. Because the minute you ask yourself, “why am I so upset?,” you engage the part of your brain responsible for reasoning.
Then, calm your nervous system. Go for a walk, spend time in nature, or meditate by focusing on your breath. Research shows “breath-focused attention” lowers the activity in the part of the brain that processes fear and anxiety.