You probably know the question: Which came first – the chicken or the egg? When considering work stress, we may want to ask: Which came first – stress or anger?
Anger and stress often go hand-in-hand. We are angry because of the stress, and we are stressed because of the anger.
Anger and Stress Management
- Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure. It usually involves antagonism toward someone or something. It may smolder silently beneath the surface, or burst forth in an explosion of rage.
- Stress is not a feeling, but a state resulting from a stressor, especially a stressor such as physical or mental tension from demands that tend to alter life’s balance.
When feelings of strong displeasure combine with a state caused by a stressor, anger and stress management becomes urgent. Both the feeling and the state must be controlled quickly.
Anger and stress management in the workplace is especially crucial. The combination of uncontrolled anger and stress can deal a lethal blow to any company. Work is not done well. Errors increase. Social interaction suffers. Customer relations are dealt a blow. If anger and stress management is not employed quickly, the ripple effect can spread to the company’s farthest corners, reaping long-term, disastrous economic effects.
Tips for Anger and Stress Management
The following 7 anger and stress management tips are good for an individual, a family, a class, or workplace employees.
- Do not speak or act out emotions. That will only increase the problem. Anger and stress management cannot help if you insist on hitting someone, or “venting” on your pillow.
- Think about the stressor – the demand on you that was too great – and ask yourself how your anger will help lessen it. Write any answers that come to mind. Keep an anger and stress management journal for the purpose.
- Count to ten silently while breathing very deeply and slowly from your diaphragm. Take a deep breath after each number.
- Do not speak yet, and do not act out emotions. Think again about how anger can possibly lessen the state of demands being too great. Add any additional thoughts to what you wrote above.
- Finally, and still without “venting” anger in words or actions, discuss the situation calmly with someone who can make the changes you need.
- Then go for a quiet walk. Count to ten once more as you walk, breathing deeply. Imagine yourself arriving at the most wonderful place you have ever visited. Imagine stretching out in that place and relaxing for the rest of the day.
- Return to your workplace, and pick up where you stopped.
These 7 anger and stress management steps can do much to diffuse an immediate situation, but further steps must be taken to correct it. The individual or individuals involved must be brought to a place where they feel the measure of balance they need in their lives. Demands must be adjusted until they are realistic, and within each person’s capabilities.
Whether it’s anger and stress management in the family, or anger and stress management in the public arena, it can be accomplished with these 7 steps.