How To Never Get Angry: 3 New Secrets From Neurosciencehttps://www.bloglovin.com/blog/post/2001038/4568239842

How To Never Get Angry: 3 New Secrets From Neuroscience
how-to-get-rid-of-anger
They’re one inch from your face, boiling with rage, screaming and yelling at you.

And all you want to do is scream and yell back. But you know that’s not going to be good for anyone…

I’ve talked before about how to deal with others who are angry and irrational, but how can you control those emotions in yourself?

Looking at the neuroscience, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

So let’s dig into the research on how to get rid of anger, what you’re doing wrong, how to do it right and how it can make you and those around you much happier…

 

Suppressing Anger Is Rarely A Good Idea
You grit your teeth and hold it in: “I’m fine.”

The good news is suppression works. You can bottle up your feelings and not look angry. However…

It’s almost always a bad idea. Yes, it prevents the anger from getting out, but when you fight your feelings they only get stronger.

Via The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking:

…when experimental subjects are told of an unhappy event, but then instructed to try not to feel sad about it, they end up feeling worse than people who are informed of the event, but given no instructions about how to feel. In another study, when patients who were suffering from panic disorders listened to relaxation tapes, their hearts beat faster than patients who listened to audiobooks with no explicitly ‘relaxing’ content. Bereaved people who make the most effort to avoid feeling grief, research suggests, take the longest to recover from their loss.

When you try to stop yourself from crying, the tears aren’t cathartic. You don’t feel better afterward.

And anger is no different. What happens in the brain when you try to clamp down on that rage? A whole mess of bad stuff.

Your ability to experience positive feelings goes down — but not negative feelings. Stress soars. And your amygdala (a part of the brain closely associated with emotions) starts working overtime.

Via Handbook of Emotion Regulation:

…experimental studies have shown that suppression leads to decreased positive but not negative emotion experience (Gross, 1998a; Gross & Levenson, 1993, 1997; Stepper & Strack, 1993; Strack, Martin, & Stepper, 1988), increased sympathetic nervous system responses (Demaree et al., 2006; Gross, 1998a; Gross & Levenson, 1993, 1997; Harris, 2001; Richards & Gross, 2000), and greater activation in emotion-generative brain regions such as the amygdala (Goldin, McRae, Ramel, & Gross, 2008).

And here’s what’s really interesting: when you suppress your feelings, the encounter gets worse for the angry person, too.

You clamp down on your emotions and the other person’s blood pressure spikes. And they like you less. Studies show that over the long haul this can lead to lousy relationships that aren’t as rewarding.

Via Handbook of Emotion Regulation:

Socially, experimental studies have reported that suppression leads to less liking from social interaction partners, and to an increase in partners’ blood pressure levels (Butler et al., 2003). Correlational studies support these laboratory findings. Individuals who typically use suppression report avoiding close relationships and having less positive relations with others; this dovetails with peers’ reports that suppressors have relationships with others that are less emotionally close (English, John, & Gross, 2013; Gross & John, 2003; Srivastava, Tamir, McGonigal, John, & Gross, 2009).

And fighting your feelings uses a lot of willpower. So afterwards you have less control and that’s why you’re more likely to do things you regret after you’re angry:

…bad moods foster risk taking by impairing self-regulation instead of by altering subjective utilities. Studies 5 and 6 showed that the risky tendencies are limited to unpleasant moods accompanied by high arousal; neither sadness nor neutral arousal resulted in destructive risk taking.

(To learn how to win every argument, click here.)

Now some of you might be saying, “I knew bottling it up was bad! You should let that anger out!”

Wrong.

 

Don’t Vent Your Anger
So you punch that pillow. Or yell and rant about the encounter to a friend. Not a good idea.

Venting your anger doesn’t reduce it. Venting intensifies emotion.

Via Handbook of Emotion Regulation:

…focusing on a negative emotion will likely intensify the experience of that emotion further and thus make down-regulation more difficult, leading to lower adjustment and well-being.

Sharing your feelings with others constructively is a good idea but “getting it out” tends to snowball your anger.

What does work? Distracting yourself. But why would distraction help?

Because your brain has limited resources. Thinking about something else means you have less brainpower to dwell on the bad stuff:

Research suggests it is because both cognitive tasks and emotional responses make use of the same limited mental resources (Baddeley, 2007; Siemer, 2005; Van Dillen & Koole, 2007)… That is, the resources that are used to perform a cognitive task are no longer available for emotional processes. Accordingly, people can rid themselves from unwanted feelings by engaging in a cognitive activity, such as doing math equations (Van Dillen & Koole, 2007), playing a game of Tetris ( Holmes, James, Coode-Bate, & Deeprose , 2008)…

You know that famous marshmallow test?

Experimenters put a kid alone in a room with a marshmallow. If the child can resist eating it, they get two marshmallows later. The kids who succeeded in waiting went on to achieve better grades and more success in life. (They also stayed out of jail.)

Now this study has been covered a lot, but what they don’t usually talk about is how the successful kids avoided temptation; how they reduced those powerful emotions screaming, “EAT THE MARSHMALLOW NOW!!!”

They distracted themselves. Walter Mischel, who led the famous study, explains.

Via The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control:

Successful delayers created all sorts of ways to distract themselves and to cool the conflict and stress they were experiencing. They transformed the aversive waiting situation by inventing imaginative, fun distractions that took the struggle out of willpower: they composed little songs (“This is such a pretty day, hooray”; “This is my home in Redwood City”), made funny and grotesque faces, picked their noses, cleaned their ear canals and toyed with what they discovered there, and created games with their hands and feet, playing their toes as if they were piano keys.

And this works with other “hot” emotions too — like anger.

(To learn the secrets of grit from a Navy SEAL, click here.)

I know, I know; when someone is yelling in your face it’s really hard to distract yourself. But there’s a way to do this that’s very easy and backed by neuroscience research…

 

The Answer? “Reappraisal”
Imagine the scene again: someone is screaming at you, one inch from your face.

You want to scream back. Or even hit them.

But what if I told you their mother passed away yesterday? Or that they were going through a tough divorce and just lost custody of their kids?

You’d let it go. You’d probably even respond to their anger with compassion.

What changed? Not the event. Situation is the same. But the story you’re telling yourself about the event changed everything.

As famed researcher Albert Ellis said: You don’t get frustrated because of events, you get frustrated because of your beliefs.

Research shows that when someone is exploding at you a good way to “reappraise” the situation and resist getting angry is simply to think:

“It’s not about me. They must be having a bad day.”

As one of the neuroscientists behind the study said:

“If you’re trained with reappraisal, and you know your boss is frequently in a bad mood, you can prepare yourself to go into a meeting,” Blechert suggested. “He can scream and yell and shout but there’ll be nothing.”

When you change your beliefs about a situation, your brain changes the emotions you feel.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

In one of Ochsner’s reappraisal experiments, participants are shown a photo of people crying outside a church, which naturally makes participants feel sad. They are then asked to imagine the scene is a wedding, that people are crying tears of joy. At the moment that participants change their appraisal of the event, their emotional response changes, and Ochsner is there to capture what is going on in their brain using an fMRI. As Ochsner explains, “Our emotional responses ultimately flow out of our appraisals of the world, and if we can shift those appraisals, we shift our emotional responses.”

Reappraisal works for anxiety too. Reinterpreting stress as excitement can improve your performance on tests.

And what happens in your brain?

Your amygdala doesn’t get worked up like it does with suppression. In fact, the little guy calms down.

Via Handbook of Emotion Regulation:

Evidence that reappraisal can directly influence this amygdala circuitry comes from consistent findings in positron emission tomographic (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of healthy individuals showing reappraisal-dependent decreases in amygdala activation in response to negative stimuli.

As opposed to bottling up, when you tell yourself “they’re having a bad day“, angry feelings plummet and good feelings increase.

Via Handbook of Emotion Regulation:

By contrast, experimental studies have shown that reappraisal leads to decreased levels of negative emotion experience and increased positive emotion experience (Gross, 1998a; Feinberg, Willer, Antonenko, & John, 2012; Lieberman, Inagaki, Tabibnia, & Crockett, 2011; Ray, McRae, Ochsner, & Gross, 2010; Szasz, Szentagotai, & Hofmann, 2011; Wolgast, Lundh, & Viborg, 2011), has no impact on or even decreases sympathetic nervous system responses (Gross, 1998a; Kim & Hamann, 2012; Stemmler, 1997; Shiota & Levenson, 2012; Wolgast et al., 2011), and leads to lesser activation in emotion-generative brain regions such as the amygdala (Goldin et al., 2008; Kanske, Heissler, Schonfelder, Bongers, & Wessa, 2011; Ochsner & Gross, 2008; Ochsner et al., 2004) and ventral striatum (Staudinger, Erk, Abler, & Walter, 2009).

What about the social results? People who reappraise report better relationships — and their friends agree.

Via Handbook of Emotion Regulation:

Reappraisal, by contrast, has no detectable adverse consequences for social affiliation in a laboratory context (Butler et al., 2003). Correlational studies support these findings: Individuals who typically use reappraisal are more likely to share their emotions— both positive and negative— and report having closer relationships with friends, which matches their peers’ reports of greater liking (Gross & John, 2003; Mauss et al., 2011).

You know when you get angry and start telling yourself, “They’re out to get me! They want to make my life miserable!”

That’s reappraisal too — in the wrong direction. You’re telling yourself a story that’s even worse than reality. And your anger soars. So don’t do that.

As the infomercials always say, “But wait there’s more!” Reappraisal holds another big benefit: remember how suppression sapped self-control and made you do stuff you later regretted?

Well, just like the kids in the marshmallow experiment, reappraisal can increase your willpower and help you behave better after intense moments.

Walter Mischel explains:

The marshmallow experiments convinced me that if people can change how they mentally represent a stimulus, they can exert self-control and escape from being victims of the hot stimuli that have come to control their behavior.

(To learn the secret to how to get people to like you — from an FBI behavior expert, click here.)

Okay, let’s wrap this up and learn the research-backed way to make sure that anger doesn’t come back…

 

Sum Up
Here’s how to get rid of anger:

Suppress rarely. They may not know you’re angry but you’ll feel worse inside and hurt the relationship.

Don’t vent. Communication is good but venting just increases anger. Distract yourself.

Reappraisal is usually the best option. Think to yourself, “It’s not about me. They must be having a bad day.”

Sometimes someone gets under your skin and suppression is the only thing you can do to avoid a homicide charge. And sometimes reappraisal can cause you to tolerate bad situations you need to get out of.

But that said, telling yourself a more compassionate story about what’s going on inside the other person’s head is usually the best way to go.

And what’s the final step in getting rid of that anger over the long haul so you can maintain good relationships?

Forgive.

It’s not for them, it’s for you. Forgiveness makes you less angry and more healthy:

Trait forgiveness was significantly associated with fewer medications and less alcohol use, lower blood pressure and rate pressure product; state forgiveness was significantly associated with lower heart rate and fewer physical symptoms. Neither of these sets of findings were the result of decreased levels of anger-out being associated with forgiveness. These findings have important theoretical implications regarding the forgiveness–health link, suggesting that the benefits of forgiveness extend beyond the dissipation of anger.

As the old saying goes: Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

So remember: “They’re just having a bad day.”

If it can stop these tykes from gobbling marshmallows it can stop you from going ballistic on people.

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“Martin Luther King Jr. Delivered His ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech 52 Years Ago Today

Martin Luther King Jr. Delivered His ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech 52 Years Ago Today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/28/i-have-a-dream-anniversary_n_8056412.html

Martin Luther King Jr. Delivered His ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech 52 Years Ago Today

Watch and read the iconic address.

 44 minutes ago

Mollie Reilly Deputy Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Friday marks the 52nd anniversary of the March on Washington, during which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have A Dream” address. 

On Aug. 28, 1963, more than 200,000 individuals converged on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to draw the country’s attention to the struggles faced by black Americans. 

The civil rights demonstration culminated in King’s call to end racism, cementing the reverend’s place in history.

Watch King’s speech above, and read the full text of his remarks below:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

the key

Samantha Ushedo: Self-Love Is the Key to Getting Anything and Everything You Want http://www.huffingtonpost.com/samantha-ushedo/selflove-is-the-key-to-ge_b_8012050.html

Self-Love Is the Key to Getting Anything and Everything You Want

 

Samantha Ushedo Life Coach. Self-Love Teacher. Inspirational Speaker. Creator of the First Love Yourself Sisterhood.

 

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: Sam, self-love is a hard sell. No one walks around thinking, “How can I love myself more?”

What you’re thinking is: 

How can I lose 20 pounds?

How can I find true love, a best friend, my soul mate?

How can I improve my relationships with family and friends?

How can I make more money, get ahead?

How can I get healthier?

Is this you?

Trust me, I get it.

You’re a smart, successful, high achieving woman who wants it all and wants it now but you may be caught up in the “when… then” game.

Do any of these sound familiar?

When I lose 20 pounds, then I’ll be able to wear a bikini on the beach.

 When I meet the man of my dreams, then I’ll finally be happy.

When I get the promotion, then my money problems will disappear.

Essentially, what I’m hearing is that self-love isn’t exactly high on your priority list.  

Can I ask why?

Because, if you think about it, what is the one thing that all human beings want more than anything else in the world?  

To be loved and to be happy.  

And what do they think they’ll get from being thinner, looking and feeling healthier, having better relationships and being more financially secure?

You guessed it: love and happiness.

Most of us think that we can change how we feel by changing our external circumstances. We try to feel differently by looking outside of ourselves, believing the key is “out there”, but the truth is, you’re looking in the wrong place. We can exhaust ourselves trying to change our external circumstances to achieve some external results, but at the end of the day, if you don’t go within, you go without. When we learn to flex our self-love muscles and choose love over fear, that is when your transformation begins.  

I speak from experience, and had to learn this important lesson the hard way. It took 5 years, debilitating cystic acne and almost $30,000 (yes, I totaled it up) trying to fix myself, to find that external something that would solve all my problems before I realized that everything I was doing was simply treating a symptom of a bigger issue, which was that I didn’t love or fundamentally accept myself. I was living my life based on the need for outside validation, approval, and affection. Every choice I made in my life was coming from a place of fear, rather than love.  

There is little doubt in my mind that suffering from severe cystic acne was the Universe’s way of saying to me, “You’re not meant to be doing this anymore sweetheart and unfortunately, the only way you will listen is if we send you a message you can’t ignore.”

Message received. Loud and clear.

Now, you may not have cystic acne like I did, for you it could be something different entirely. But I want you to think about that thing in your life that is constantly plaguing you, looming over you like a big, black cloud. That thing you’re struggling with, that is keeping you stuck and unhappy. If I can impress one thing upon you today, let it be this: You are good enough. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a thigh gap, you’re currently single, you have acne on your face or your career hasn’t taken the direction you expected it to. No amount of dieting, green juicing, and Tinder dates is going to be the key to unlocking your happiness.  

You need to FLY. First Love Yourself.

The first and often only step you need to find the success, happiness, health and fulfillment (in any area of life) that you seek begins with first loving yourself. That’s why I created this resource to help you make self-love a choice rather than an afterthought in your life.  

Self-love is a choice you make in every moment of every day for the rest of your life. Just like you would join a gym or hire a trainer to strengthen your physical muscles, you can exercise your self-love muscle in much the same way. And you do this through practice, commitment and consistency. When you become aware of the way you relate to yourself, learn to cultivate self-compassion and take action on doing the things that truly light you up inside, you are laying the foundation to develop a beautiful relationship with the most important person in your life… yourself.

And that, my darling, is the key to getting anything and everything you want.