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Inside Out in the Office: A Closer Look at Anger

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Over the weekend I went to see the Disney-Pixar film, Inside Out, and I have to say that it was fantastic. The film is about how a child’s psyche changes when she moves from Minnesota where she grew up to San Francisco. The adventure the audience is taken on is one that goes on inside her mind, enacted by her main emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger.

It got me thinking about emotions and human psychology quite a bit. In the film, it showed that the child had absolutely no control over her emotions and that they had full control over her. Flash to her mother’s mind and you see bespectacled, mature emotions saying and feeling rational things.

As we mature, we grow to learn that we have some degree of control over our emotions, but when you’re in a management position, there tends to be one dominating emotion. Can you guess which one? Anger. He’s even wearing a shirt and tie. Go figure.

Inside Out in the Office - Anger

So what happens to us when we get angry? Any sense of reason or rationality goes out the window and the back of our brain takes over. Angry people are three times for likely to suffer from a heart attack. Here are 5 ways you can protect your health and your career when it comes to managing anger:

Get Moving!

You obviously have a lot of stored-up energy that needs to be released. Get out and get moving and you’ll find that after your workout, you feel calmer than usual. Try to work out before you go to work so your mind will be ready to take on the day.

Meditate on your Anger

Why are you so angry? Take a deep breath and think about your anger. The more awareness you can bring to the situation, the better it will be. Always try and stay logical.

Get Some Help

If you can’t do it by yourself, don’t be shy to get help. Anger management professionals are there to help and understand people who have trouble controlling their angry impulses. Sometimes, speaking to an impartial third party about the issue can help you get to the bottom of it faster.

Cognitive Restructuring

This basically means changing the way you think. It’s probably the hardest thing to do but with enough repetition, it can be done. According to the American Psychological Association there are a few strategies you can use to restructure your brain.

Don’t use words like never or always Statements like “This never works” or “You’re always forgetting things” make you feel your anger is justified and there’s no way to solve the problem. Such statements also alienate and humiliate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a solution.

Humor

This is probably the healthiest and best way to diffuse an angry situation. When my mother would become angry with my sister and me when we were young, we’d start laughing and she would automatically change her mood, to an angry-laughing face. It would completely disarm her because humor often helps us realize how silly everything really is. Watch something funny, look at a hilarious meme, etc. You’ll be just fine.

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