Monday, July 31, 2017

Take Control of Your Anger

Learning to express your anger in a healthy way is crucial for your overall health and recovery. This is because flying off the handle is harmful to your body and mind – and it’s also a major relapse trigger. You may even have heard of the acronym H.A.L.T. – Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tired – which are all feelings that could nudge a person toward using again.

Luckily, you can take some practical steps to stay cool when life gets you heated up. Try these tension tamers today: 

Give yourself a timeout. Look at your smartphone and resist reacting until at least two minutes have passed and you’ve taken steps to calm down. You could also just go for a quick walk or leave the room – whatever gives you some space and breathing room to gain control of your emotions. 

Practice relaxation strategies. Here are a few recommendations adapted from The American Psychological Association:
  • Focus on your breath. Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm. Close your eyes and imagine your breath coming up from your "gut" as you inhale. Exhale slowly. 
  • Find a mantra. Think of a calming word or phrase – "calm” or “slow down,” for example – and repeat it to yourself after taking a deep, relaxing breath. 
  • Use imagery. Close your eyes and visualize a time when you felt relaxed. If you can’t recall a past experience, use your imagination and dream up a stress-free place. 
Pinpoint your triggers. In other words, make a conscious effort to figure out what sets you off. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), these events are common anger triggers: 
  • A long wait at the doctor’s office
  • A rumor about your relapse or recovery
  • Traffic or large crowds
  • A joke that poke fun at a sensitive topic
  • Being wrongly accused or mistreated 
Pay attention to your mind and body. Right before your anger escalates, you’ll likely experience a host of physical, behavioral, emotional and cognitive signs, notes SAMHSA. These include:
  • Increased heart rate, tightness in the chest, feeling hot or flushed
  • Clenched fists, raised voice, harsh stare 
  • Fear, hurt, jealousy, disrespect 
  • Hostile, images of aggression and revenge
Post-Treatment Support for Men & Women
At Haus Recovery, we provide our clients with continued support as they transition from a secure recovery environment to sober life filled with daily stressors and tension. To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.

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