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General strategies for managing anger and irritability

If you really think about it there’s always going to be something that gets you upset. We do not live in a perfect world, where people are considerate of others, respect others, and care about others. We live in a selfish world, with people who are focused solely on economic gain, greed, and power. Simultaneously, in this world, there is also good. Good people, good food, good conversations, and experiences. It just may take some time to see it, but it’s there, you have to be open to search.  Whether it’s the things someone says, the ignorance in their thoughts, or their behaviors, to what is going on in the world. Anger, resentment and stressful situations cannot be avoided but they can be diffused.  

  • Mellow sounds-  playing soothing music (like instrumentals or meditation music) can help individuals relax and cope with stressful events. I personally listen to ocean wave sounds, or nature sounds,  to calm myself down. 

  • Hot shower/bath- soaking your worries away hot bath warm water causes the circulation to increase and calms you by relaxing muscles. Pink Himalayan salt does wonders for your mind and body. Have a self-care day. Choose one day every week to make time for the things you love. 

  • Physical fitness-  When you work out you feel good and when you feel good you look good, and when you feel all these things, you want to do more. That drive, that motivation appears.  Improved self-image and feelings of confidence, enhanced mental performance and concentration are also benefits of physical activity.

  • Yoga and Meditation- my personal favorite. Studies show that regular meditation can reduce the size of the amygdala*. This practice is also effective at calming down the autonomic nervous system. Try to welcome your emotions, welcome them with open arms and an open mind, become friends with your emotions, understand that this is how you feel and that is okay but, if you want to change this feeling you can.

  • Communication- is a two-way street. Talk to people, write to people, send them a gif or a meme. If you really want to be bold, try smiling at a complete stranger or try asking them if they are okay, if they are happy, show some interest in someone else’s life. That one person who shows attentivity to others can go a really long way for someone else. You don’t know what someone is going through unless they a) tell you or b) you ask  

“Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless … it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers … and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.”


-Toni Morrison

It may be all these things but at the end of the day, it’s still an emotion one that needs to be dealt with and handled with care.

Kayla Dunn

Buffalo '21

Hola! My name is Kayla Dunn. I'm a junior here at University at Buffalo. Some of my hobbies include dancing, cheerleading, and reading books.
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