We all get angry every now and then. It’s a normal reaction, in fact, it can be healthy. Anger lets others know your disagreement and dissatisfaction. The unhealthy side of anger arises when one is unable to control oneself – the subsequent emotional explosion is bad for mental and physical health, as well as detrimental to one’s social image. Many seem to think that older folks become surlier as they age, though the British Association of Anger Management notes that younger people tend to flare up more. Regardless of age, even just 5 minutes of anger – let alone prolonged periods – can damage your body physically and mentally.
Prolonged anger increases cardiovascular issues, can cause hypertension and high blood pressure, affects immunity and can cause diabetes. It can also cause stress and anxiety, affects clarity and focus, and in fact is the main factor for most mental health issues. Here are some anger and stress management tips for your loved ones to build stronger and healthier relationships.
It is useful to check whether your current environment fosters feelings of anger with these questions:
- Do you experience elevated heart rate when upset?
- Do you clench your fists unconsciously?
- Do you take more rapid breaths?
- Do you start sweating?
- Does your voice tremble?
- Do you feel tension in your body?
- Do you experience knots in your stomach?
Answering ‘yes’ to at least two questions suggests that you might have some anger issues.
For older folk dealing with anger issues, the best place to start is with the mind. Take a look at the thought processes which result in anger, to avoid such situations.
Two-thirds of people cite inability to manage stress as one of the reasons for anger
Prejudice can also cause frustration and anger, if one makes too many assumptions about people and situations.
Wanting things to go the way you expect every time is a sure-fire way to get disappointed and angry.
Going over and over negative thoughts and moments keeps you stuck in negativity, and it eventually becomes second nature.
Constant blaming fosters negativity and it’s best to avoid constantly blaming others for mistakes.
Managing Stress And Anger In Older Folks
Anger is a large part of our lives, and it’s only a problem if we don’t know how to deal with it. Use these tips to manage your anger.
- Prioritize the issue
Winning isn’t everything in an argument; the relationship is more important. Righteous anger will end up costing you the relationship.
- Forgive and forget
Learn to live and let live.
Find ways to destress and stay positive.
- Reduce stress
Meditation can help relieve stress, especially as a daily routine.
Older folks can consider picking up new activities, light workouts and yoga to keep their minds clear and manage anger. Practice mindfulness, and keep the consequences in mind before any impulsive speech or action. Remember, consistency is key.