FYI Health Tip
Self-control can be a good thing, but if it's all you do, it can lead to higher levels of anger.
Everyone exerts self-control at some point or another, whether it’s trying out a popular new diet, or refraining from losing control when someone cuts you off in traffic. However, no matter how much you’re incorporating self-control for the right reasons, it may end up having a negative impact.
A recent study shows that people who exert self-control actually have higher levels of anger, aggression and irritability. In short, the more you refrain and discipline yourself, the more your temper is likely to flare. According to one source, anger is a response to feelings of unhappiness when faced with a situation you don’t like. When you are put in a situation such as being on a train with a loud cell phone talker, you might be right in exercising self-control by not confronting the person; however because you exerted that self-control, you are now feeling anger. Or if you decide to control yourself and decline that piece of birthday cake at the company party, you may find yourself later with feelings of resentment.
What are some of your best bets when you feel the anger welling up?
Have a small piece of candy. There’s a scientific bonus to it, too, studies suggest that controlling your blood sugar could help you remain calmer, especially if you’re prone to being hot tempered. Sure, a piece of candy may help when your blood sugar gets low, however, it’s not a long-term solution. Rather then reaching for candy throughout the day, the key is to keep your blood-sugar levels steady throughout the day with a balanced diet.
Workout. While you don’t have to run a marathon or become an Olympic level powerlifter, some moderate exercise when you’re feeling angry could help your brain produce serotonin, the “happy hormone” shown to life your spirits.
Clench Your Fists. While you may think that clenching your fists and gritting your teeth are a sign that you are about to lose control; in fact, those classic muscle-tensing moves may actually be helping you keep your cool. This physical manifestation of our inner emotions may ground us and allow us to pull from our inner strength. We literally “grit” our teeth through the bad times for a reason, because by clenching our muscles we’re physically summoning our willpower.
When all else fails, sometimes it might be best to take a deep breath and assess the situation after a few minutes. Sometimes taking a break from everything is exactly what you need to get back on the right path.
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