How to Recognize Stress Before it Turns Into Anger

After a stressful day as a computer programmer, Jim pulled into his driveway. The children's toys were scattered on the walkway to the house.

He immediately began noticing slight tension in his muscles and apprehension in his stomach. Entering his house, his wife ignored him while she talked with her sister on the telephone. His heart started beating a little faster.

Looking around, he noticed disarray; nothing was picked up, the house was a mess. Irritation and frustration started to settle in. Finally, as his feelings grew, he exploded and began yelling at his wife and children.

Stress may trigger anger:

Stress is often the trigger that takes us from feeling peaceful to experiencing uncomfortable angry feelings in many common situations such as the one described above.

Stress is most easily defined as a series of bodily responses to demands made upon us called stressors.

These "demands" or stressors can be negative (such as coping with a driver who cuts in front of you on the freeway) or positive (such as keeping on a tour schedule while on vacation).

Stressors may be external to you (like work pressure) or internal (like expectations you have of yourself or feeling guilty about something you did or want to do).

Whether the stressor is external or internal, scientists have discovered that the major systems of the body work together to provide one of the human organism's most powerful and sophisticated defenses; the stress response which you may know better as "fight-or-flight."

This response helps you to cope with stressors in your life. To do so, it activates and coordinates the brain, glands, hormones, immune system, heart, blood and lungs.

Avoid Jim's destructive behavior toward his loved ones. Before your stress response turns into anger or aggression, use these strategies to get it under control:

Read your personal warning lights: Becoming aware of your stress response is the first step to managing it. This means listening to your body, being aware of your negative emotions, and observing your own behavior when under stress.

For instance, notice muscle tension, pounding heart, raising voice, irritation, dry mouth, or erratic movements.

What you see is what you get: For a potential stressor to affect us -stress us out - we have to first perceive it or experience it as a stressor.

Gaining a new perspective on the stressing situation can often drastically change the effect it has on us. Our stress response can indeed be a response (something we can control) instead of a knee-jerk reaction (which is automatic).

Examples: Cut off on the freeway? "It is not personal. That guy has a problem. I will stay calm." Bullied by a co-worker? "If I react, he wins. Later, I will privately let him know how I feel about what he did. If that doesn't work, I'll discuss it with our manager."

Stress-Guard your life: You can also make many life-style changes to reduce or minimize feeling stressed-out, even if you can't change some of your actual stressors

For instance, manage your time better, establish priorities, protect yourself from toxic relationships, and find a way to manage your money better, or consider changing your job or occupation.

Other stress-guards include those you have probably heard before, but maybe need to do more frequently such as:

getting adequate rest, eating a healthy diet, avoiding excessive alcohol intake, living in a way consistent with your core personal values, developing social networks of friends and support.

Stress is most easily defined as a series of bodily responses to demands made upon us called stressors.
It's important to recognize these stress responses and develop techniques to lessen the impact.

Dr. Tony Fiore is a So. California licensed psychologist, and anger management trainer. His company, The Anger Coach, provides anger and stress management programs, training and products to individuals, couples, and the workplace. Sign up for his free monthly newsletter "Taming The Anger Bee" at www.angercoach.com and receive two bonus reports.

In The News:

Stress: what it is and how to deal with it  Chartered Management Institute
Stress Management for Nurses  www.oncnursingnews.com/
More Than a Murder-Suicide  Psychiatric Times
Springing hope in your step  Portugal Resident

How To Cut Down On College Stress

Probably the least appreciated form of stress is college stress.... Read More

Anger Management Practice: The Gift of Forgiveness

This anger management Practice draws on the dual wisdom of... Read More

I?m Gettin? Really Torqued!

For those of you who have been living in a... Read More

Stress Management: Problem Land or Solution Land

In my experience, most of us spend a lot more... Read More

Stress Management: The Power of a Day

I learned a valuable lesson recently. A short while ago,... Read More

Stress Symptoms

Stress relief and managementRecognizing stress symptoms can be a positive... Read More

Mental and Physical Stress

All people experience stress and anxiety in one form or... Read More

Adventures in Relieving Stress

Whether we are at work, traveling, or at home, we've... Read More

Ten Easy Relaxation Techniques

Stress is more than just unpleasant. It's dangerous. Try these... Read More

Stress Management: Ditch Thinking or Destination Thinking

Imagine driving down the road. You are driving with a... Read More

Stress Mangement and Mastery: How to Defeat Sunday Night Syndrome

Picture the following scene:It's Sunday evening, the weekend is winding... Read More

It is Looking Up for Stress Relief

No this is not related to praying, this is how... Read More

Workplace Stress: What to Do During Down Times?

The main problem in a down economy is that workplaces... Read More

Break Up Your Day And Become More Productive

Often, in today's fast paced world, we forget to take... Read More

Overwhelm: Love It or Leave It!

Amazing thing, overwhelm!You don't usually see it coming. It just... Read More

Stress Management and Relief Techniques - Quit Running from Bears!

Fear, and its accompanying seriousness, causes our suffering. Fear restricts... Read More

Brain Diet : Right Diet prevents Memory Loss

These days, when people have become so conscious about what... Read More

Reduce Stress To Maximize Efficiency

The right amount of stress can be good for you,... Read More

Sshhh... Listen to Your Own Voice

It was a self-exploration that made me understand myself. It... Read More

Hypnosis CDs - Relief from Stress

The number one most popular issue that users of a... Read More

Can You Say Yes To Less Stress

A little stress is good for us until it becomes... Read More

10 Ways to Reduce Commuting Stress

Do you get out of your car with a queasy... Read More

Improving Self Esteem with Affirmations and Therapeutic Relaxation Music

Positive self-esteem is very important for our general health and... Read More

Five Steps to Stress Relief

So, you've recognised that you are suffering from stress and... Read More

Create Your Own Home Spa

No need to go spend money at a spa! There... Read More