Local News

How To Stay Calm in an Angry Climate

Posted July 29, 1999

— Some psychologists are blaming Thursday's deadly rampage in Atlanta on accumulated rage. Psychologists say anyone can turn into a walking time bomb without a way to release anger constructively.

Psychologist Dr. Dianne Occhetti says people are working more hours with less time for themselves and their families. Occhetti says the stress adds up.

Experts say people should watch for warning signs, including emotional overreaction to events and a change from normal demeanor.

If anger or stress is starting to get to you, here are some tips for calming down:

  • Practice Relaxation: Breathing deeply, doing yoga, or finding another way to reduce physical tension will help.
  • Think Different Thoughts: Try to avoid fixating on one thing. Don't jump to conclusions. Be kind to yourself. And try being logical, since anger is often irrational.
  • Develop A Plan:Not everything is within your control. Figure out what you can do, consider the alternatives, come up with a plan, and be patient.
  • Change What You Can:Modify your environment with different pictures or inspirational quotes. Find humor and spread it around.
  • Distract Yourself:Sometimes watching a movie or reading a book can clear your head enough to help you see things differently.
  • Take Care:Eat well and exercise. A healthy physical state can lead to a healthy attitude.

    It is also important to know your limitations. "Ask yourself how many stressors are in your life right now, and can you handle them? How are you doing that?" Occhetti suggests.

    Psychologists also say you can help keep rage from building up by talking to other people, instead of isolating yourself.

    Most importantly, do not be afraid to seek professional help.

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