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Frustration can have damaging consequences when not handled properly. It can cause us to lose our friendships, relationships, and can even impact how we are viewed in the workplace. Contrary to popular belief, effectively managing anger is less about having self-control and more about having a toolbox of appropriate coping mechanisms to deal with this strong emotion as it arises. Here are ten helpful tips for constructively managing frustration.

Exercise

Physical activity can be helpful in the alleviation of anger and the redirection of frustration. If you’re feeling particularly frustrated and don’t have the option of breaking out into a full workout in your current setting try, taking a quick walk around the block.

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Read

Reading is so helpful because it provides an escape from your present reality. If you have the time, try getting lost in a good book. Not only will you be highly entertained, but you’ll get your mind off the circumstances that are upsetting until you are in a better mental and emotional position to deal with them.

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Bubble bath

The bathtub is a great place to work through problems and release the things that are upsetting you. Hot water can be calming to some by itself, but you can turn it into more of a ritual by adding candles, bath bombs, and other self-care treats.

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Journal

Writing is a helpful way to make sense of feelings and release negative emotions at the end of a long day. Journaling can also help you to find mental clarity and make better decisions in the future.

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Pause before reacting

Whenever possible, practice giving yourself a timeout before reacting to emotionally distressing situations. This way, you have time to process your feelings and you can handle the issue without having a kneejerk reaction that you may come to regret.

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Think about something else

Fixating on the source of your distress will only serve to fuel your anger and upset you further. Before you can constructively deal with the issue at hand, consider giving it a rest and making the conscious decision to focus on something else for a period of time. This will help you to calm down and approach the situation with a more level head.

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Picture yourself in a calming environment

If you can’t physically leave your current environment, consider taking a mental trip to somewhere far away. By imagining yourself in a more calming and serene environment, you can reduce anger.

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Take deep breaths

There is evidence that deep breathing has can help to ease anxiety and reduce anger. To reap the full benefits of deep breathing, you just need a quiet space and a comfortable position.

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Watch cartoons

Cartoons are not just for kids. Humor can help to diffuse anger and frustration so during especially trying moments, consider taking a timeout by streaming your favorite cartoon. While it won’t cause your negative feelings to disappear, it can help to take the edge off.

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Switch things up

When you’re feeling especially angry, a change in scenery can make all of the difference in the world. If possible, try taking a walk around your neighborhood. If you have some extra time on your hands and weather permits, try visiting a local park or pond. Nature can have a tremendously calming effect after a stressful day.

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