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5 Ways to Let Go of Anger and Live a Happier Life

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Someone once said, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. Anger destroys happiness, and letting go of anger and resentment is one of the main keys to living a happy life.

Listed below are several ways to let go of anger and start living a more peaceful, happy life:

1. Change negative thoughts to positive ones

Negative thoughts can fester in a person’s mind like open wounds, and the quickest way to get rid of them is to change them into positive thoughts. When you find yourself thinking negatively of a person or situation, try to seek out the silver lining. Look for the good in that person or situation, and focus on that.

Like it or not, our attitudes are the product of our thoughts adding up over time, and negative thoughts lead to anger and resentment. Positive thoughts, though, can at least lead to peaceful acceptance and tolerance, even if you never truly grow to like the person or situation itself.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.” Start turning negative thoughts into positive ones, and you’ll find that anger and resentment (as well as the stress and unhappiness that they bring) are a lot less likely to form.

2. Let it all out

Self-help magazines, blogs, and books are filled with advice telling you how damaging it is to hold anger inside you, and they’re right. Anger and resentment never really goes away, it just builds and builds like pressure inside of a rocket until eventually it either explodes or severely damages your mental health and well-being.

The trouble is that people who hold back their anger most often do so because it feels like it’s the right thing to do. They don’t want to be confrontational or bothersome, and they may feel like bottling up their frustrations really is the best way to handle them.

In reality, though, bottling up your anger is one of the worst things you can do. While it’s not a good idea to lose your control, and you should certainly keep your temper in check, it’s important to vent from time to time.

Confront the things that are angering you head on, and say your peace. You’ll feel much better if you do.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” – Steve Maraboli

3. Associate with positive people

We’re all a product of our surroundings. If you choose to associate with positive people, their optimism and positivity will wear off on you. If you choose to associate with negative people, though, their anger and resentment will inevitably wear off on you as well.

The motivational speaker and wildly successful entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. If this is true, which evidence certainly seems to suggest that it is, what does that average look like? Hopefully, the average created from the five people you spend most of your time with would be a positive one.

If, though, it would be one that harbors anger, resentment, and negativity, it might be healthy for you to reevaluate the people you associate with the most.

4. Focus on self-love

You are your own priority. At the end of the day, what everyone else does and says is outside of your control. People who are unable to recognize or accept this often find themselves trying to control and fix situations that are beyond them. When it doesn’t work out like they’d hoped, they become angry and resentful.

Instead, focus on the one thing you have control of: yourself. Rather than becoming angry at someone else, shift your attention inward.

What can you do to make yourself happy at this moment? As long as you don’t use it as a crutch, a little self-indulgence from time to time can go a long way.

5. Make a mental note not to add “hate” in the world

It’s a sad reality, but there’s an awful lot of hate in this world already. You don’t have to look very far to see instances of hate, resentment, and, in far too many cases, pure evil. It exists at national levels, cultural levels, and personal levels.

While we are working to change the hate that exists at larger levels such as national and cultural, we can also change the hate that exists at the personal level by refusing to add any more of it to the world ourselves.

By avoiding anger and resentment, we are doing our part to not only improve our own health and happiness, but also to make the world at large a better place. If just a small percentage of people on earth were to adopt this mindset, think how much better off the world would be?

Make a mental note to not add any more hate to the world through anger and resentment, and start making the world a better place one person at a time.

“It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.” – Tyler Perry

Anger and resentment are two of the most harmful emotions a person can have. They are destructive not only to the person themselves, but also to everyone around them. Fortunately, we don’t have to be slaves to these emotions. Do everything you can to let go of any anger you might have, and start living a happier, healthier lifestyle.

How has letting go of anger improved your life? Please leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Kolyanne Russ is an Accounting Manager with CPA designation for one of the largest commercial real estate companies in North America. She is also a founder of Pinch of Attitude blog. It focuses on attitude-building, self-improvement, and lifestyle design to help people draw the right action plan and achieve a desirable balance between success and happiness. Her goal is to share her personal experiences as guidance for others to learn from and build the life of their dreams and experience true happiness in every area of their life. You can connect with her on Twitter @pinchofattitude.

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3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place? (more…)

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If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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3 Inspiring Lessons We Can Learn From Jim Carrey About the Law of Attraction

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You’ve more than likely heard of Jim Carrey before. Over the years, he has starred in many popular films including The Truman Show, The Mask, and Bruce Almighty (just to name a few.)

But his personality goes a lot deeper than just his comedic persona and movie star charisma. In fact, Jim Carrey is probably one of the most philosophical individuals on the planet

Although he isn’t in the spotlight as much anymore, throughout the years, he has credited his success and fortunes by applying the Law of attraction into his life. What’s even more inspiring is that Jim Carrey, like you and I, came from humble beginnings. No silver spoon or easy ticket. In fact, his family was very poor throughout his childhood. So what made him so successful in attracting such an extravagant and self-fulfilling life?

Here are 3 lessons you can learn from Jim Carrey when it comes to manifesting your dreams into a reality:

1. You Have To Take Action

You can’t just visualize then go eat a sandwich”, Jim Carrey says. It goes without saying that the law of attraction does require action. You cannot simply rely on visualizing and expect to see results, especially when it comes to manifesting desires that other people would like to achieve also. E.g. Careers, scholarships, competitions, anything that involves another individual.

Visualization and positive thinking are crucial when it comes to using the law of attraction, but you have to meet the universe halfway with the steps you take as well. We are physical beings that require physical steps to get physical results. The real key is to make daily plans/goals in order to get you closer towards achieving your desires. So after that sandwich, make sure start taking action toward your dreams!

This could be working on your hobbies or passion, applying for that dream job or studying to get better grades. As long as you are moving toward your goals then there’s no reason why it can’t happen. So get out there and kick some butt.

2. Double Down On What You Love

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that: You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If this story of Jim Carrey’s father doesn’t pull on your heartstrings and inspire you at the same time, nothing else will! This is such an undeniable life lesson that everyone needs to learn. A lesson to take risks, push comfort zones and go all-in on what you love doing. So if your dreams, hobbies or goals seem far fetched to the majority, then you are already beating the other 99%.

Be that 1% that’s willing to dream big and rise above the norm. Unfortunately, in today’s society, our ancestral instincts still rule our everyday life. Fear is one of them and controls the majority of our population. It’s scary to push comfort zones and try something new, the thought of failure is often paralyzing to many. But my question to you is, will you look back one day and regret the chances you didn’t take?

3. Keep Your Eye On The Prize

As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass.” Holding onto every little detail when it comes to manifesting, can conjure up more harm than good. The reason is that the universe will deliver in ways you might not expect.

If you are too busy wondering when your desires will manifest, comparing yourself to others, or ignoring every sign that doesn’t look like your detailed plan you’ve written down, then you may be missing out on opportunities that are right in front of you! Your visualizations don’t have to be perfect, in fact, it’s better to just let go altogether and focus on the result itself rather than dwelling on every little detail. This doesn’t mean to simply forget about what you want but instead having the confidence it will happen in time. 

An example of this is when Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for 30 million dollars. The only detail he knew was that he would earn it through his acting career, and he did indeed achieve this goal! So make sure to tell the universe what you want, but try not to hold onto every little detail!

Jim Carrey is just another person like you and me, with his own personal ups and downs in his road to success. He is someone to look up to when applying the law of attraction in your life too. It doesn’t matter if your goals or desires are different because the core foundation will always stay the same. You can and will do this if you think, feel and act as if it will happen!

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