How to manage anger effectively during a pandemic
If you’ve experienced more anger than usual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, know that you are not alone. Many people are experiencing heightened feelings of anger, along with other emotions and issues surrounding mental health, during the pandemic. People are losing their loved ones, jobs, routine, and virtually any feeling of normalcy. On top of that, it’s more difficult for many to connect with their family and loved ones. Whatever the reason behind your anger, the last thing you want is to come out of the pandemic feeling defeated. In this Pacific Prime Hong Kong article, we look at how you can manage anger effectively during a pandemic.
Anger and COVID-19: Why more people are struggling
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about huge changes to our lives. When you think of anger as a sign of distress and the way we show our suffering, it makes sense that many of us would be feeling this way during these uncertain times.
Picture anger as an iceberg. Outwardly expressing anger is just the tip, or what is visible to ourselves and the world around us. However, there are often hidden emotions, such as fear and pain, beneath the obvious anger. Anger is an important emotion that lets us know what we stand for and where we draw our boundaries. Without it, we would just let things happen to us and be too accommodating to others.
As with any emotion, ignoring anger is not the answer. Suppressing our emotions not only strains us even more but also causes them to fester inside until we explode. That’s why we must learn how to recognize and manage anger. By doing so, we’ll be able to turn it into something that benefits us instead.
How to deal with anger during lockdown
The most effective way to deal with anger during lockdown, or any time for that matter, is to change your relationship with the emotion. Instead of seeing anger as something negative that you need to avoid, destroy, or distance yourself from, you want to be able to find ways to use it. You’ll find that being a good host to anger and other emotions makes it easier to experience what you need to and to keep moving in life.
There is a well-known process that is often used in mindfulness practices that can help. Known as R.A.I.N., this useful acronym can guide you through any difficult emotion. It stands for:
- R – Recognize when you are angry and identify the presence of anger in your body.
- A – Accept that the emotion is there and that it’s okay to feel that way.
- I – Investigate what is going on in your body and examine what it feels like to be angry.
- N – Nurture the emotion. It’s important to be kind to yourself when you’re experiencing anger. Instead of blaming yourself or being self-critical, be compassionate. When you are considerate of what you are feeling and allow it to pass through you, you’ll see that it is part of the ebb and flow of life.
The next time you start to feel angry, take a moment to pause and practice deep breathing. This technique helps to lower your heart rate and restore your ability to think. Once your heart rate has decreased, reflect on R.A.I.N., going through each letter until you’re ready to move on to the next one. Lastly, think about what the ideal outcome from the situation would be and what you can do to get there.
Strategies for anger management during COVID-19
Along with R.A.I.N., there are some simple strategies that you can use to manage anger and lower stress levels.
- Journal – Getting your thoughts out on paper is one of the best things you can do to get out what’s bothering you inside.
- Exercise – Staying active is crucial during the pandemic. When you’re angry, moving your body helps you release tension and shifts your energy around. It’s even better if you can get some exercise outside for fresh air, but don’t worry if you can’t.
- Meditate – Similar to the deep breathing mentioned above, meditation will help you calm down and be more mindful.
- Use your hands – Whether you enjoy cooking, painting, knitting, or fixing up your car, find a creative or productive way to use your hands when you’re angry.
- Call a loved one – Sometimes all you need to do is phone a friend and vent. Having someone you can share your feelings with without any judgment can help as much as a therapy session.
When is anger management needed?
Even if you know how to release anger, you may still find that the emotion is too much to deal with alone. If anger is affecting the way you live, your relationships, your work, or other areas of your life, you could benefit from professional anger management. If you find yourself wondering when anger management is needed, chances are you could already benefit from talking to a professional.
Fortunately, it’s easy to find therapy services online nowadays, with many offering help through audio and video calls to comply with social distancing and other COVID-19-related issues. There are plenty of mental health resources in Hong Kong worth checking out too.
Remember that prolonged exposure to anger and stress can be detrimental to your health. Anger and stress are linked to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, peptic ulcers, and stroke. It’s also suggested that anger can worsen chronic pain. Additionally, anger can weaken your immune system, and a strong immune system is essential right now. Take care of your health and your mind so you can make it through these difficult times in the healthiest way possible.
Put your health first
One of the best ways you can prioritize your health is by securing health insurance. But with so many options out there, how do you know where to find the best individual health insurance in Hong Kong? That’s where Pacific Prime comes in. With over two decades of experience in the insurance industry, we have the expertise to help you secure the right health insurance in Hong Kong for your needs and budget. Contact us for impartial advice or a free plan comparison today.
When she’s not writing, she’s likely searching for a new restaurant or cafe to try, reading or doing yoga.
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