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Mood Freezing

Anger is red hot. Like other instinctual drives, existential experiences and primitive affects, anger can be denied or repressed. And when anger is chronically repressed, it becomes problematical, pathological, toxic and potentially dangerous to self and others. The solution, however, is not to hit a punching bag: This will not make the anger, resentment or bitterness disappear. But it will likely provide some momentary release of tension. The misconception that was held for long was that venting anger is an effective way to reduce stress. Venting feels great. It feels like if you get the bad stuff out you’ll return to normal.

An experiment was conducted in the year 1984. In the experiment the subjects after being deliberately annoyed were given placebo pills which according to the instructions were supposed to calm them or at least make them believe the same. When these participants are artificially infuriated and then given the fake pill, they both reduce their angry outbursts and – importantly- say that the feel better. This brings up the concept of mood freezing.

Mood freezing is the ability of an individual to alter their emotions when they are conscious and pensive. The method used showed that once people were convinced that aggression would fail to give them relief, they actually tried other methods which made them feel better! As a result, it was concluded that expressing unpleasant feelings doesn’t actually help to release them in the ways that other methods can. Sometimes having a few minutes to yourself or finding a distraction can help you see things in a different light.

Benefits of Mood Freezing

1) Protect your relationships

Blowing off steam can distance you from your loved ones. Respectful discussions smooth the way for staying connected and for greater cooperation.

2) Clarify your thinking

Anger and stress clouds our minds. It’s easier to be logical when you’re calm.

3) Avoid regrets

Once you use your upper case voice, it’s hard to take it back. Speaking gently spares you from having to make a lot of repairs.

4) Enjoy more happiness

Anger may sometimes feel exciting. However, in the long term, abandoning aggression will make you more content.

Mood Freezing Techniques

There are a ton of mood freezing techniques that are effective at helping to calm you down:

1) Accept the situation

Decide to make the best of whatever happens. As you pay attention to things you do have control over, other factors can become less frustrating.

2) Practice relaxation

Develop relaxation methods that work for you. Engage in daily meditation or take a walk. Listen to instrumental music or schedule a massage after work.

3) Get to a quiet place

Modern life bombards us with noise, so it can be nice to have someplace you can retreat to.

4) Take a pause

There is a lot of power in stopping your anger by counting to ten. Give yourself time to consider how to respond.

5) Anticipate consequences

Use that pause to calculate how different approaches are likely to turn out.

6) Talk it over

Direct discussions usually work best. Negotiate a flexible work schedule with your boss rather than letting resentments build up.

7) Challenge media representations

Media tends to celebrate aggression. Maintain a critical mind so you can separate entertainment from real life.

8) Seek distractions

Some things need to be examined and others are best left alone. Listen to an audio book to take your mind off a long daily commute.

9) Analyze events

On the other hand, serious issues require more attention. Ask yourself why a co-working relationship now seems strained. It may be worth getting to the bottom of.

10) Address root causes

Make an effort to identify the ultimate source of your feelings. Your distress over small tasks may really be tied to deeper concerns.

11) Change your routine

There may be a dilemma in your life or recurring patterns that bother you. If you want different results, do things differently.

Next time anger strikes, mood freezing can be a great option. No pill is necessary, just try to vent less and relax more.