Anger can be a useful emotion because it tells us when something is unfair or unjust.
We’re often told to hide our anger or to squash it down, but no emotion is a bad one, and we can’t turn them off.
Instead, we should see anger as motivation to try and address the unfairness we’re experiencing – but we need to do it in a productive way. So how do we deal with anger?
Although we all experience anger differently, it tends to follow the same general path. We start off calm, but then something triggers a feeling of anger in us and we become bothered. If we aren’t able to deal with that, it can escalate to anger and eventually can result in a pretty dramatic eruption.
So, to avoid an eruption, here’s how you can reprogramme your anger into something positive.
Reprogramming Your Anger
1. Recognise your trigger and how you’re feeling
Ask yourself questions
Am I angry or is it a different feeling?
What has caused it?
Then check your body for
Increased heart rate
Check your mind for
Then check your behaviour
Are you acting as you would if you were calm?
2. Pause the escalation for a moment so you can reassess
Control your breathing
Count to ten
Go for a walk
Put it in perspective: “will this matter tomorrow? next week? next year?”
Feeling sad is something that happens to all of us. Your football team loses, you fall out with a friend, or something much worse happens, and it can feel like a smile is a distant memory. But what is sadness, and what actually happens to us when we feel sad?
What does serotonin do?
So this tricky little neurotransmitter in our brains is what is responsible for us feeling sad, called serotonin. A neurotransmitter essentially carries signals around our brain that controls how we feel. So, serotonin’s job is to deliver emotions and carry messages about our mood, and it’s often labelled as the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter. It also transmits signals which help wounds to heal, and which help our digestive system to function normally.
We all have an evolutionary response to stuff that happens with us, to fight, flight or freeze. Serotonin is responsible for the freeze response in humans.
So, this is why we get depression?
There is a definite link between low serotonin levels and sadness and depression. But having less serotonin doesn’t always mean you get depression. The brains of teenagers typically have a little less serotonin than adults, which means it’s harder to process emotions, and which is probably why we all feel a bit crap when we’re teenagers.
Why do we want to increase it?
Even though it might seem like we don’t have a huge amount of control over what goes in our brains at times, increasing serotonin levels is important if we have a deficiency given its link to depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. Doing things to naturally boost serotonin will boost our general mood and having good levels of serotonin also means we literally heal from wounds faster, so it’s basically a super power.
It’s important to know though that being sad, or feeling the effects of depression, is not a sign of weakness. If you need to talk to someone, reach out to our community here for free confidential support and advice.
How do we do it then?
Exercise every day – it boosts serotonin in your brain and some studies have demonstrated that exercise is at least equally effective at increasing available serotonin as serotonin-enhancing medications
Get your gut healthy – Much of the serotonin in your body is produced in your gut
Watch what you eat – Foods high in simple carbohydrates, such as pasta, potatoes, bread, pastries, pretzels, and popcorn, typically increase insulin levels and allow more tryptophan (the natural amino acid building block for serotonin) to enter the brain, where the brain cells can convert it to serotonin.
Light – some research suggests that serotonin tends to be lower after winter and higher in summer and fall. Serotonin’s known impact on mood helps support a link between this finding and the occurrence of seasonal affective disorder and mental health concerns linked to the seasons.
Want to know more? Here’s some things you should definitely be reading right now!
What actually makes us happy? There are lots of things we think will make us happy, but that kind of happiness doesn’t seem to last very long most of the time. One of the reasons for this, is a brain feature called the Hedonic Treadmill. The Hedonic Treadmill is when we feel happy or sad for a time, but then return to feeling normal. So, even though we think earning lots of money and buying things will make us happy, we can’t buy happiness, and increasing happiness doesn’t necessarily come from working hard.
For example, when you get a new phone it can make you feel really good. But it doesn’t take long before we get used to it, and eventually just take it for granted.
There are several hormones that are responsible for happiness, and these are endorphins, which are increased with exercise, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.
Luckily, it’s easy to increase our general sense of happiness, by doing a few simple things…
5 Tricks to Being Happier
Having meaningful connections to the people and the world around you
Learning new things, and always challenging yourself to improve
Living an active lifestyle and keeping physically active
Taking notice of the good things going on in your life by keeping a gratitude journal at the end of every day
Giving time, money and attention to other people
Happiness is a tricky thing, but doing these things every day, you will start to see your general feelings of happiness increase.
Take a moment to think about a time when you were really angry.
What was happening in your body? Maybe your face felt hot? Or your palms started sweating?
When we feel an emotion, it’s not just happening in our head – our whole body experiences it.
Our mind is constantly in communication with our body. Together, they are sharing information about whether we are safe, or in danger. If our mind senses a threat, it can start a stress response which you may have heard of…
It’s called Fight, Flight or Freeze.
As soon as our brain sense threat, it floods us with hormones to make us do one of three things:
Fight the danger
Flee (run away from) the danger
Freeze on the spot, so we don’t draw attention to ourselves
If our brain decides we need to fight the threat, our heart rate increases and our blood pressure rises. This ensures that our muscles have a good blood supply.
Our muscles tense, our face flushes, and we speak more loudly – a way to intimidate the danger and alert it to the fact that we’re ready to fight.
In prehistoric times, this gave us the best chance of escaping from serious danger, and it has been our body’s natural response for the whole of human history.
How Do I Stop Myself From Getting Angry?
Stopping ourselves from getting angry can be a pretty difficult task, especially if we feel like the situation is asking for us to respond that way. But often, we can overreact to things, or what might be small appears larger, and we can get angry for little reason. It’s then what we do when we are angry that can have big consequences for us and those around us.
Here are some super fast top tips to calm down:
Pause, and breathe
Go for a walk or remove yourself from the situation
Take it out on a cushion if you feel you have to
Channel your energy into something constructive – do some exercise, write in a journal, do something creative that will help you take your mind off the situation
Comparing ourselves to the people around us is totally normal. It can even be helpful, because it helps us work out who we are and what we’re good at. But unfortunately, we’re surrounded by unrealistic examples of what our lives ‘should’ be like, which is especially true on social media.
Social media has invented a new way for us to compare ourselves to other people. We see people posting about the best bits of their lives and we forget that they don’t share all the bad bits too.
This can all add up and make us feel like we’re not good enough and companies take advantage of this, making lots of money selling products to make us ‘look better’, ‘be stronger’, ‘fit in’… but, ya know, always stand out and be yourself as well.
But, did you know…?
It only takes two weeks to change your self-esteem. So even if you feel like you’re not good enough compared to the people around you, there are some simple steps that you can take to build up your confidence. Before you know it, you’ll stop comparing yourself to the people around you and start to embrace the fact that you are the best person out there at being you.
8 Things That Will Make You Feel More Secure In Yourself
Use your strengths
The VIA Character Strengths are 24 strengths that all of us have in different combinations, and each of us is strongest in different areas.
No-one can be good at everything and that’s OK. So instead of focusing on where we’re weakest, we should remember all the things we are great at!
The best way to boost your self-esteem is to find ways to use your natural strengths to help the people around us. It feels really rewarding and fulfilling to be the best person we can be.
Acknowledge your thoughts
When you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, notice it and recognise what you’re doing, and what your brain is saying. Instead of trying to ignore the thoughts – say hi to them, and realise they’re there.
Pull the brakes
When you experience negative self-talk – literally say the word STOP out loud to yourself. This interrupts the negative stream of thought.
Flip the negatives
Reframe the negative thoughts so that they focus on the positive instead.
Find the full half of the glass.
Step away from social media
Take some time away from your social feeds, and give your comparing brain a rest.
Unfollow anyone who you compare against
When/if you do go back online, make sure you’re only following people who make you feel good.
Be your own best friend
Next time your negative voices kick in, reply as if you were talking to your best friend.
Tell yourself positive statements which challenge your negative beliefs.
Think of three negative things that you believe about yourself and then flip them around so that they become positive statements. These flipped beliefs are called affirmations.
If you can’t think of any negative beliefs, think of three things that you want for yourself, for example “I want to get a distinction in my piano exam”, and turn them into ‘I am’ statements: “I am going to get a distinction in my piano exam.’
Every time you brush your teeth, or when you get a spare moment, silently repeat the affirmations to yourself.
We’ve all felt stressed before. Exams, money worries, family issues, friend drama. Whatever negatively impacts your life is sure to bring with it some stress. But what actually is it? And what does it actually do to us?
Stress is a state of emotional tension that we experience when our brain thinks that we are under threat. It developed as a very useful feature which helped us to run away from predators, and other immediate dangers. When our brain senses that it’s under threat, it instructs our body to release several hormones, including one called cortisol.
The hormone cortisol has several key roles in preparing us for danger:
It affects our immune system, preparing us for injury
Makes us hyper aware of potential threats
Increases glucose levels in our blood, so that we have the energy to run
Suppresses our digestive system, because if we’re under threat we don’t need to be worrying about eating
Increases our blood pressure, so that we get blood to our muscles more quickly
Reduces our sensitivity to pain, in case we are injured.
All of these effects are very useful in short-term emergency situations
The problem now, is that our modern society is filled with lots of things that make our brain feel threatened, or under attack. These small things can add up, making us feel stressed
We are all unique, so each of us can tolerate a different level of stress before it gets overwhelming. Some people can “fill up” more quickly than others, meaning they get stressed more easily, and that’s OK.
Whatever your capacity, whether you’re a tiny teacup or a massive mug, even the small things can add up until they overflow. This can make us feel overwhelmed and out of control.
The good news is there are lots of ways we can reduce our cortisol levels, and show our brains that we are not under threat. The key thing is that dealing with stress requires an active response.
CONNECT WITH NATURE
Whether it’s cycling through the woods, sitting on the beach, or hiking in the hills – being in nature automatically soothes our brain and helps us to relax.
If you can’t get outside, even listening to nature sounds can help you to de-stress.
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, tell someone about it. You don’t have to carry stress by yourself – and sometimes just speaking about it can help us feel more in control. A problem shared is a problem halved.
SAVOUR THE MOMENT
Rather than focusing on the stressful times, we can unwind by focusing on the good moments in our lives. Next time something good happens to you, stop and really enjoy it – taking in all the details about what it feels like.
PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE
If you find yourself feeling stressed about something, ask yourself –
“How much will this matter tomorrow?”
“How much will this matter next week?”
“How much will this matter next year?”
WRITE A TO-DO LIST
Sometimes we can feel like we don’t have enough time in the day, and this can make us feel stressed. By writing a to-do list, or a schedule, we can allocate time to work, socialise and relax, giving us more balance and control.
Think of as many different solutions to the problem as you can, or look at it from as many points of view as you can. Challenge yourself, to see how many you can come up with.
So unless you have been living under a rock, it’s been pretty impossible to avoid Fortnite. The Epic Games smash hit quickly became pretty much the biggest thing on the internet, basically pulling more players than populations of entire countries, from all over the world. Well, it would appear the end game is coming now, because it just blew the F up. Literally. Epic blew it up last night and with that, the internet has once again gone into full meltdown. So, just in case you need something else to do that isn’t staring into the black hole that the game got sucked into (along with all your hopes and dreams amiright?), we bring you a list of the best reactions from across the internet.
1) Reddit is dying rn
Despite it probably being one of the best marketing ideas in history, fans on Reddit are in full meltdown, and most of them are pretty mad. Mostly because no one has any real idea what’s going to happen now.
But as always, Reddit does not disappoint with it’s wild memes.
2) Here are some of the best reactions Twitter had to offer
Someone figured we would all return to the days of Clippy’s helpful hints from old school Windows computers.
And the memes are going strong…
3) Even the news is covering it now
In a mad turn of events CBS News covered the Fortnite Blackout on the morning news. In the UK, it’s one of the most read stories on BBC News, and newspapers around the world are writing about it. So if someone ever tells you gaming doesn’t matter, they’re pretty clearly wrong.
4) Apex Legends had to weigh in
Competing games are jumping on the hype bandwagon by posting their own memes in response. Big time opponent Apex Legends joked they were responsible for the Blackout, inviting players to come and play away the black hole pain.
5) Everyone has gone full detective
Seriously. Some CSI stuff is going down on social media. Like, basically everyone is saying that Donald Mustard, who works at Epic, gave a huge hint as to how long we’re locked out for. Basically, he tweeted about the Eiffel Tower which is actually a key example of how long a black hole lasts. If this theory pans out, then the game will be back about 7pm tonight, so buckle up.
Not just that, but the hole has been spitting out numbers for the past 12 hours. Some eagle eyed fans decided to put these into Google Maps, and turns out they are coordinates that take you to the meme of all memes.
6) And if you believe everything, then Epic Games is leakier than a bucket with a hole in the bottom
There’s some serious controversy going down as to whether Ninja actually knows ANYTHING about Season 11 after he claimed to have been playing it before all the rest of y’all. He put out a tweet saying 250,000 likes would get you a hint, and that hint was literally a black screen as he whispered the word ‘tacos’.
Other ‘leaks’ have been new characters, weaponry, even chunks of map. But, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet right? Plus, if it is all leaks, then Epic has got a pretty damn serious plumbing problem if you ask us.
7) And all the while, Fortnite be like…
Blackout. All tweets gone. Just that live stream there to taunt you to hell and back.
That buffering symbol underneath just wants to watch the world burn. Here’s to Season 11, it’s going to be wild.
Stress is a feeling that we have all experienced to some extent or another, and it can sometimes be tempting to try and ignore it, or hope that it goes away.
Our lives are full of stress, even if we don’t realise it. Every day we experience micro doses of stress which can build up and make us feel overwhelmed and unhappy. These can be anything from missing a bus, to sleeping through your alarm. They are small, but they can seriously stress you out when you get a lot of them. Each micro dose of stress releases a hormone called Cortisol.
Can you spot all of the small microdoses of stress which Jay experiences in a normal morning?
Case Study – Jay
Jay’s alarm goes off, shocking him out of a peaceful dream. He snoozes it three times, and each time he is jolted awake again by the alarm. He checks his phone and scrolls through Instagram, noticing that one of his friends has posted some worrying statistics about climate change. Jay reposts the statistics, but gets no immediate likes.
His dad shouts up the stairs telling him he’s going to be late for school.
Jay searches around for his uniform in his messy bedroom, flinging through the piles of clothes on his floor, but he can’t find his tie anywhere. He knows if he turns up without it he will be in trouble with Ms Earl again.
There is traffic on the way to school, and Jay’s dad is shouting at the other drivers, telling them to hurry up and get out of the way.
When he finally arrives, Ms Earl immediately spots that Jay doesn’t have a tie, and gives him a detention for being late and for not having a tie.
In his science lesson, Mr Okoro asks Jay to read a paragraph out loud from the textbook, but Jay doesn’t know how to pronounce some of the words. He trips over the words, and his classmates laugh. Jay swears at them, and Mr Okoro immediately tells him off and gives him another detention. He keeps Jay behind after the lesson to explain that his behaviour was unacceptable, making Jay late for lunch.
By the time Jay gets to the canteen, there is a massive queue, and he has to wait in line behind a group of Year 7s, who are pushing each other and laughing. One bumps into Jay and laughs. Eventually, Jay gets to the front of the queue, only to find that they’ve sold out of pizza.
No one likes to lose. From screaming and stamping your feet when you are little kid to maybe getting a little bit too upset and the games controller magically somehow flying across the room by itself, losing can really bring out a weird and quite angry side of most of us. Plus, we can’t even keep track of how many ‘sore loser’ moments have caused a big family feud around the Monopoly board at Christmas time. So, we think it might finally be time to nip this bad behaviour in the bud and make sure you can lose as gracefully as Jonathan Van Ness is on ice skates.
1) Don’t get angry or aggressive
We know – this is easier said than done right? When you are feeling fired up, it seems like the only solution is to shout about it. Actually though, getting angry is more than likely going to end up losing you access to online games if your anger becomes something more toxic, such as swearing or getting aggressive to other players. If you’re playing sphere is away from the console, then it might end up losing you some playing buddies as well.
Try a quick technique for dispelling that feeling of anger bubbling up – the Naam Yoga Hand Trick. Using your fingertips, apply pressure to the space between the knuckles of your index and middle fingers. This creates a sense of immediate relaxation by activating a nerve that loosens the area around your heart (don’t worry, it’s not as life-threatening as it sounds). Whilst you are doing it, breathe in through your nose for three seconds, and out for three seconds. If only the Incredible Hulk knew this one.
2) Try not to get too upset
Sometimes, you just can’t help it. The sting of defeat quickly becomes that familiar feeling of stinging behind your eyes like when your brother beat you at Connect 4 for the first time when you were a kid.
The important thing to remember is that it is ok to feel upset about things, and often ignoring it will eventually make it worse. But, if this is part of a pattern of behaviour after losing every game you ever play even as you get older, there may be something that you need to have a think about addressing.
When you start to feel like you feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sense of defeat, try a quick mindfulness technique. Breathing deeply and slowly, think about five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste around you.
Taking a moment to concentrate on something other than how upset or angry you are feeling and instead focus on your body should help to keep you calm and relaxed.
3) Don’t take it out on other players
This a sure-fire way to lose any chance of playing again. Alienating other players by getting aggressive, rude or even harassing them could not only lose you friends, but it could also get you banned from playing long term – especially true if you are an online gamer or a tournament player in games like Magic the Gathering or Warhammer.
If you are in an online game and you feel like another player has done you dirty through breaking the rules, or have been targeting you, report them. If it is Fortnite specifically, check out our guide to reporting in the game here.
4) Don’t quit
It can be super tempting when you are losing, to bow out of the game altogether. Not only will this not solve anything, but it has the potential to ruin everyone else’s experience.
Instead of quitting, get back up and keep trying – the more you play any game, the better you will get. Use it as a learning opportunity, a chance to see what better players than you do and steal their skills for next time. You never know, when the next game rolls around, you could be one coming out on top because you stayed in the losing battle.
5) Remember – it’s only a game
No matter if it’s a football match or FIFA, a battle royale in Tilted Towers or a battle for Mayfair in Monopoly, it is important to remember that it is only a game. Whilst yes, they are designed to be competitive, they are also designed to be fun.
If you find the game is stressing you out, take a step back from it and take a break from playing for a while. When you go back, you might find you enjoy it more, and you won’t have lost friends or respect like you might have done had you done some of the other stuff written above. We call that a win.
Probably everyone at some point has thought about the possibility of making money from gaming at some point in their life. Maybe it was when you were 10 and mastering your Game Boy, or maybe you are deep in Twitch streams every day after class now. If you game frequently though, you know there are always ways to get better. That’s why we have put together a little list of tips for making the fastest improvements to your gaming.
Just before we start the list, make sure you keep an eye out for our tournaments with Lt. LickMe and UMG. We run them every month, so get Twitch at the ready because we will be streaming alongside some epic players raising awareness about cyberbullying in games.
1) Team work makes the dream work
It may be a very obvious thing to day, but if you’re game of choice is a team game, communication is the key to success. Always make sure you are updating others on your location, planning tactics or calling for the ball (#RocketLeagueForever) as well as letting the rest of your team know what the opposition are up to.
Just make sure you are staying on the right side of the rule book – Fortnite publishers Epic are anti-teaming in a solo game of Battle Royale and have said they will be cracking down on those who take on the 100 in illegal teams so make sure you are playing by the rules before creating a squad.
2) Play by the rules
There has been a lot of talk recently about the level of cheating in online gaming. Whilst it might seem tempting as a quick way to rise through the ranks of your online opponents, cheating is a big risk. Apex Legends just banned 350,000 players for cheating in the game, and publishers Respawn can track hardware ID to ensure you can’t just start a new account with a new email. Plus, it’s not just them – other publishers are cracking down on the use of cheating apps and tactics. Basically, don’t do it – or you’ll get banned at some point. And you can’t improve on your gaming with no game to do it in.
3) Take it from the pros
It’s true in any sport ever – you learn from people who are better than you at the game. So put the controller down and hit up Twitch, YouTube, and Reddit. If your pals are better, take some pointers from them after they have had a particularly good run. It all adds up! Also, if you can, get yourself down to a gaming expo or convention – these events are full of brands, publishers, developers and pro gamers who are literally waiting to share their advice, challenge you to tournaments and let you try new games. All of this experience is sure to add to your gameplay.
4) Replay Replay Replay
If someone has owned you with a kill only Shroud could dream of, don’t take it personally. In fact, watch the action replays of how they managed it. That was you can see what you did wrong and what they did right so that you aren’t making the same mistakes twice, and steal their tactics for next time. You’ll soon have a streak to die for (not you though – you are too good to die now).
5) Cut the toxicity
We’ve all heard a lot about toxic gaming lately. But it is true that cutting some of this behaviour, or removing yourself from a match that is full of it, will definitely help to improve your game play. Insulting, abusive language, cheating, blaming every bad move on other players – if you are filling up your game time with all of this then how are you ever going to get better? Plus, if you are around it all the time, the game quickly becomes way less fun than before. So cut out the toxic behaviour from your gaming, whether it is you or others who are doing it, and start focussing on other things.
It might sound obvious, but remember to have fun whilst you are playing. Explore new maps, worm out those elusive Easter Eggs you heard about on Twitter, play a round just with your buddies for the LOLs. Taking it all too seriously is a sure fire way to get worked up, and anger never helped anyone to win a game of Battle Royale. This is a great way to reset any toxic behaviour and get your gaming back to having fun. Remember – if it’s fun, the hours you spend getting better will go by in no time.
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