If an occasional bout of frustration has turned into a chronic problem, here’s one reason why.
According to new research from Iowa State University, just losing a couple of hours of sleep could make us feel more negative emotions.
That includes frustration, impatience, and yes, even anger.
Researchers made this discovery after testing two groups of adults: Ones who experienced restful sleep or sleep deprivation.
Participants listened to brown noise, such as the sound of spraying water, meant to trigger a negative reaction.
The sleep deprived participants reacted much more aggressively to these sounds, suggesting that sleep deprivation also heightened their response to negative stimuli.
So if you’re having a hard time controlling your mood, check your sleep patterns first.
Skimping on just 2 to 3 hours of sleep per day could be a huge trigger.
Other Ways to Control Your Anger
If you’re struggling to keep your negativity under control, not all hope is lost–here are 3 other tips that can help too.
1. Go for a workout. Anger often accumulates from a build-up of stress–and research shows physical exertion is a great stress-buster.
2. Take a timeout. If you feel ready to explode, now’s the time to remove yourself from the situation. By stepping away from the source of the problem for just as little as 5 minutes, you’ll calm down faster–and hopefully, have a clearer mind afterward.
3. Concentrate on breathing. Anger often causes our heart to race, exacerbating negativity.
To nip in in the bud, try breathing deeply and slowly, focusing on your diaphragm. This naturally slows down your heart rate and helps you stay in control of the situation–and not the other way around.