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Anger: Just One Letter Short of DANGER
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If you have angry workers in your department or you yourself are angry, you may end up reporting more injuries on the job. A recent study by the Annals of Family Medicine found that high levels of anger increase the risk of injury. Angry people are more likely to sustain injuries serious enough to require emergency medical care, and the risk is higher for men than women, says lead author Daniel Vinson of the University of Missouri.
The study, in the Annals of Family Medicine, found that nearly 32% of all the patients reported being irritable just before they were injured, 18% reported being angry and 13% reported being hostile.
Anger more than quadrupled a person's odds of being injured, while being hostile increased those odds sixfold. For men, Vinson says, the link was particularly clear. Another study that followed 100 drivers for two weeks linked episodes of anger with "near accidents". Two additional studies found that angry people were more likely to have car crashes or sustain football injuries.
There is little doubt that anger can be a contributing factor in workplace injuries, but what do you do about it? Here are some tips:
- Consciously determine to be calm. Don't react, think! Remember your goals and respond appropriately. Choose to remain calm!
- Communicate. When someone upsets you, tell them. Calmly talk to them about how you feel about their words or actions. Learn to express yourself better -- clear and composed. Choose to!
- Remove yourself. Get away from the scene until you can respond without anger. Your success will not happen overnight. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Remember to relax. Relaxation exercises or music can be helpful. Keep in mind you can reach out to someone you trust for help. Choose to!
- Frequently take time for yourself. Do something you enjoy like walking in the park, swimming, reading the Bible, or seeing a feel-good movie. Do something nice for someone you admire. It's okay to feel good about yourself. Choose to!
- Look for the positives. Don't dwell on the negatives. "Don't sweat the small stuff." Don't worry about things that are out of your personal control. This is difficult, but an attitute and behavior that can be learned!
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- Dolly Mthembu