Do you struggle with anger management issues? Researchers now say all you need to do is write down your feelings on a piece of paper and discard it.

The simple technique that involves writing down one's reaction to a negative incident on a piece of paper and then shredding it or throwing it away was found effective by a group of researchers in Japan.

The current study published in the journal Scientific Reports was the culmination of years of previous research on the association between the written word and anger reduction. It builds on previous findings that show how interactions with tangible objects can influence an individual's mood.

"We expected that our method would suppress anger to some extent. However, we were amazed that anger was eliminated almost entirely," lead researcher Nobuyuki Kawai, from the Graduate School of Informatics, Nagoya University said in a news release.

In their study, Kawai and his graduate student Yuta Kanaya instructed 57 participants who were students from a local university to share their thoughts on significant social issues, such as whether public smoking should be banned. The participants were informed that their writing would be assessed by a doctoral student from Nagoya University.

However, the doctoral students doing the evaluation were plants. They consistently rated the participants low on intelligence, interest, friendliness, logic, and rationality, regardless of their answers.

To further provoke the participants, they wrote the same insulting comment on their answer sheets: "I cannot believe an educated person would think like this. I hope this person learns something while at the university."

After the answer sheets were handed out, the researchers asked the participants to write their thoughts on the feedback, asking them to identify what triggered their emotions.

One group of participants was then asked to either dispose of the paper they wrote in a trash can or keep it in a file on their desk while the second group could destroy it in a shredder or put it in a plastic box.

The participants were then asked to rate their anger after the insult and after either disposing of or keeping the paper. The participants had a higher level of anger after receiving insulting comments as expected.

"However, the anger levels of the individuals who discarded their paper in the trash can or shredded it returned to their initial state after disposing of the paper. Meanwhile, the participants who held on to a hard copy of the insult experienced only a small decrease in their overall anger," the news release stated.

Researchers believe that their findings are relevant as controlling anger at home and in the workplace is essential for reducing negative consequences in an individual's personal and professional lives. Additionally, many anger management techniques recommended by experts lack solid empirical research backing and may be difficult to remember when one is in a fit of anger.

The researchers hope the technique will be helpful to businesspeople who find themselves in stressful situations. "This technique could be applied at the moment by writing down the source of anger as if taking a memo and then throwing it away when one feels angry in a business situation," Kawai said.