Top 10 Tips: How to Control Anger

by Laura Kronen on April 7, 2014

get rid of angerKeeping your anger in check can be challenging.  Use these Top 10  anger management tips to stay in control and calm you down:

1.  Take a timeout.  Take a break as soon as you recognize you are angry.  Stop what you are doing, get away from whatever is irritating you and take a breather. Removing yourself completely from what is upsetting you will make it infinitely easier to calm down.  It always works.  If you are experiencing road rage, pull off of the road and turn off the car.  If you are angry at home, go into the bathroom and close the door.  If you are angry at work, step outside for a moment.  It works.

2.  Breathe deeply.  Counting to ten isn’t just for kids.  Before reacting, take a deep breath and slowly count to ten.  Repeat as many times as necessary. This is the equivalent of defusing a bomb.

3.  Practice positive self-talk.  When you are ready, discuss the situation with yourself in positive and relieving terms.  For instance, say someone cut you off and ran you off the road.  Maybe you can tell yourself that the guy was possibly experiencing an emergency. Or confirm to yourself that you will probably never see that person again. Or maybe focus on that you are lucky to be unhurt.  These are all positive spins on the anger that built up in you. You might even be able to find the humor in a situation as well, so try to see the lighter side. Humor can help balance your perspective and also help when you find yourself being unreasonable.

4.  Once you are calm, express your anger.  As soon as you are thinking clearly, express your anger in an assertive, but non-confrontational way.  Think before your speak. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts and then state your concerns and needs clearly and directly.

5. Get some exercise.  Physical activity provides a great outlet for emotions, especially if you feel anger about to erupt.  Go for a brisk walk or run or spend some time doing a physical activity you enjoy. Exercise stimulates brain chemicals that will leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.

6.  Ask for the support of a friend or someone you trust. If you are still upset, sharing your feelings with a close friend or confidant might help. As long as you just vent about it and then promise yourself you will not dwell and you’ll let it go.Keep a journal to get out your anger on paper.  Sometimes all it takes is a little release, whether it be talking about it to a neutral party or getting the thoughts out of your head by writing them down. Of course, if you feel that your anger has progressed to the point that it’s interfering with your day to day life, please see a therapist or coach.

7. Identify possible solutions. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, focus on the solution. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and will probably just make it worse. Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It doesn’t work that way. 

8. Avoid what you can.  If you get furious when you walk by your child’s messy room, shut the door. If being around a certain person, gets your blood boiling, avoid them.

9.  Consider the timing.  Think about when you are getting angry. Are you tired? Distracted? Try changing the times when you talk about important matters so arguments are less likely.

10.  Establish better communication. Angry people tend to jump to conclusions. It’s natural to get defensive when you are criticized, but don’t fight back. Instead listen carefully to what the other person is saying. And take your time before answering. Instead of saying the first thing that comes into your head, think carefully about what you want to say.

 

 

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