Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. When it gets out of control it can turn destructive and can lead to problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the quality of your life. It can also make you feel as though you are at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.
Anger can be caused by both internal and external events. You can be angry at a specific person or event, or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Even memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings.
Here are 10 tips to tame your anger:
- Take a time out – Count to 10. Before reacting to a tense situation, take few moments to breathe deeply and count to 10. Slowing down can help defuse your temper.
- Once you’re calm, express your anger – As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
- Get some exercise – Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to erupt. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a walk or run, or spend some time doing other favorite physical activities.
- Think before you speak – In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you will regret later. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything.Identify possible solutions – Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand.
- Stick with “I” statements – To avoid criticizing or placing blame, use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific.
- Don’t hold a grudge – If you forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation.
- Use humor to release tension – Lightening up can diffuse the situation.
- Practice relaxation skills – When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work.
Know when to seek help – Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.