Do you fume when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure rocket when your child refuses to cooperate? Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion — but it's important to deal with it in a positive way.
Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships.
So if you're ready to start taming your temper, here are 10 tips to get you started:
1. Understand what anger is
Anger is a natural emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. It can be helpful in certain situations, such as when you need to assert yourself or stand up for yourself. However, it can also get out of control and become destructive if it's not managed properly.
2. Recognize the signs that you're getting angry
If you can catch yourself early on, before your anger gets out of control, it will be much easier to manage. Watch for physical and emotional clues that indicate you're becoming angry, such as a pounding heart, clenched fists, narrowed eyes, or a raised voice.
3. Take a few deep breaths
When you start to feel your anger escalating, take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down. This will help to oxygenate your blood and lower your heart rate, which can help to diffuse the anger.
4. Remove yourself from the situation
If it's possible, remove yourself from the situation that's causing you to become angry. This may mean leaving a conversation or walking away from a situation. If you're driving, pull over to the side of the road.
5. Talk to someone about your anger
It can be helpful to talk to someone about your anger, especially if you're having trouble managing it on your own. Talking to a therapist, counselor, or friend can help you to understand the source of your anger and learn how to manage it.
6. Write down your feelings
Another way to deal with your anger is to write down what you're feeling. This can help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings and may help to dissipate the anger.
7. Use relaxation techniques
There are a number of relaxation techniques that can help to diffuse anger, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
8. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can both aggravate anger, so it's best to avoid them when you're feeling angry.
9. Don't take things too personally
When you're feeling angry, it's important to remember not to take things too personally. Remember that other people may not be thinking or reacting the way you want them to, and that's OK.
10. Seek professional help if needed
If you find that you're struggling to manage your anger on your own, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can assist you in managing your anger and helping you to understand the root causes.
Anger is often caused by feelings of frustration or helplessness. Once you understand what triggers your anger, you can work on avoiding those situations or dealing with them in a healthier way.
Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child's messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week.
Remind yourself that anger won't fix anything and might only make it worse.