10 Tips to control anger

Do you smoke when someone gets in front of your car in a traffic jam? Does your blood pressure go up when your child refuses to cooperate? Anger is a normal and healthy emotion, but it is important to deal with it positively. Uncontrolled anger can affect both your health and your relationships with others.

Are you ready to manage your temper? Start by considering these 10 tips for managing anger.

1. Think before you speak: In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll regret later. Take a few moments to sort out your thoughts before you say anything, and let everyone else involved in the situation do the same.

2. Once you have calmed down, express your anger: As soon as you begin to think clearly, express your frustration firmly but without confrontation. Explain your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

3. Exercise: Physical activity can help reduce the stress that can irritate you. If you feel that your discomfort keeps getting worse, go for a brisk walk, run, or do any other physical activity that you enjoy.

4. Isolate yourself for a while: The technique of temporary isolation is not just for children. Take short breaks during times of the day that are often stressful. Spending some quiet time can make you feel better able to handle what’s in front of you without getting irritated or angry.

5. Identify possible solutions: Instead of focusing on what made you angry, try to solve the problem at hand. Does the mess in your child’s room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Set dinner time for later or agree to eat alone a few times a week. Remember that anger won’t fix anything and could make the situation worse.

6. Always speak in the first person and say “I”: To avoid criticizing or blaming (which may only increase the tension), speak in the first person when explaining the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I am angry because you got up from the table without offering to help with the dishes,” instead of saying, “You never do anything around the house.

7. Don’t harbor resentment: Forgiveness is a very powerful thing. If you let anger or other negative feelings displace the positive ones, you can become absorbed in your bitterness or a sense of injustice. But if you can forgive the person who made you angry, you may both learn something from the situation. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to always react exactly as you want them to.

8. Use humor to release tension: Taking the matter seriously can help diffuse tension. Let your sense of humor help you deal with what is bothering you and possibly any unrealistic expectations you have of how things should go. However, avoid sarcasm, because it could hurt feelings and make things worse.

9. Practice relaxation techniques: When your character comes out, put your relaxation skills to work. Practice deep breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as “take it easy. You might also listen to music, keep a journal, or do a little yoga, whatever you need to do to promote relaxation.

10. Learn when to seek help: Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone, in time. Consider getting help if a problem seems to get out of control, moves you to do things you regret, or hurts those around you.