Anger is a natural emotion we have all felt at one point or another. With the multitude of outside stressors in life, everything from traffic jams to being overloaded at work or getting into an argument with your guy, could potentially set you off. You can’t get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you but you can learn to control your reactions. For your physical, emotional and mental well being, here are simple strategies to get your anger under control when you feel like you’re going to explode.
When anger strikes:
Count to ten.
We’re serious. It’s a tried and true method. Breathe deeply and slowly between each number. Inhale slowly through your nose and allow your lungs and lower abdomen to relax and expand as it fills with air. When your lungs and abdomen are full, slowly exhale the air through your mouth. Bring your attention back to your breathing if you find your mind wandering while performing this task.
Take a hike. Literally.
Engaging in physical activity is a proven outlet for tempering your emotions, especially if you're about to erupt. If not a hike, go for a walk or a run, swim, shoot hoops anything to get your body moving. The endorphins you produce will certainly help to tame your anger.
Visualize your special stress-free oasis.
Designate one place in your mind as your “happy place”. Whenever you’re angry, close your eyes for a moment and mentally travel to this relaxing spot. While in your happy place, you may even come to the realization that whatever has gotten you angry isn’t going to matter ten years from now, or even in ten hours.
Chant to calmness.
Come up with a personal mantra to soothe yourself when you’re about to erupt. Make the phrase as simple as “take it easy” or “it’s not worth it” and repeat until you start to calm down. While chanting your mantra, you may even think to yourself that you’ve sometimes cut in front of another driver, too, whether by accident or on purpose. Chanting your mantra will help to reinforce that it’s not worth getting angry at someone else for something you may have also been guilty of doing before.
Laugh it off.
Combat an angry situation with a healthy does of humour. Imagine yourself or the other person in silly situations to take the edge off. This is especially helpful if the person who caused your anger was not intentionally trying to upset or provoke you. In many cases, you will see they were just being careless or in a rush, and really did not mean you any harm.
Following one, or a combination, of these tips will make you less inclined to act irrationally while in a state of anger, and help you gain control over yourself. Sometimes, however, anger is a strong emotion you simply cannot get under control no matter how hard you try. If you consider yourself an angry person in general, you may want to consider seeking professional help from a therapist specializing in anger management.