Home Self Improvement Navigating Anger: 10 Tips to Keep Your Cool

Navigating Anger: 10 Tips to Keep Your Cool

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Do you get furious when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure spike when your child refuses to cooperate? Anger is a common and even healthy emotion, but it’s important to manage it positively. Uncontrolled anger can harm your health and relationships.

Ready to keep your anger in check? Here are 10 tips to help manage your temper:

Think Before You Speak

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before speaking. Give others involved time to do the same.

Express Your Concerns Calmly

Once you’re calm, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. Clearly state your concerns and needs without hurting others or trying to control them.

Get Some Exercise

Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause anger. If you feel your anger rising, go for a brisk walk or run, or engage in another enjoyable physical activity.

Take a Timeout

Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during stressful times of the day. A few moments of quiet can help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without irritation or anger.

Identify Possible Solutions

Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue. If your child’s messy room upsets you, close the door. If your partner is late for dinner, schedule meals later or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Be realistic about what you can and cannot change.

Stick with ‘I’ Statements

Criticizing or blaming others can increase tension. Use “I” statements to describe the problem respectfully and specifically. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes” instead of “You never do any housework.”

Don’t Hold a Grudge

Forgiveness is a powerful tool. Allowing anger and negative feelings to crowd out positive ones can lead to bitterness. Forgiving someone who angered you can help both of you learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.

Use Humor to Release Tension

Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry and address any unrealistic expectations. Avoid sarcasm, as it can hurt feelings and worsen the situation.

Practice Relaxation Skills

When your temper flares, use relaxation skills. Practice deep-breathing exercises, visualize a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase like “Take it easy.” Listening to music, writing in a journal, or doing yoga can also encourage relaxation.

Know When to Seek Help

Learning to control anger can be challenging. Seek help if your anger feels out of control, leads you to do things you regret, or hurts those around you.