25 Mar Anger management: 10 useful tips to tame your temper
We all get frustrated at work but do you need to get your anger under control? Here are 10 anger management tips to take the heat out of any situation.
No. 1: Breathe and take a timeout
Counting to 10 isn’t just for kids. Before reacting to a tense situation, take a few moments to breathe deeply and count to 10. Slowing down can help defuse your temper. If necessary, take a break from the person or situation until your frustration subsides a bit.
No. 2: 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.
No. 3: Get some exercise
Physical activity can provide a useful outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to erupt. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other favorite physical activities. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier by releasing endorphins in the brain and you become more relaxed than you were before you worked out.
No. 4: Think before you speak (also known as “engaging your brain before opening your mouth”)
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
No. 5: Identify possible solutions
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. Work together to find mutual agreement on the way forward. Remind yourself that anger itself won’t fix anything, and might only make it worse.
No. 6: Stick with ‘I’ statements
Avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the office without completing the report,” instead of, “You never complete any job I give you.”
No. 7: Don’t hold a grudge
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.
No. 8: Use humour to release tension
Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don’t use sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
No. 9: Practice relaxation skills
When your temper flares, put 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, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
No. 10: Know when to seek help
Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. 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. You might explore local anger management classes or anger management counseling. This is always better and more likely that you will improve your interpersonal skills than being told by a colleague, friend or boss that “you need anger management lessons”, which would only inflame an already stressful experience.