Anger can hurt your relationships as well as your health. But rage can be reined in.
Step 1: Avoid anger triggers Avoid anger triggers. If Friday night cocktails with your co-workers has turned into a weekly bitchfest that makes your blood boil, find something more uplifting to do.
Step 2: Adjust your attitude Adjust your attitude. For instance, remind yourself that screaming and honking is not going to make traffic move faster.
Step 3: Laugh away annoyances Laugh away little annoyances before you work yourself up into a lather. For example, if the boss is being a jerk, steal 5 minutes to read jokes on the Internet.
TIP: Remember: there will always be problems in life that you can’t control, but you can always control your reaction to them.
Step 4: Breathe deeply Take a few deep breaths from your diaphragm, so your stomach and not just your chest rises. It’s a cliché for a reason: It works.
Step 5: Count to 10 Slowly count to ten when you feel your temper rising. Often we react out of pure emotion without stopping to think about what’s really irritating us or how we can respond rationally.
Step 6: Postpone your anger Recognize that you’re angry, but postpone it for a more convenient time. Tell yourself that you have every right to be upset, but you’ll be able to deal with the problem more effectively if you calm down and think about it first.
Step 7: Exercise Exercise regularly to help release everyday tension and stress so they don’t build up -- and then explode. A slow, controlled practice, like yoga, can help focus and calm the mind.
Step 8: Don't drink Skip the liquor when you’re livid. Booze stokes anger by lowering levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that promotes calmness.
Step 9: Be forgiving Be more forgiving -- it’s for your own good. A study found that forgiving lowers anger and physical stress symptoms.
FACT: An estimated 16 million Americans exhibit intermittent explosive disorder, or repeated aggressive, violent behavior that’s out of proportion to the situation -- like road rage.