How to Control Your Temper

Controlling your anger requires a desire to understand its source, and to take action to tamp it down.

You will need

  • Time
  • Quiet
  • A notebook
  • Visualization techniques
  • A sense of humor

Step 1 Count to 10 Declare a “time out” when you feel anger rising. Remove yourself from the situation. Counting to 10 can buy time to defuse your temper.

Step 2 Do something physical Take a brisk walk or go for a run to exhaust an angry impulse. Swim, dig in the garden – anything that may interfere with the rush of negative feelings.

Step 3 Keep an anger log Log your thoughts in writing when anger intrudes. Recording these moments limits the effects of your rage.

Step 4 Practice deep breathing Correct patterns of thought through deep breathing, or visualize pleasant memories. Use a mantra or a private word that triggers a peaceful reflection. Listen to relaxing music.

Step 5 Practice expressing anger Practice expressing anger to a neutral party. This allows you to clear the air before exhibiting behavior you might regret.

Step 6 Use “I” statements Think carefully before you speak. Use “I” statements, such as ‘I feel as if…,’ so that you don’t offend someone by placing blame and escalating tensions.

Step 7 Use humor Use humor to defuse friction. But be careful not to overestimate your charm.

Step 8 Ask yourself what you want Analyze what look, tone, speech, action – even breathing – you exhibited in anger. Return to the original situation and attempt a different approach.