- 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.
- TIP: Yoga and meditation can also temper the effects of 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.
- TIP: Therapists and anger management professionals are trained to help you defuse anger.
- 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.
- TIP: Carry small objects or pieces of paper with advice. These items can serve as cues to avoid sudden eruptions.
- 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.
- FACT: Stress from anger sparks electrical changes in the heart that can lead to heart attacks.
You Will Need
- A notebook
- Visualization techniques
- A sense of humor