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How to Control Your Temper

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

Instructions

  • 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

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

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