It is completely normal to experience some type of anger or annoyance throughout the course of the day. It is important to react to these situations in a rational and controlled manner. Uncontrolled anger will most definitely take a toll on your health and your relationships.
1. Learn to express yourself in a calm, controlled manner
It is important to express yourself in a clear and assertive way, without being confrontational and saying things meant to insult and hurt the other party. These conversations always have the potential to escalate into further argument, so it may take practice to maintain self-control.
2. Develop a verbal filter/Think before you speak
In the heat of the moment, it's easy to say something you may later regret. Take a deep breath and pause to collect your thoughts before blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.
Physical activity reduces stress. Stress can increase the potential to become angry. Try to include exercise in your daily routine When you are feeling frustrated, go for walk, stretch, do a few pushups…you might feel some of your tension release.
4. Figure out how to move on
Learning to focus on resolving the issue versus wasting energy on the reason we are mad, or the person with whom we are upset is a valuable skill. This is especially important when dealing with an ongoing issue, like an inconsiderate friend or an unrewarding job. Remaining angry is exhausting and unhealthy. Some of the changes we need to make are big ones, but well worth the effort!
5. Timeouts are not just for kids
It is important to give yourself breaks periodically throughout the day, especially if you are in a high stress job or situation. Go for a quick walk, read a chapter of a book, drink a giant glass of water.
6. Don't hold a grudge
The ability to forgive is a powerful skill. Do not allow anger and other negative feelings to overshadow positive feelings. If you do, you will quickly find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness. If you can forgive the person who angered you, you might both learn from the situation.
7. Laughter is the best medicine
Humor can often help diffuse tension. Using humor can often help you face what's making you angry. It can also bring to light the unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Try to avoid sarcasm, it can hurt feelings and make things worse if the person you are speaking with does not understand that type of humor.
8. The oh so empowering “I” Statement
Using “I” statements to discuss an issue will present a less confrontational attitude and are less likely to put the other person on the defensive. “I am upset that we never get to see each other vs. You never want to spend time with me.” The tone of the “I” statement sounds much less critical than a “You” statement.
9. Practice relaxation techniques
When your temper flares, try some simple relaxation skills. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase. Some other ideas are: listen to music, write in a journal or do a few easy yoga poses — these are all ways to put your mind and body at ease.
10. Know when to reach out for professional help
Learning to control anger is a challenge that most everyone faces at one time or another. Consider seeking counseling if you feel that your anger is out of your control or having a negative impact on your relationships.