What should I do when I feel myself getting angry?


It is important to recognize that anger, just like any other emotion, is a state of mind. Anger can present itself explosively, but we have the ability to choose how we respond to it's presence. You may find yourself feeling angry for a wide variety of reasons. However, some of the most common sources can be fatigue, lack of patience, or the fact that you are dealing with a very difficult situation. While everyone experiences anger every now and then, for some, it can be debilitating and take control of the entire being. If you find yourself starting to get angry, here are a few quick tips that you can implement to help derail your rage before it happens. 

1) Recognize It: The minute you feel yourself getting heated, tell yourself "I'm getting angry, and this will blur my judgment".

2) Breathe Deep: If you feel your anger beginning to be uncontrollable, just start breathing deeply. About 5 breath cycles should help you balance yourself emotionally. 

3) Think about anything other than the anger: As soon as you start bristling, turn your mind to whatever or whoever makes you feel good about yourself—an achievement, future goals, a pet—as long as it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. 

4) Clear your mind: At high levels of arousal, thinking gets fuzzy (attention narrows, and we're operating from our primitive fight-or-flight instinct). For example, in a traffic jam, acknowledge the frustration of the situation with a quick mental note and then jump to how to move past it. 

5) Force yourself to leave the situation: Take a time out, walk away, and avoid coming back until you feel calmer. Taking a long walk or going for a run is usually an effective method of cooling down. 

6) Count to yourself until you calm down: If you feel like you are about to do or say something harmful, counting to 100 is a quick and easy way to separate yourself mentally from the situation. 

7) Splash some cold water on your face: The shock of cold water can help jolt you out of the anger.