Hot under the collar? Here are our best tips for keeping your cool.
Be it because of fussy bosses, irrational customers, reckless drivers, nosy in-laws, nasty neighbours or demanding kids, we all have our fair share of hair-raising, blood-boiling moments. But often, losing your cool is not the wisest thing to do – it can have a significant effect on your daily life, mental well-being and relationships. Instead, we recommend that you keep calm and read on.
Take a timeout
When you feel that you are about to lose control, excuse yourself and physically move away from the source of your anger as quickly as you can. This will help you to calm down so you can gather your wits and reassess the situation with better perspective. You’ll also be more likely to prevent a potentially ugly argument which will strain your relationship, whether it’s at work, at home or with friends.
Exercise it off
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins which relieve stress and make you feel relaxed and happy. It’s also a great outlet for your anger and energy. A study published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology reports positive effects on participants’ moods after physical activity, such as walking and gardening. With exercise, you are actually killing two birds with one stone – maintaining good emotional balance while keeping your body fit and healthy.
Make yourself relax
Activating relaxation techniques when you catch yourself fuming is one of the best ways to calm yourself down. These methods could include practising deep-breathing exercises, listening to music, imagining a relaxing scene or repeating a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You can also do whatever enjoyable activities you like, which will take your mind away from thinking about how angry you are – get a massage, take a bubble bath, bake or watch a movie.
See things from another perspective
Before reacting with anger, give the object of your wrath the benefit of the doubt and consider what might have triggered him or her to act in that way in the first place. Perhaps he’s had a bad day at work where he had to deal with difficult customers and was scolded for something he didn’t do. Frustrated by your mother-in-law’s constant nagging? Perhaps she’s just overly concerned about you and your spouse’s welfare and does not know any other way to express it. By putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, you’ll often find it easier to understand where they’re coming from and disperse those angry feelings.
Write it down
Writing or journaling is a great outlet for expressing your anger. Since nobody is going to see it, you can write down whatever is in your mind, to your heart’s content. By slowing down your thought process, writing can help you think more clearly about the situation and identify exactly what’s making you fume. During this process, you will be able to figure out the best way for to respond rather than to react impulsivley out of anger.
Shift your focus
Instead of ruminating over what made you mad, divert your energy to resolving the issue at hand. If your husband’s snoring is driving you crazy, find out from medical experts what treatments are available. If your subordinates always submit their work late, think of other ways to motivate them to work more efficiently. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything; it might even make things worse. On the other hand, a good solution will get at the source of your anger so you can deal with it once and for all.