There are some commonsense tips to help get your anger under control.

1. Take a 'time out'. Count up to 10 before reacting. Although it sounds very basic, it really helps defuse your temper. Try some variations of counting up to 10. For instance, take a deep breath between each number. If you are getting into a heated argument ask for time out. "Excuse me, I am getting very upset and things may get worse if I continue. May I calm myself and come back after five minutes to continue our discussion?" is a line you could try.

2. Re frame the mismatch. Ask yourself: "Will the object of my anger matter one year from now?" Chances are, you will see things from a calmer perspective. Or, ask yourself: "What is the worst that can happen?" If someone happened to cut in front of you at the super-market check-out, waiting for an additional three minutes will perhaps not change your life dramatically. Alternately, imagine yourself doing the same thing. Come on, admit that you too have cut in front of another driver, by accident. Do you get angry at yourself? Perhaps not! Apply the same logic to keep your calm.

3. Express your anger after you're calm. It's healthy to express it in a non-confrontational manner. Keeping your frustration bottled will only make the situation worse.

4. Use 'I' to describe the problem. "I'm upset you didn't do XYZ," instead of, "You should have done XYZ," helps to avoid being perceived as criticizing which is guaranteed to increase tension.

5. Use humour to release tensions. Don't use sarcasm, it makes things worse.

6. Identify solutions to the situation. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you to resolve the issue at hand.

7. Practise relaxation skills. Skills to relax and de-stress can also help control temper, whether it is visualising a relaxing scene, listening to music or doing yoga.


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