8 Tools for Managing Your Anger
1. Learn to recognize when you are feeling stressed – This will help you to reduce your stress before it is expressed as destructive anger.
2. Work on developing your empathy – Trying to see things from another’s perspective often helps to dissipate intense emotions.
3. Decide to respond instead of react – Although the way we react often feels automatic, we can actually choose how we’ll think, feel and respond. This is empowering, and the road to freedom.
4. Change your self talk - Listen to the conversation in your head and learn to modify extreme, unbalanced thoughts. Look for exceptions to “you always” thinking, and reframe “you must” or “you should” demands.
5. Learn to be assertive – Honest and open communication about your wishes, needs and preferences can stop resentment building – so it doesn’t turn to anger.
6. Adjust your expectations – Often anger is triggered by a difference between our expectations and what we actually get. Thus, sometimes it is better to adjust our expectations so they’re more in line with reality.
7. Forgiving doesn’t also mean forgetting – Although it is healthy to sometimes let things go, that doesn’t mean we weren’t hurt, upset or offended. The difference is we’re choosing to move on with our lives, and we’re not being controlled by external events.
8. Remove yourself from the situation – Retreating temporarily or “taking time-out” provides some space to think about the “best thing to do”. Thus you maintain control of yourself and circumstances.