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If you struggle to control your anger you've undoubtedly said and done things in the heat of the moment that you later regretted - or which caused you significant negative consequences. Anger leads to irrational thoughts and impulsive behaviors and what you do in the midst of rage doesn't always reflect the person you truly are or wish to be.

Fortunately, though angry impulses aren't easily resisted, you can learn techniques that help you stay in control while you calm down.

7 Strategies for Calming Your Anger Quickly...

Struggle with keeping your cool? Try one or more of the following anger management tips from The National Health Service and see if your efforts aren't rewarded with a little more calm and a little less regret!

Slow Your Breathing

Anger quickens your breathing and rapid respiration serves as a physiological cue to maintain your anger and stress.

Signal to your body that the need for anger has passed with slow intentional breaths, breathing in slowly and trying to exhale for a longer period of time than you inhale for. A few slow deep breaths can be all that's needed to get your head back to logical - rather than emotional - thinking.

Get Out of Your Environment

Sometimes it's hard to calm down when confronted with all that's been fueling your anger.

So if the office is making you crazy, take a few minutes to get away and take a short walk around the block or grab a coffee across the street. Sometimes a few minutes of separation helps you to cool off and when you return you're able to look at things from a more grounded perspective.

Use Distraction Techniques

If you can't physically remove yourself from the environment you can strive for mental separation from the source of your anger through distraction techniques.

Anything that takes your mind out of the present situation can work: try soothing music, surfing humorous or light-hearted websites or making a phone call to a friend.

Vent to a Friend or Loved One

A direct confrontation with a person who infuriates you doesn't always make things better - depending on the situation, it might just make things worse, but that doesn't mean you need to just swallow your anger either.

Try calling a good friend or loved when you need a release and rant and vent to your heart's content. You'll release some of the rage that's festering and you'll do it in a way that doesn't create any additional problem to deal with. A good friend might also offer some perspective on the situation – and anything that gets you thinking about things with logic, rather than emotion, is going to help cool you down.

A Few Minutes of Exercise

Stress and anger cause the release of hormones and neurotransmitters which provide us with the burst of energy needed to prevail in a physical confrontation. Unfortunately, violent responses rarely solve modern problems and so what you're left with is an excess of energy and nothing to expend it on.

Because of this, a few minutes of aerobic exercise helps a lot - as you release the excess energy you've mobilized you move your body and mind back toward a state of equanimity.

Count to 10

It's a simple but effective solution to the problem of acting without thinking when you're angry.

So the next time you're ready to fire off an angry email, take a deep breath and count slowly to 10 and then slowly back to 0. At the end of 20 simple seconds what seemed like the best course of action a moment ago might start to look a little rash.

Look for Some Humor in the Situation

It’s pretty hard to stay angry when laughing, so if there’s a funny side to the situation (and there usually is) try lightening the mood with a joke or two and you’ll do a lot to ease the tension.1

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Page last updated 21/07/2015

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