10 Anger Management Tips

Being caught in a traffic jam after a hectic day at the office, arguing with your spouse about last month's credit card bill, losing that coveted business account to a competitor... there are many situations in everyday life that may cause you to fly off the handle.

Be aware that poorly managed anger can damage your health, work and your relationships. Here are ten helpful tips to help get your raging emotions under control.

1. Exercise

Physical exertion can help for brief, short-term anger, says Dr. Sarah Edelman, psychologist and author of Change Your Thinking.

2. Write a Letter

Explain your anger in words-you don’t have to send it.

3. Cool Off

“In an acute angry stage, it’s a good idea not to confront the person straightaway,” says Edelman. Instead, take some time to allow yourself to calm down and think in a more rational manner.

4. Don’t Throw a Tantrum

“It’s a popular myth that venting anger is always the best strategy,” says
Edelman. “Venting can cause more problems than it solves. It can impair good relationships and it’s not good role-modelling for kids.”

5. Communicate

Slow down and think about what you want to say. Explain that you feel angry about something rather than acting aggressively. Listen carefully to the other person before you respond.

6. Use Humour

If you think of a co-worker as a “dirt bag”, visualise them as a bag of dirt going about their day.

7. Seek Alternatives

If the daily commute provokes uncontrollable road rage, consider different transport forms or a job closer to home.

8. Weigh the Pros and Cons

Ask yourself, “Is the anger achieving anything, or is it just hurting me?” Edelman warns, “Some people are reluctant to let anger go because they see that as a victory to the other person.”

9. Use Problem-Solving Skills

Ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do about this problem?” If not, move on.

10. Accept the Situation

Recognise that some things in life just aren’t fair. “Sometimes we have to accept that injustice is a part of life,” Edelman says.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to sign up for our weekly health newsletter and receive more articles on health and well-being.


More From Reader’s Digest

  • Rebalance Your BrainRebalance Your Brain Yes, we love the way our computers, PDAs, video games and iPods have revolutionized our lives and let us stay connected and entertained 24/7. But players beware. Posted in Healthy Living
  • Having a Bad Air Day?Having a Bad Air Day? Air pollution is a key contributing factor to the increasing prevalence of asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and a host of other diseases. Learn about common air pollutants, and […] Posted in Healthy Living
  • 5 Steps to Manage Your Temper5 Steps to Manage Your Temper Studies are showing that blowing your gasket is as unhealthy as suppressing rage. Both drive up your heart rate and blood pressure. Try these techniques to shift your anger from heart to […] Posted in Healthy Living