Whether it’s at the office, home or even during your commute, anything or sometimes, everything, could set you off. Losing your temper is something that most people have experienced but doing it, say at work, could get you in major trouble. If you find it difficult to maintain your cool, here’re a few things to try.
When you feel like you’re about to say something regrettable, take long, deep breaths to help you calm down. After feeling comfortable with the deep breathing, inhale and exhale in a 1:2 ratio where you take a breath and during the exhale, you take twice as long.
A great tip is to practice these techniques when you’re calm so when you feel anxious or tense, you’ll be able to perform these breaths without a hitch.
The next time you get angry, go for a walk, run or any type of physical activity because the serotonin released will help you calm down. The fresh air could do you a world of good as well especially if you’re stuck somewhere hot and stuffy which could get really irritating.
The change in scenery could also help interrupt your anxious or angry thoughts. One thing to note is to avoid physical activities that includes expressions of anger like punching walls or screaming. These activities reinforces your anger because being angry makes you feel good.
Have a think
Before flying off the handle, ask yourself a few questions such as “How important is this?”, “Was this something that’s in my control?”, and “Am I going to let this person or situation disrupt my peace?”. Asking yourself these questions will shift your focus and allow you to rationalise whether or not it’s worth being angry.
Being anxious or angry could cause you to feel like your whole body is tense and it’s possible that you are tensing your muscles. Relax yourself by lying on the floor with your arms out by your side and ensure that your feet aren’t crossed and your hands must not be balled up into fists. Starting from your toes, tell them to relax and slowly move upwards, telling yourself to relax the muscles in each region until you get to your head.
Find an object such as a small stuffed animal, polished rock or even your necklace, when you’re calm and label it as a ‘centring object’. Tell yourself that this object will keep you calm when you’re agitated. So, the next time you feel anxious, angry or frustrated, hold or touch your centring object and it’ll help you calm your thoughts.
Sometimes, it’s best to just leave the situation physically so just leave the room or go outside. This will ensure that you won’t make any rash decisions while feeling agitated or bothered. Excuse yourself from the room, do some deep breathing then when you feel calm, come back inside and tackle the problem level-headedly.
Sidebox: The little things
If you’re at work and unable to go out for a run to release your anger, try these:
- Listen to music
- Have something to eat
- Sit up tall, take a deep breath, and drop your shoulders to release the tension
- Write down your angry thoughts just as a way to get them out of your head