Still, repressing anger isn’t the answer either. Research also reveals that those who keep silent during marital disputes have a greater chance of dying from heart disease or suffering stress-related ailments than those who speak their minds.
Here are some strategies from “Emotional Freedom” to productively cope with anger in daily life.
4 Tips To Diffuse Anger
1. When you’re upset, pause, and slowly count to ten.
To offset the adrenaline surge of anger, train yourself not to lash back impulsively. Wait before you speak. Take a few deep breaths and VERY slowly, silently, count to ten (or to fifty if necessary). Use the lull of these moments to regroup before you decide what to do so you don’t say something you regret
2. Take a cooling-off period.
To further quiet your neurotransmitters, take an extended time-out, hours or even longer. When you’re steaming retreat to a calm setting to lower your stress level. Reduce external stimulation. Dim the lights. Listen to soothing music. Meditate. Do some aerobic exercise or yoga to expel anger from your system.
3. Don’t address anger when you’re rushed.
Make sure you have adequate time to identify what’s made you angry. A Princeton study found that even after theology students heard a lecture on the Good Samaritan, they still didn’t stop to help a distressed person on the street when they thought they’d be late for their next class. Thus, allotting unhurried time to resolve the conflict lets you tap into your most compassionate response.
4. Don’t try to address your anger when you’re tired or before sleep.
Since anger revs up your system, it can interfere with restful sleep and cause insomnia. The mind grinds. Better to examine your anger earlier in the day so your adrenaline can simmer down. Also being well rested makes you less prone to reacting with irritation, allows you to stay balanced.
The goal with anger is to own the moment so this emotion doesn’t own you. Then you can mindfully respond rather than simply react. You’ll have the lucidity to be solution oriented and therefore empower how you relate to others.
Originally Published on drjudithorloff.com | Reprinted here with permission