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5 ways to control anger

With research linking prolonged anger and depression, it is a good idea to practice doing what we can to control anger. This could mean taking online anger management classes for some; for others, it could mean following the anger management tips and ideas such as those provided on this website.

1. change expectations

Since anger arises from failed expectations, changing expectations follows as a natural remedy to bypass the anger alley. That implies being flexible enough to change expectations based on the situation at hand.

So instead of getting upset over a missed appointment, try to acknowledge the missed appointment in a calm manner. Now plan for what needs to be done to recoup the missed appointment.

In essence, what we did is take that appointment out of your "expectations list", and revise the "list" with new a plan. By revising the "list" as you go, you are no longer setting yourself up to be angry when something goes against expectations.

And its amazing how your creative machinery wakes up to come up with viable alternatives to a failed plan, the moment the cloud of frustration starts to recede.

2. Change Your Internal Dialogue

Here is a good tip for controlling anger. See if you can rephrase your internal dialogue to put a positive spin to your current situation.

Try starting the sentence with "Its a good thing this happened, because.. "

For instance, instead of "Darn.. I missed the flight", may be a "It's a good thing I missed the flight, now I have some breathing time to read a relaxing novel before my next flight", OR "... sight see for a couple of hours before the next flight."

3. Relax and Take A Deep Breath

This is one of the most common ways to control anger, as well as to reduce stress. Sometimes there is really not much you can do any ways - like when you are stuck in a traffic jam.

There are, of course, anger management games that help us practice dealing with situations that are not entirely in our control, instead of getting upset over them.

But here is another neat trick - If the situation gets aggravating and there is not much you can do about it, one of the common anger management techniques suggested is to breathe slowly - inhale and exhale - freely, normally, effortlessly, about 10 to 15 times.

This just relaxes your tensed up muscles, and when your muscles return to normal state, it's not surprising if you notice your anger fade away as well.

Focusing on relaxing tensed muscles is not only one of the good ways to control anger, but also a great technique for chasing fear away and building self confidence in a stressful situation as well.

4. Take A Break

We all need that sometimes! Take a break from whatever it is you are doing, and get a change of environment if possible. Get out and get a cup of coffee.

Getting away is one of the good ways to help us identify, and consequently address, the REAL issue that is bugging us, as opposed to what we think we are angry at.

You may think its the work load that's causing you to be irritable, but a little introspection might trace it down to the disagreement your spouse had with you a few days back, on what you had then thought to be a relatively minor issue.

5. humor the situation

And the last of the ways to control anger is to try and find humor in the situation. Sometimes it can help subside our temper, if we are able to laugh at the situation, and/or ourselves as well.

For instance, instead of getting annoyed at a nit-picking colleague, you can see that as a funny situation and see if you can guess the next excuse she is going to come up on your work.

If you did, bravo.. you have figured her out, haven't you?

A lot of times, humor helps you take things in the right spirit, and is often an excellent antidote to anger. And laughter is a proven stress remedy as well.

You can also try listening to calming hypnosis audios as a daily habit, as that can help control anger in the long run.

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