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Ten Ways to Calm Down When You're Angryfrom: Pam Nesham Guest contributor
Anger can get in the way of productivity and can sap our positive energy. Wouldn't it be nice if you could quickly move on from being angry? Here are 10 simple strategies to quickly overcome anger and take back your positivity.
1. Go for a walk
Simply taking a break and going for a walk can do wonders for anger. It gives you time to calm down and sort your thoughts out while getting some fresh air. Go for a quick 20 minute walk and before you know it your mind will be more calm.
2. Phone a friend
Sometimes we just need to talk to someone who understands. Calling a sympathetic friend you trust can go a long way in getting over something that has made you angry. Talk through the issue you are dealing with but be careful not to yell or be rude to your friend. Knowing that you are not alone with your issue can do wonders for your mood.
It feels good to have someone sympathize with you. It also feels good to sympathize with others. When someone does something that makes you angry try thinking about what their needs might be. This is one of the harder strategies for getting over anger but it is also one of the most effective. For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic think about what need they might have. Maybe they are late for a job interview, maybe their wife is having a baby, or maybe they just have a lot on their mind. Seeing them in a more human light may help you get over your initial anger at their behavior.
4. Have a mantra
If you find yourself getting angry frequently it may be a good idea to have a mantra that you can repeat in your head whenever you start to feel anger. This could be a simple word such as "peace" or a short sentence such as, "I love and accept myself and others." Practice feeling calm as you say your mantra every morning when you are relaxed. When you are in more difficult situations your mantra should bring back that calm feeling.
If you can remove yourself from the anger provoking situation it is a good idea to try to meditate. Try some simple visualization techniques such as imagining yourself in a beautiful place like a beach and focus on the beauty around you. Another technique you can try is to focus your attention on relaxing your body starting with your toes. Once your toes are relaxed focus on your calves, then your thighs, and continue until you are at the top of your head. Meditation can do wonders for mood and relaxation.
6. Do breathing exercises
This is something you can do even if you can't get away. Try taking 3 very deep breaths that fill your diaphragm completely. Take your time inhaling and exhaling. This will help your body and mind relax and will provide time for you to calm down.
7. Drink some chamomile
Chamomile, lavender, and valerian make great teas for de-stressing and relaxing. The act of making yourself a cup of tea will give you time to distance yourself from the event that made you angry. Once you've made your tea take some time to take in the relaxing smells and enjoy the taste.
8. Be assertive
If someone has been rude to you or done something that makes you angry it can be very helpful to confront them in an assertive way. It can feel good to stand up for yourself while not sinking to their level. Kill their rudeness with kindness and replace what would be a feeling of anger with a feeling of pride in your emotional strength.
9. Head to the gym
Sometimes anger can be energizing. A great way to use that energy is to sweat it out. Not only will you get a great workout but exhausting yourself will help you sleep at night. Head to the gym or go for a run. Channel your anger onto a punching bag and reap the benefits of getting in shape.
10. Have a laugh
Laughter can certainly be the best medicine. Getting yourself to laugh not only gets you out of an angry state but can have a positive effect on your immune system. Know what makes you laugh and have easy access to it at all times. Is there a video, picture, or comic that always makes you laugh? Have it at the ready and take back your positive energy.
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