It happens in an instant. Someone cuts you off in traffic. A co-worker is late on an assignment. Your significant other hasn’t cleaned the dishes after you’ve told them three times. Without thinking, the anger rises up inside of you and threatens to explode. Maybe you hurl insults (or other objects), or maybe you shut down completely.
Many times our anger feels justified - we were in the right and someone else did something wrong. Yet, we know that anger is not healthy for our bodies, our minds, or our souls. Road rage leads to accidents. Yelling at a co-worker makes for a hostile work environment. And hurtful words can cause a relationship to suffer.
We can’t always control the situations that make us mad, but we can control the way we react to them.
Here are 3 steps to keep in mind whenever you feel your anger building:
So simple but so effective. Stop yourself from saying or doing something you will regret later. Remember, you do not need to react immediately, even if the situation is urgent. Pausing just a second can make all the difference.
A few deep breaths can help calm yourself down. There is no challenge that you cannot face, no matter how frustrating. Why not choose to take it on with a clear head?
What is it you are trying to communicate? What is the most effective way of saying it? Is it worth a confrontation or should you walk away from the situation?
Now that you’ve taken a moment, take charge of your actions. If you still feel clouded by anger, it’s okay to ask for some time alone to cool off.