Shopping for a car when you are in a hurry is risky business. Driving 65 mph in a school zone is tempting fate. Pushing firefighters aside to run into a burning building is just plain folly. Then why would anyone discipline a child when upset, angry or in a hurry?
“Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.” ~Robert Green Ingersoll
Calming down when you are angry may not be easy but is quite necessary to you and everyone around you. Here are a few tips you might try:
• Counting. Count up to 100 by twos, then threes if needed.
• Step outdoors. Winter is coming and a chill may just be the answer.
• Pound nails. Don’t announce that you are taking a walk because you are angry, just go. Walk to your tool shed and pound a few nails into a piece of scrap wood or wooden fence. Remove them from the wood next time.
• Take a brisk walk. Walk or jog the perimeter of your property, apartment complex or around the block.
• Go up or down stairs. Something is always headed up or down; take laundry to the basement or carry supplies upstairs.
• Bounce a ball. Toss a ball from hand to hand or just squeeze since it is good exercise.
• Breathe deeply. Inhale to the count of two; exhale to the count of four. Doing this increases the exchange of gasses in your lungs and the focus may help cool anger.
• Repot a plant. Spending a few minutes upgrading a favorite plant can be beneficial. Watch for garage and clearance sales for larger pots.
• Try yoga. Google “Beginner Yoga Poses” and take your time.
• Write. Jot down your feelings of anger in a journal, see if a pattern emerges. Start a free “blog” and write about your experiences.
• Pray. Start a daily prayer list and add the names of those you feel need blessings or divine intervention.
• Vent. Make a call to a toll-free helpline and talk for ten minutes.
• Read aloud. The Declaration of Independence, the Bible or even a dictionary can help change your focus until rational thinking returns.
• Drink water. Guzzling eight ounces of water may give you the time you need to take a step back from the situation and calm down.
• Meditate. Think about how you want this situation to be resolved.
• Drown it out. Plug in to earphones and listen to a portable radio or music.
• Reach for the stars. Simple stretching can loosen tense muscles and enable better breathing.
• Increase distance. Move in a direction away from the cause of your anger.
• Palms down. Stand by a sturdy table and press your hands flat; move the fingers apart, then together, repeat.
• Go nowhere. Sit in your car with the motor off. Listen to the radio, music or a book read aloud.
“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems— not people; to focus your energies on answers— not excuses.” ~William Arthur Ward
• Identify the problem. Problems have a way of popping up time and again but identifying the problem is the first step to a solution.
• Troubleshoot to solve. Once identified, list possible solutions or compromises.
• Name your feelings. Label your feeling to clarify.
• Use “I” messages. Have your say in a respectful manner.
• Listen to others. Seek to understand others.
• Note anger triggers. Find the spark and head off the next episode by putting a plan in place while you are calm.
• Look for help. There are many options out there for professional help: therapy, counseling, anger management, clergy, etc. Like Parents Anonymous says, “Asking for help is a sign of strength.”