and start counting to 10. “Where possible excuse yourself from the face to face contact and leave the room to go to the bathroom or a neutral place and take several (maybe 10) deep breaths with a twice-as-long exhalation, this will lower the blood pressure and calm the system. Even something as simple as drinking a full class of water can deflect an eruption,” explains Haynes.
Avoid creating drama. Overreacting or making a mountain out of a molehill is the greatest creator of anxiety and stress. Try and do a quick body scan releasing the facial muscles particularly around the mouth and neck and have a mantra that you repeat ‘I am letting go of this anger’. And picture the consequences if you lose control — for both you and the person with whom you’re angry (e.g. I’ll feel worse; I’ll be embarrassed in front of my coworkers; I’ll hurt my loved one).
Keep your power. “Create a filter around you, not to cut people out, but to ensure any negative mood or energy from others does not affect you”, says Villani. You decide how you are affected. Instead, focus on identifying your needs (after all, the definition of anger is all about unmet expectations). Work to figure out how these needs can be met in a healthy way. If this requires another person’s involvement, then talk to that person about it — but only after you’ve calmed down. Even sleep on it if you can.
Take time to cool off. “Avoid drinking stimulating coffee if you’re feeling angry”, says Haynes. “Instead, try taking a walk, showering, listening to relaxing music, journaling, calling a friend, working out, meditating, or doing a few yoga poses. What’s important is that you return to the situation with a level head and the ability to communicate your needs and negotiate conflicts in a calm manner. Whenever it’s time to have a conversation, use “I” statements (“I felt hurt by your words” instead of “You always hurt me”) and listen to the other person’s feelings to minimize the chances of triggering another round of fighting”.