20 Tips to Control Your Temper
Does it seem like the world is against you? Do you wish you could take a leaf out of Queen Cersei’s (of Game of Thrones) book and blast everything to pieces? The truth is you can’t. You are not a character in a medieval fantasy. You are surrounded by people who are as easily hurt and vexed by what surrounds them, like you.
Moreover, blowing your lid off is not helping you in any perceivable way. It takes a toll on your health (increases blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attack) as well as your image in the eyes of others. Hence, you need to know how to keep your anger in check and here are 20 tips how you can achieve this goal.
1. “Better out than in I say”- Shrek
While this article focuses on how to control your temper, it is imperative that we tell you that when you feel like you have been wronged, do not keep it in. Stewing inside all by yourself, grumbling over how you have been wronged and doing nothing about it is repressed anger. This is extremely harmful to your heart. Like a dormant volcano, you might burst one day unable to keep it in anymore.
The best way to deal with your anger is to vent it in a constructive manner. Assess the situation and figure out how to rectify it. Taking positive actions gives you the peace of mind required regarding that matter.
2. Do Not Beat The Poor Pillow
Many people believe that beating a pillow or anything else is a healthy way for your internal pressure to release. This is a wrong concept. These actions increase your hostility rather than decreasing your anger. As mentioned above, stay positive and address the issue constructively to improve things in the future.
3. Understand Why
Dig deep into yourself and find out the cause of your anger. What is triggering it- who, what situations? Avoid them as soon as you realize the cause. Even if you cannot, be prepared to avoid being affected negatively by them.
4. Know The Signs
There are several signs that can inform you about the advent of your losing temper episode. It may be sweating, turning red, trembling, heavy breathing or clenched fists/ jaws. Recognize which one is yours and use the various techniques discussed in this article like deep breathing.
5. Don’t Lose It
When you lose your temper and throw a tantrum or shout your lungs out, for everyone you become the villain. Losing your temper makes you the loser. Everyone else becomes either angered or intimidated by your behaviour. Sometimes, people use anger as an emotional weapon/an intimidating tool. This is an unhealthy, damaging practice.
Try thinking of different reactions to the vexing situation. Envision and rehearse these scenarios and reactions. This will help you have choices the next time you become angry. Also, remember that it is your problem that you cannot control your temper, do not take it out on someone weaker than you.
6. Go For A Walk
Sometimes, just walking away from the situation helps. Calm your nerves, relax, listen to music, sing out loud, do whatever it takes to distract yourself from the situation.
7. Give Yourself A Pinch
The all-or-nothing mentality causes you to see everything as black or white, which in turn makes you lose your temper easily. Accept life as it is and do not drown yourself in negative thoughts. Have a way to snap yourself back to reality every time your mind starts negative thoughts: snap the rubber band on your wrist, pinch yourself. Take a moment’s breather and get yourself back on track.
8. Take it Lightly
When it comes to family, you cannot afford to blow your lid and risk your relationship with them. Instead, laugh it off yourself and make them laugh simultaneously. Do fun stuff together. It helps to replace your anger with a feeling of being loved, being together and an overall feeling of happiness. When dealing with angry family members, find a way to make them laugh.
9. 3 Deep Breaths
Take three deep breaths each time you feel like you are at the precipice of losing it. This will relax your body and mind and help you get better control of your emotions.
10. Take “Self-Control” Time
Use relaxing techniques every day. Meditation is an extremely effective way to keep your mind calm and ready for whatever life throws at you. You can also use few breathing exercises that help in relaxation. E.g. With your feet placed flat on the ground, extend hands palms down and place them on your lap while your elbows rest naturally by your sides.
Ensure that your shoulders are relaxed, and there is no tension in your neck and shoulder muscles. In this position, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth while keeping your eyelids lightly closed.
11. Set A Timer
Looking at your watch, staring at the ticking away of time helps to soothe yourself in moments of extreme emotional upheaval. This will give you some perspective and the time to assess your situation and find out a constructive way to deal with it.
12. Write A Forgiveness Email/Letter
Write a letter each time you feel you have been wronged. This gives a proper vent to your feelings. Try to focus on the positive and suggest positive actions that can help in this situation. Whether you send it or not is up to you. The mere act of writing helps soothe your fraught nerves. If possible, forgive and mention the same in your letter. The act of forgiveness reduces your muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure, thus helping you to achieve a calmer state.
13. Embrace Empathy
Imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes. Visualize what she/ he must have felt, thought to have done what she/ he did. Writing/ telling a story from their perspective helps in this visualization process. This will help you to empathise with that individual and give you a different perspective which in turn will help you to reach constructive solutions.
14. Know These Core Truths
Have faith and believe ardently that most people are good at their core. If you believe that they are not villains who are out to get you, there is no personal vendetta and that they believe that what they are doing is right, it becomes much easy to forgive them. Acknowledging that others are normal, insecure, sensitive people like you helps your anger ebb away easily.
15. Compare Yourself To Your Kids
If you feel hurt by what your parents said or did, imagine how you would feel if they felt hurt due to your actions. As soon as you realise that your parents would never do or say to hurt you, you would be able to let go of all pent-up disappointments and sorrow.
16. Don’t Shoot The Messenger
Keep in mind who the real villain is, so to speak. Find out who is responsible for the issue that you are facing and target your actions towards that person. Generally, giving an earful to the person who is nothing but a pawn of the system. You need to talk to the higher management instead of making another person’s life miserable.
17. Talk, Get Help
Vent out your feelings at the mirror or a sounding board like a friend or family member. They can help you get a fresh, neutral view of the situation and can help in coming up with a possible solution for the same.
Strenuous, vigorous physical activity is another effective way to dissipate your anger. So, hit the gym, swimming pool or dance – your choice.
19. Don’t Pay Heed To Nonsense
“The elephant keeps walking as the dog keeps barking.”
Bring out your inner elephant, not the dog. What they are saying has no impact on your life.
“Don’t worry about those who talk behind your back; they are behind you for a reason.”
20. Get Perspective
Ask yourself one question: is it worth it?? The person or situation for which you are putting your mental peace, health and dignity at risk? Mostly the answer will be no, and the sooner you realise that the better grip you will have on your temper.
So fix yourself a tall, cool drink, take a deep breath, go to your happy place and be the awesome, happy and healthy person that you are.