We’ve all had those days when nothing seems to go our way. Some jerk cuts us off in traffic, our boss micromanages the heck out of us, and everything at home is just off. As the day wears on, our frustration mounts until we’re finally ready to explode. The next person who irritates us is about to get an earful!
Sound familiar? Of course it does! Life can be stressful, and the stress can get to you. However, there are a few ways to cope with the stress and pressure of your day. If you want to know how to calm down, control your temper, and manage your anger, here are a few simple tips for you:
If you’re having a rough day, it’s a good idea to take your mind off things. Plug your headphones in and listen to your favorite songs, your inspirational playlist, a TED talk, or an audiobook. Find a way to take your mind off the problems, and it will be much easier for you to focus on what needs to be done without feeling the weight of anger and frustration. This is especially important when sitting in traffic!
Count to 100
It’s one of those silly exercises you often hear about at anger management courses or seminars, and though it may seem like a time waster, it works! By the time you reach 100, you’ve pretty much forgotten whatever it is you’re angry about. At the very least, the counting has helped to reduce your rage to a more manageable level of frustration or annoyance. If you feel the urge to yell at someone, start counting and don’t stop until you reach 100. It will do the trick!
How can food help to calm you down? Emotional eating (snacking on comfort foods) is NOT the way to go! In this case, we’re talking about foods that nourish your brain and promote the production of neurochemicals like dopamine and serotonin. Fruit juice is packed with sugar, which sends a rush of glucose to your brain and helps you to feel better. Protein-rich foods (like red meat) will also help to increase serotonin production, while fatty fish (like salmon) contain Omega-3 fatty acids that will increase your dopamine production.
Do Something that Makes You Happy
Do you feel happy when watching your favorite TV show, kissing your wife, or playing with your kids? If you’re feeling your temper boil, try engaging in one of these activities. If you’re at work and can’t do any of these things, try taking a walk or doing a few dozen push-ups. Help a friend with something, or engage in an activity that makes you happy. Arousal, empathy, and humor are all great at reducing anger!
Did you know that exercise is one of the best stimulants around? It won’t just increase energy production, but it can help your body to produce more “feel good” chemicals. Doing a few sets of push-ups, squats, and pull-ups will get your blood flowing and your heart pumping, and will flood your body with those neurochemicals that will make you feel better. Plus, as you exercise, you can work out your frustrations, making it easier to manage those enraged feelings.
Not all situations require emotion. If you are frustrated with a work problem, coworker, or boss, take the emotion out of the situation and examine it with a rational mind. Perhaps the problem isn’t as serious as it may seem at first. Take a step back, remove emotions, and look at what’s really going on. The answer may surprise you!