One of the ways to manage stress is learning how to control your temper. Do you get mad when somebody cuts you in traffic? How about when your child does not listen to you? How about when your staff can’t get his/her work done properly? All of us encounter situations that irate us and test our patience on a daily basis. Getting angry and frustrated is normal. However, if it gets out of control, it becomes destructive on both our health and relationships with other people. Managing how to respond to such situations is a skill that all of us must have.
Here are 10 tips on how to calm down and control your temper:
1. Breathe Deeply
Deep breathing always comes in handy whether you are angry, anxious or nervous. It removes stress and lowers your anxiety levels. It helps you relax.
Breathe slowly through your nose until you fill your lungs with oxygen. Then hold our breath for a count of three. And then exhale slowly through your mouth until you have emptied the air in your lungs.
2. Count 1 to 10
Just like what you do when counting sheep, try counting one to ten first before blurting out your emotions. Remember to count slowly. Breathe in and breathe out before you say a number. Your nerves would have already calmed by the time you reach the number ten. You will also be able to think clearly and not be blinded with emotions.
3. Think Happy Thoughts
By thinking happy thoughts, you are actually breaking your negative thoughts and replacing them with happy ones. Your focus will shift and your mood will follow.
4. Think Before You Say Anything
Words are powerful. It can make or break a relationship. It can lift a person’s morale and at the same time, it can break their spirits. So think first before you say something that you might regret later on. Pause and construct your sentences first before blurting out your emotions.
Doing exercises can help you relax. Although mind-body exercises like yoga, tai chi and qigong are quite beneficial for both mind and body, other exercises and physical activities can also help. Doing exercise helps produce endorphins, the so-called happy hormones.
6. Avoid Triggers
If there are certain people, events or situations that make you mad, it is better for you to avoid or at least limit your exposure to them. If traffic drives you crazy, then avoid rush hours. If certain people annoys you, then stay away from these negative people.
7. Listen to Music
Music has a calming effect on both our minds and body. However, do take note that fast music makes you more alert and hyper; thus, it is better to listen to slow and quiet rhythm like classical music.
When you are angry, I’m pretty sure that the last thing that you want to do is smile. However, as weird as it may sound, smiling can make you happy. The act of smiling actually tricks your brain and your emotion follows. Thus, smiling reinforces your happiness. Unfortunately, it works two ways. In the same way that if you frown, you are also reinforcing your negative emotions. So, use the power of a smile to your advantage and be happy.
9. Change the Way You Look at Things
It is a fact that bad things do happen in life. We cannot do anything about it. Focusing so much on the bad things can really aggravate our mood. Instead, change the way you look at things. Try to have an open mind. Maybe the other person did not mean to hurt you. And besides, by being angry, you are only hurting yourself. Anger can cause high blood pressure and even heart attack.
We cannot control everything that happens to us in life, but we can control how we respond.– L. Lionel Kendrick
10. Use Calming Scents
Use calming scents to help you relax. Put them in your car, room or workplace. Lavender, chamomile, jasmine, bergamot, rose and ylang-ylang are just some of the scents that you can use to help you calm down and relax.
First Published in Pinoy Smart Living 13.03.2019