4 simple tricks to cool down your anger

By defusing your anger you can reduce your risk of these health conditions. Here's how to let off steam safely and protect your health.

4 simple tricks to cool down your anger

Bottling up anger can increase your levels of homocysteine, a chemical linked to heart disease. It can also raise your cholesterol levels and heart rate, suppress your immune system, lead to depression and even give you a heart attack.

1. Keep in mind that whoever loses it, loses

  • Losing your temper makes you look like the bad guy to everyone else, no matter who is really at fault.
  • To get better at controlling your anger, visualize a scene in which you got angry and replay the tape several times, each time imagining yourself responding in a different way.
  • You're actually rehearsing different reactions and giving yourself new options.
  • The next time you're close to losing your temper, one of these options will pop into your mind, providing you with a better response.

2. Get angry with the person who can make a difference

  • There's nothing to be gained by becoming angry with the poor soul who is simply caught in the crossfire.
  • This advice is particularly important when you're dealing with people who work in the service industries.
  • Is it the fault of the salesperson that something you need is out of stock? No, but his or her manager could probably fix things.

3. When you get really angry, walk away from the source

  • Then take a five minute walk to get some fresh air, or do something else that provides calm and relief.
  • If your anger stems from the traffic jam you're stuck in, for example, turn up the radio and sing at the top of your voice.
  • The idea is to create a mental and/or physical escape from the situation.

4. When dealing with angry family members, find a way to make them laugh

  • This is a trick family therapists often use.
  • So, for instance, take a quick digital photo of yourself with a silly or contrite expression, print it out and put it on a family member's pillow.
  • Or do some silly dancing together. The point is to do something together that is lighthearted and fun.
  • Not only does this defuse the anger, but it reminds everyone that you are in this family together, forever.
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