Tips to Defuse Anger


By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | October 10, 2012

Shopping for a car when you are in a hurry is risky business. Driving 65 mph in a school zone is tempting fate. Pushing firefighters aside to run into a burning building is just plain folly. Then why would anyone discipline a child when upset, angry or in a hurry?

“Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.” ~Robert Green Ingersoll

Calming down when you are angry may not be easy but is quite necessary to you and everyone around you. Here are a few tips you might try:

  • Counting. Count up to 100 by twos, then threes if needed.
  • Step outdoors. Winter is coming and a chill may just be the answer.
  • Pound nails. Don’t announce that you are taking a walk because you are angry, just go. Walk to your tool shed and pound a few nails into a piece of scrap wood or wooden fence. Remove them from the wood next time.
  • Take a brisk walk. Walk or jog the perimeter of your property, apartment complex or around the block.
  • Go up or down stairs. Something is always headed up or down; take laundry to the basement or carry supplies upstairs.
  • Bounce a ball. Toss a ball from hand to hand or just squeeze since it is good exercise.
  • Breathe deeply. Inhale to the count of two; exhale to the count of four. Doing this increases the exchange of gasses in your lungs and the focus may help cool anger.
  • Repot a plant.Spending a few minutes upgrading a favorite plant can be beneficial. Watch for garage and clearance sales for larger pots.
  • Try yoga. Google “Beginner Yoga Poses” and take your time.
  • Write. Jot down your feelings of anger in a journal, see if a pattern emerges. Start a free “blog” and write about your experiences.
  • Pray. Start a daily prayer list and add the names of those you feel need blessings or divine intervention.
  • Vent. Make a call to a toll-free helpline and talk for ten minutes.
  • Read aloud. The Declaration of Independence, the Bible or even a dictionary can help change your focus until rational thinking returns.
  • Drink water. Guzzling eight ounces of water may give you the time you need to take a step back from the situation and calm down.
  • Meditate. Think about how you want this situation to be resolved.
  • Drown it out. Plug in to earphones and listen to a portable radio or music.
  • Reach for the stars. Simple stretching can loosen tense muscles and enable better breathing.
  • Increase distance. Move in a direction away from the cause of your anger.
  • Palms down. Stand by a sturdy table and press your hands flat; move the fingers apart, then together, repeat.
  • Go nowhere. Sit in your car with the motor off. Listen to the radio, music or a book read aloud.

    Use “I” messages. Have your say in a respectful manner.

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems— not people; to focus your energies on answers— not excuses.” ~William Arthur Ward

  • Identify the problem. Problems have a way of popping up time and again but identifying the problem is the first step to a solution.
  • Troubleshoot to solve. Once identified, list possible solutions or compromises.
  • Name your feelings. Label your feeling to clarify.
  • Use “I” messages. Have your say in a respectful manner.
  • Listen to others. Seek to understand others.
  • Note anger triggers. Find the spark and head off the next episode by putting a plan in place while you are calm.
  • Look for help.There are many options out there for professional help: therapy, counseling, anger management, clergy, etc. Like Parents Anonymous says, “Asking for help is a sign of strength.”

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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