Calming Yourself When You're Angry: Moving from Hot to Not

Part of the Managing Anger with CBT For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Getting angry doesn’t happen in a moment. Managing your anger and calming down doesn’t either, but even acute rage eventually wears off. Understanding how angry feelings evaporate gives you tactics you can use as anger antidotes. These are tactics you’re already using, but may not have spotted! Using memories of past anger, try working out how you cool down.

Have a look at the following successful calm-down options, adding your own to the list, too:

  • Just leave it: You’re sick of arguing and walk away. So choose to leave now and come back later. You can make your point better when you’re calmer.

  • Get distracted: If someone phones, you’ll answer. Make your own distractions to help you change focus. Try texting yourself ‘Calm down’ and reading it.

  • Rescue yourself: If anger turns into fighting, the loser is usually left dealing with injuries. You can rescue yourself by changing the subject, apologising, agreeing or finding answers, before hurtful words or fighting start.

  • Accept there’s nothing more to say: In plenty of situations, you know this as you’re getting angry. Anger won’t change the other person’s mind; coming back with facts might. Use time away to get the facts that back you up.

  • Picture something funny or calming: When anger is intense, your mind gets tunnel vision. Your imagination is an antidote to take you far away to somewhere calm or amusing.

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Managing Anger with CBT For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

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