Take immediate action if you find yourself getting provoked so you don’t react in anger. You can diffuse your anger and keep control if you take the following steps:

  1. Rate your anger on a 10-point scale.

    A rating of 1 to 3 means you’re irritated, 4 to 6 means you’re mad, and 7 to 10 means you’re in a rage.

  2. Keep yourself from reacting immediately.

    Reacting in anger is what gets you in trouble. Try responding instead — by being thoughtful, deliberate, and in control of your actions.

  3. Give yourself time.

    Emotions are transient. They will pass even if you don’t act on them. Time is on your side.

  4. Relax.

    Take a deep breath or count to ten.

  5. Analyze your anger.

    Who are you angry at? Is this where you want to lose your cool? Why are you angry? Is the intensity of your anger consistent with the cause?

  6. Give yourself three options (and consider the consequences of each): Let it pass, respond with a vengeance, or walk away initially but return later to discuss why you were angry.

  7. Now respond.

    At this point, you’re more likely to respond to your anger in some type of constructive way.

  8. Reward yourself for exercising self-control.