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Intervening in the Anger Cycle

Anger can make your body temperature rise, your muscles tense, and your jaws tighten. A sudden rush of adrenaline caused by anger can flush your face as your body energizes. How can you control these reactions? The suggestions below can help you deal with the physical and emotional changes caused by anger:

Breathe easy. Take long, deep, steady breaths.

Relax the face muscles. Intentionally relax your angry expression by clenching and relaxing your jaw, forehead, and mouth.

Walk away. Seek space for solitary thinking; leave the situation alone.

Own your anger. Take possession of your anger and make it your responsibility. Talk to yourself about what is happening and why it impacts you.

Cool your anger. Calm down and look at the situation from a different perspective.

Make a plan. Look at possible solutions for the immediate situation and long term solutions. Take positive healthy action.

Work out your anger. Physical activity or exercise can help relieve tension and anger.

How to Work With Someone Who Is Angry

Listen to the person as they express their anger. Listen without interruption. Stay cool and avoid taking sides.

Try to understand what the person is saying. Give reflective comments. Repeat what he said from your point of view.

Encourage the angry person to think about alternative ways to deal with the problem. There are many different actions including listening, ignoring, or taking an assertive (not aggressive) stand. One or more of these may be the best remedy at the time.

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