Yelling, throwing things, and generally blowing your top aren't the only signs of anger. Sulking, nagging, and crying are also common expressions of anger.
Besides alienating others, chronic anger can contribute to a variety of unpleasant ills, including headaches, skin rashes, stomach upsets--even high blood pressure.
If you tend to get angry easily and often, take these steps to help you control this negative reaction.
- Count to ten at the first twinge of anger, and take three or four slow, deep breaths. The angry impulse may pass.
If it's convenient and you feel a major outburst coming on, take a short walk until you calm down.
- Don't resort to nagging or door slamming. If someone says or does something that bothers you, discuss it calmly.
- Distract yourself. If you're stuck in traffic, for example, try to accept the delay and recognize that it's beyond your control. Pounding the horn and cursing at other drivers only prolongs your agitation. Instead of sounding off, play pleasant music on the radio or listen to an interesting program. (See Tip 171 in chapter 6, Success over Stress.)