I've had trouble, both in the past and present, controlling my temper, especially when stressed, and I know many people have gone through that as well, so I thought I’d write a JS2S article on controlling temper. These are twenty tips, all of which I have done and found helpful. I really hope this is useful to some of you out there!

 

 

  • Have someone else in mind: Take a drink of water as you start to feel angry. Try to (crazy as this might sound) imagine the water flowing through you and cooling down your anger. Try not to react until after you’ve drunk a cup or so of water.
  • Take deep breaths: I know this is kind of a classic, but it really helps. Take at least three deep breaths and focus on it, trying to keep completely calm. Here’s a link to an article written by the awesome Mar on breathing: https://nmgmembers.com/messageboards/4-breathing-exercises-that-really-work-a-js2s-article.  Keep in mind that sometimes more important than doing exercises, when you can really feel yourself getting mad, is just to take simple, deep, breaths.
  • See it from the other standpoint: If you’re arguing with someone, it’s very important to see it from their point of view. Maybe they’re feeling hurt and angry too, for a reason? Use that moment when you’re starting to feel mad, and try to imagine yourself in the other person’s place.
  • Check the tone of your voice: Maybe that doesn’t sound very useful, but it actually can be extremely helpful to check how you sound. Try to say what you want to say in a calm, normal, even, voice.
  • Take a break: (No Hamilton reference intended) Really. When you start feeling upset, sometimes the best thing to do is just to leave the room/place for a little while to calm down. Leave before you actually lose it; when you think you will soon, or are just starting to feel mad, then is the time to leave. Just say “I need to take a break” or something.
  • Think of a better way to say it: Pretty self-explanatory. Think of a kinder/calmer way to state your opinion, and focus on keeping it that way. It can really help.
  • Figure out when you have the most trouble: Basically, think of when you lose control most. Is it when you haven’t been outside in a while? Haven’t eaten? For me I think it happens most when I’m tired or haven’t drinken any water in a while. Finding this out is crucial, because then you can go get a snack or drink of water or take a nap or whatever.
  • Explain how you feel and why: Yup yup yup. Explain to someone you are arguing with why you are so upset, and how to help that stop happening.
  • Remember times when you were getting along fine with anyone you are angry at:  Try to bring the feelings back, and use it while you’re angry.
  • Talk to your parents: It’s true. Talking to your parents about losing your temper and getting angry can really REALLY help. They will probably want to help, and be glad that you brought the problem to them. It can be an awkward conversation to start, but just say something like “so Mom, Dad, lately I’ve been getting angry a lot…”
  • When you get mad, think of things that make you happy: Again, self-explanatory. Think of reading. Drawing. Friends. Hanging out on NMG! Focus on it.
  • Apologize afterwards. Not when you’re still angry: Apologizing when you’re still angry often just makes the situation worse. Go and take a break, and when you’re completely calm, THEN go apologize. Not when you’re still angry.
  • Try not to glare or anything; force your face to smile: Yep, that. It’s hard and might seem unhelpful, but it actually can help, trust me. And it can make other people laugh when it’s fake, plus a glare makes other people angry. 
  • Breathe some nice herbs: this is a HUGE thing that has helped me. Smell some lavender, some mint, some chamomile, whatever you’ve got. Breath it in. Be calmed.
  • If possible, get Flower Essences: Flower Essences are probably a big part of what’s been helping me. Go to the Bach Flower Essences page to find more information about them. The cherry-plum kind is very good for controlling yourself. If you have them, all you have to do is put a couple drops in an eyedropper with water, and then according to instructions/circumstances, take however many drops however many times a day.
  • Don’t use anger as a coverup for sadness: Please! If you’re sad, be sad. There’s no shame in crying, and if the other option is to act angry, cry! Cry! Trust me, it REALLY makes stuff worse to act angry when you’re not even actually angry.
  • Do extra nice things OTHER times: That might sound unhelpful, but it actually is really helpful to be extra kind other times. It also, incidentally, can help you develop a better relationship with people, making you less likely to get mad at them.
  • Focus! Don’t let your attention wander when you’re feeling upset. Set goals. Say to yourself: I will NOT lose my temper right now. I will control myself. Repeat it over and over in your head as you start feeling upset. Focus. Just do your very best.
  • Have someone else in mind: A while ago I got angry, and my grandma was at our house during it. When I had calmed down, she was talking to me and said something like “when you start feeling angry think of me and how disappointed I’d be in you.” I’m not sure why, but I found this really helpful. I’d start getting angry and notice it, and then imagine her face. I highly recommend doing this!
  • Try, try, try again: Don’t give up! Keep trying. Many people have to keep working at it through adulthood, and that is not a shame. In fact, it is wonderful that they kept working! Just keep trying, even if it takes years. Keep at it. Keep trying. And don’t beat yourself up, no matter how long it takes, even if it takes forever. I have faith in you, and you must have faith in yourself and your ability. 

 

I hope this was helpful! And I wish you luck. You got this!

I love to read, draw, write, hug my dogs, play music, play with dolls,write, read, knit, sew, play music, read, play with neighbors, and also read, write, and play music. And hang out on NMG. As you may have guessed, I am very passionate about writing.

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