Constantly blowing your stack not only alienates others, it can contribute to health problems, including headaches, stomach upset and heart attack. To take control:

COUNT to 10. When something angers you, give your body time to defuse before you react. Take three or four deep breaths. Ask yourself: “Will this really matter a year from now?”

WALK it off. Go for a short stroll until you calm down. Helpful: Find a quiet place where you can think out loud and take a second look at how you’re reacting to a situation.

DISTRACT yourself. Example: In a traffic jam, play soothing music or listen to a relaxing program instead of pounding the horn. At work, dive into a task to turn negative energy positive.

KEEP a log. Monitor hostile thoughts to discover how frequently your temperature rises. Benefit: You’ll help sort out the real causes of your anger, which are often things over which you have no control.

ASK for help. If managing outbursts seems impossible, don’t be afraid to try counseling, meditation, lifestyle changes or other kinds of ongoing psychological help. Your health may depend on it.




From “TOP HEALTH, The Health Promotion and Wellness Newsletter”, May 2004.