3 More Ways to Stop the Madness

Anger3

We talked to psychologist Dr. Bernard Golden, author of Overcoming Destructive Anger, about what you can do to help calm down when anger strikes, and some of the reasoning behind it. (Hint: it’s not them, it’s you.)

And … exhale. Breathing deeply is one of the most common ways to help calm your body down, but Dr. Golden says that exhaling is just as important. “When we are angry, our breathing is shallow,” he says. “You’re getting less oxygen and you’re holding in more carbon dioxide, which only revs up the body’s alert system.” Inhale deeply three times, exhaling as much of that CO2 as you can.

Make it personal. As in, redirect your attention away from the situation and focus inward. “Anger is always a reaction to or distraction from other negative feelings,” says Dr. Golden. “Our anger tells us something about our own needs and desires.” Sometimes, it may not even have anything to do with the current situation. You can do this by asking yourself what other feelings you are having right now besides anger.

Rub your ears. It may sound funny, but it actually releases endorphins, which can make you feel better. Next time you’re getting angry, massage an earlobe using your thumb and forefinger. Just pretend you’re resting your chin on your hand and no one will notice. (Bonus points for looking thoughtful.)

Bite me. Feeling angry or stressed all the time? Take a look at your diet. Believe it or not, there are some foods you can eat that can help reduce your stress. Stock up on eggs, salmon and leafy greens, and keep dark chocolate on hand for an easy chill out snack.