In relationships, we all have our fights; and having the occasional heated debate between you and your significant other is even healthy. But when these fights cross into full-blown blow-ups, the argument can quickly get out of hand. Follow these ten tips for effective anger management if you want to enjoy a lasting, loving relationship.
1. Know when to make an exit. Remove yourself from a situation you can't handle. If you can't gracefully leave the room, gracefully change the topic.
2. Exit earlier than you think you need to. Exit when your anger is at a level three on a scale up to ten. By the time you're up over level four, exits will become increasingly difficult. Self-righteous indignation will propel you to keep trying to prove your point and will make your wants seem all-important. (As a friend of mine once put it, "My anger makes what I want feel holy and what you want totally insignificant.")
3. Change your focus. Phew. You've separated yourself from that situation you couldn't handle. Now what? Focus on something other than what you were mad about. Avoid further thoughts about the person.
4. Evoke peace and laughter. Find something to think about that evokes calm images or even laughter. Close your eyes and picture yourself on a beach.
5. Breathe deeply. Clear the air emotionally by clearing the physical air in your lungs. The same slow, deep breathing that helps when you're falling asleep in bed can bring cooling energy to you when you're trying to douse your inner fire.
6. Relax your muscles. Hang your arms limply. Focus especially on relaxing the little muscles around your mouth and eyes.
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