1. Count to 10
A cliche method, but very effective.
Here’s Why: Taking the time to focus on something else when a specific thing is making you angry is a good way to calm yourself down.
Tell yourself, “I’m feeling angry, and when I feel angry, I count to 10 before doing anything else.”
2. Take deep breathes
Another tip that is very common, but just because it’s common advice, doesn’t mean people commonly practice it!
Here’s Why: When we feel agitated or excited, our breathing naturally becomes more shallow. By deliberately breathing slower and more deeply, we can trick our body and brain to think that we’re calmer than we actually are.
Just imagine that you have a habit of breathing deeply when your angry. If that doesn’t work, try similar strategies to trick your mind into actually getting into the habit of doing it.
3. Start an inner dialogue with a calmer version of yourself
Try to imagine a version of you that is unfazed by any problems that comes their way. You can have that version of yourself wear anything, like a suit or a monk’s robe. They can even be any creature, like an angel or a talking lion! Whatever makes them memorable, so that they come to mind as soon as you get stressed.
Here’s Why: A calmer version of yourself is in fact the rational and logical side of your brain. It’s the part of you that analyzes without bias to determine the best course of action. It doesn’t matter what that looks like to you, the point is to start a dialogue with it to diffuse your feeling side a little.
Some people don’t need to visualize, but many people can benefit from this method, especially creative types.