How to Avoid a Major Meltdown

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Everyone has a bad day every once in a while. Whether it’s a child who refuses to comply with your request or a missed ferry ride that ruined your holiday plans, everyday stressors can take a toll on your mental well-being. Although anger is a natural emotion, it’s important to manage it to avoid destructive – and embarrassing – behaviors that can affect your health, relationships and overall quality of life.

“If you’re feeling frustrated, letting it out a little bit is actually better than holding it in,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork advises.

Try these simple tips to help get your anger under control:

  • Think before you speak. Avoid saying something you’ll regret by taking some time to sort through your thoughts and feelings.
  • Once you’re calm, express your anger clearly and in a non-confrontational fashion. 
  • Take a walk. Physical activity can help reduce stress.
  • Take a timeout. A few moments to yourself can help you calm down and prepare for what lies ahead.
  • Identify possible solutions. Nip the problem in the bud by resolving the issue at hand.
  • Use “I” statements to describe the problem. Avoid worsening the situation by criticizing or placing blame.
  • Don’t hold a grudge. Forgiveness can turn a negative situation into a learning experience for both you and the person who angered you. 
  • Use humor to release tension. But avoid sarcasm, which can make a situation worse.
  • Practice relaxation skills. Deep breathing, imagining a relaxing scene, repeating a positive mantra, listening to music and writing in a journal are all helpful exercises to reduce stress.
  • Know when to seek help. If your anger seems out of control or causes you to engage in behaviors that may hurt others, you should consider seeking help for anger management. 

Source: Mayo Clinic