What is it that makes your blood boil? Maybe it’s getting struck in traffic, receiving a negative review from your boss or being stood up by a friend. Maybe you get angry when a family member doesn’t take your advice or when something unexpected comes up and you have to reach into your rainy day fund to take care of it. Everyone is bound to have something that pushes their buttons. It’s how you handle a seemingly negative situation that can make or break you. Spilling a cup of coffee on your lap can ruin your entire day… if you let it.

It can be hard to control your emotions. A rude note from a co-worker can cause your blood pressure to rise and the veins in your forehead to start popping. Before you know it, you’re angry, your day is shot and you have a negative attitude for the rest of the day. Figuring out how to manage your anger when it strikes can make all the difference. Learning how to deal with a negative situation while being calm, cool and collected can save you from wasting time and energy being upset.

The next time you start to get upset, try these anger management tricks to help make you feel peaceful again:

1. Improve Your Listening Skills

Being an active listener can help you improve your communication with others. Taking the time to listen to someone else and take interest in what they have to say can help you build better relationships. This can help reduce potentially hostile thoughts and emotions that might build up during a conflict. Being an active listener establishes feelings of empathy and shows the other person that their thoughts and emotions matter. Sometimes, a person who is confrontational toward you simply wants to be understood.

2. Practice Relaxation

Relaxing often seems like the hardest thing to do when you’re worked up. But believe it or not, it helps! When you feel yourself getting upset, focus on breathing deeply from your diaphragm. Short breaths from your chest won’t help. But pausing for a few moments to take deep breaths and focus on something positive can help calm your impending anxiety and lessen feelings of anger. Remind yourself that your reaction to a situation makes a difference. You are in control.

3. Find An Outlet

Constantly focusing on the thing that’s making you upset will only make the situation worse. Instead, force your mind out of a negative space. Find an outlet for your anger or frustration. Go for a run, practice yoga, read a book or take a walk outside. Getting yourself worked up won’t solve anything. In order for you to find a solution to your problem, you need to clear your head.

4. Forgive And Forget

Forgiveness is a powerful thing. Whether the person who hurt you deserves your forgiveness or not, think about how choosing to forgive can affect you. Choosing to forgive means making a decision to let go of the pain. It’s a promise to yourself that you’ll no longer let your anger control you. While we rarely ever forget when someone causes us pain, a “forgive and forget” mentality can help us learn a valuable lesson from the situation while being strong enough to move on.

Power of Positivity
Wiki How
Reader’s Digest
American Psychological Association
Fast Company