Anger is a natural human emotion. We all get angry, we all get frustrated and we all lose control of our emotions at times. Developing self-control and being able to control our emotions is a highly desirable life skill! If a situation is distressing, anger is often our first reaction.

Some people are better able to control their anger outbursts better than others. Are you one of those people, or do your emotions get the better of you?

Anger can be destructive in so many ways. It can affect our personal relationships, work relationships, and our own mental and physical health. Not being able to control your anger can make a conflict situation even worse.

While we cannot always control a given situation, we can always control how we react to it, if we choose to do so. There are things you can do to help stop anger outbursts during conflict situations. Here are just a few:

Take a Deep Breath and Calm Yourself

That sounds easy, doesn’t it? When we have our blood boiling, and our fuse is lit, closing our eyes and staying calm is not as easy as it sounds. Staying calm during an anger outburst can seem an impossible task.

However, you are capable of calming yourself. All you have to do is stop and breathe. To trigger yourself, stop and say one word. BREATHE!

Deep breathing, which is also called diaphragmatic breathing, can help you relax. It helps you release the tension in your muscles and your mind. If you don’t know how to take a big deep breath that goes all the way down to your diaphragm, place your hand just above your navel and breath. Can you feel your stomach expand instead of your upper chest? If so, well done! This very simple calming technique can help you regain composure so you can think more clearly.

Change the Way You Think

Our mindset plays a big role in how we deal with our anger. When we are emotionally charged, we tend to exaggerate situations. A situation may appear to be bigger than it is. Tell yourself that being angry isn’t helping anyone, especially yourself. All it is doing is raising your blood pressure and causing you undue stress. If you remain angry it may only worsen the situation, especially if your anger causes you to respond irrationally.

If you can change your mindset, you can take control of your emotions and possibly the situation.

Stop, Listen, and Plan Your Solution

Have you stopped to listen to the person you are angry with? Have you taken in everything they have to say and understand their point of view? Do you have a plan that you can both work towards?

If you do that’s great, if you don’t, you need to stop, listen and plan a solution. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make us angry and irritable that cause huge, overwhelming frustration. Something has to give and it can often be our emotions exploding all over someone else. Letting out our frustrations can feel like a sigh of relief, but we can get so carried away by our emotions that we lose sight of what really matters.

While finding a solution to the problem may seem ideal, focusing on its results may frustrate you further. Therefore, focus on a plan you can both work with to reach a solution. As long as you know you are working towards solving the problem, your anger will be reduced. If the desired outcome isn’t achieved, you can always come up with another plan.

It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It… So Watch What You Say!

Effective communication is one way to handle anger outbursts. Poor communication and usage of words will get you nowhere fast. How many times have you heard an angry person swear and call another person names? Too often most probably.

From this example, you can see how important it is to think before you speak. Perhaps you have heard the phrase, ‘It’s not what you say, but how you say it.’

In the heat of the moment you may just blurt things out without thinking first, but this is where you need to learn some self-control. Communicating what you really want to say is an important life skill. It will get you everywhere in life. You have to think about your words and how you want to deliver them.

As we said before, stop and take a deep breath, and while you do, think about what you want to say. Once you are composed you can respond appropriately, instead of saying the first things that pop into your mind.

By slowing down, you not only control what you say, but you also become a better listener. Listening intently to a person helps you become a better communicator and can lead both of you to a better understanding of the situation.