7 tried-and-tested ways to control your temper

Lose your anger, not your temper!

They say that things said in anger shouldn't be taken seriously. But that is easier said than done. Explosive temper can ruin relationships, burn bridges and can do irrevocable damage to your reputation. We often regret the things we say to others in anger. And in retrospect you wish you had kept your mouth shut at such times. But some of us are more irritable than others, and it is easy to get all over our nerves. Being a former hot head, I have found effective ways of instantly diffusing a potential outburst. Here are seven ways in which you can avoid an explosive situation.

Deep breathing: Before you scoff, let me tell you that a lot of problems in life can be a settled with 3 deep breaths. Anxiety attacks, boredom, fatigue, panic attacks and of course anger! If somebody is getting on your last nerve, clench your fist and breathe deeply. By the third breath, you would have had enough time to restrain yourself.

Walking away: It's true that some people just won't stop annoying you. If a nagging friend won't quit about the way you dress, feel free to walk away from the situation. The friend will soon realise where he goofed up and you will have an apology coming your way soon!

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Count backwards: This is the oldest trick in the book. But counting backwards will divert your mind from the situation and end up focusing your attention on what number comes after 67. This will give you enough time to think of the consequences of your actions. That brings us to our next point.

Think of the consequences of your actions: Think what would happen if you tell your spouse he is needy in a fit of rage. Things will sour between the two of you. That means days of silent treatment and nursing bruised egos. Plus there is no way to mend the hurt caused by stinging words!

Weigh your pros and cons: Someone was right when they said, "Pick your battles." It simply means that not all causes are worth fighting for. If letting go can result in a greater good, always take the path of least resistance.

Don't hold a grudge: Say what's on your mind, but be nice. Passive aggressive people have a tendency to put off confrontation. But they eventually end up having a huge meltdown, taking everyone down with themselves.

Learn to empathise: Realise that the person is not annoying you on purpose. Maybe that rude rickshaw waala is wracked by problems of his own. You saying you don't have change for a 500 might have been the last straw! Remember that everyone is fighting their own personal battles. A little kindness won't hurt anyone. So let go! In fact, your thoughtfulness may make them realise their own folly.

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