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Family Living Focus: How to manage anger

Family Life Consultant, M.Ed., C.F.C.S. and Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota

Constantly blowing your stack not only alienates others, but it can also contribute to health problems, including headaches, stomach upset and heart attack. Following are some tips to take control of your anger.

COUNT to 10. When something angers you, give your body time to defuse before you react. Take three or four deep breaths. Ask yourself if this will really matter a year from now.

WALK it OFF. Go for a short stroll until you calm down. It might be helpful to find a quiet place where you can think out loud and take a second look at how you are reacting to a situation.

DISTRACT YOURSELF. For example, in a traffic jam, play soothing music or listen to a relaxing program instead of pounding the horn. At work, dive into a task to turn negative energy positive.

KEEP a LOG. Monitor hostile thoughts to discover how frequently your temperature rises. The benefit is that it will help you sort out the real causes of your anger which are often over things which you have no control.

ASK for HELP. If managing outbursts seems impossible, do not be afraid to try counseling, meditation, lifestyle changes or other kinds of ongoing psychological help. Your health may depend on it.

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If you would like more information on “How to Manage Anger” feel free to contact Gail Gilman, Family Life Consultant, M.Ed., C.F.C.S. and Professor Emeritus — University of Minnesota at waldn001@umn.edu. Be sure to watch for more Family Living Focus™ information in next week’s paper.

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