Occasionally we all get angry-at other people, at events, at ourselves. But frequent or intense fury can strain the heart, unleash harmful stress hormones and ruin relationships. To control anger…

  • Interrupt the feeling. Distract yourself with an activity that you enjoy taking a walk, watering plants).

Or: Cover your face gently with your hands to block stimuli, then breathe deeply, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

  • Explode—alone. Downloading ire onto others makes them resentful. Go somewhere private to scream or pound pillows. Once composed, calmly state what you want ("I need you to clean up this mess").
  • Channel anger constructively. When mad at yourself (“My clothes don't fit!"), adopt an action plan (such as joining a gym). If your blood boils at someone's incompetence, take more control of your finances, for instance, if your accountant made a mistake.
  • Explore anger's root. If you often feel that other people fall short, you need to lower your standards. When feelings get bruised, seek an explanation ("You didn't call—is everything OK?") instead of taking it personally. Is fury triggered by a memory? Dwelling on the past wastes energy better spent on activities that help you—and others-feel good.

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