Everyone gets angry. From Dr Jekyll to your favorite Powerpuff girl, everyone has their angry moments. However, while expressing your anger may be important to keep your emotional health in check, there is a time and place for everything – and the workplace definitely isn’t one of the places where you should let your inner She-Hulk reign.
If you have trouble keeping your anger at bay when at work, here are 7 things you can do to take control of it before all hell breaks loose:
Turn your anger activators into something good.
Think about the things that make you angry and then try to turn those things into something good whenever possible. Someone took credit for your work? Ask to work with them next time. Sacrificed sleep to finish a last-minute project for your boss? See the hard work as brownie points to help you get an extended vacation leave in the future. Not drinking with the crew after work because you weren’t invited? Enjoy some much-needed me-time instead!
This may sound like a cliche, but breathing and counting to 10 can actually calm you down – provided you breathe deeply and clear out your mind of practically everything in there, that is. Deep breathing can actually reduce your blood pressure and slow down your heart rate. So, the next time you feel a spurt of anger rising within you while at work, just sit down and take a few deep breaths until you have completely cooled off.
Take a walk.
The next time you feel like slapping someone at work, leave the premises and take a walk until the feeling has subsided. By moving away from a heated situation, you can avoid doing and saying things that you might regret later on down the line. Besides, walking will clear your head and help you discuss things in a calmer and quieter mind when you get back to work.
Challenge your inner voice.
Sometimes, anger stems from a person’s general mindset. Whenever you start to think defensively (“my boss is trying to ruin my life”), actively tell yourself to think positively for a change (“this is my chance to prove myself”). How you perceive these challenges at work can actually become a huge part of the overall solution.
Practice better lifestyle habits.
Do you always sleep past midnight? Do you skip meals? A lack of sleep and food may be the reasons why you feel cranky at work sometimes. Try to figure out what sets you off at work and just practice better lifestyle habits, in general: sleep more, eat better, and drink a lot of water to start.
Release your anger the right way.
Be productive and release your anger by running in the morning or going to boxing classes after work. Exercise releases endorphins, after all, so it can improve your mood a hundredfold whenever you need it to.
Ask for help.
If none of the aforementioned tips seem to work for you, ask for help. Call up your friends and let off some steam by turning them into your ranting boards. Ask your parents for advice on what to do when you are at a complete loss. If all else fails, look for anger management classes near you.
Remember: anger is natural, but that doesn’t mean it should take over your work life – or any part of your life, for that manner. Take control of your anger now and keep that She-Hulk at bay for good.
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Angeline Rodriguez is a superhero, a princess, a geek, a rage monster and a single mom all rolled into one. She lives for makeup, music, dessert, yoga and the written word.