Learn how to control your anger before it controls you — or gets you canned
Who hasn’t had a bad day at work? We all have that one colleague — or more — with the ability to set us off with the right word or look. Whether we’re dealing with a micromanaging supervisor, a hyper-critical client, or a credit-stealing colleague, it’s natural to get aggravated at work sometimes.
On top of that, many businesses are facing layoffs and budget cuts that pile on the stress, making everyone extra snappish. But losing your cool in the workplace is the fast track to a derailed career.
Learn how to control your anger before it controls you!
The key to managing any set of emotions is recognizing and being honest about them. Know what sets you off and be aware of the signs your feelings are getting high before they redline — no one wants to end up on an episode of TruTV.
The earlier you understand where your emotions are heading, the easier it will be to rein them in. But how can you regain your cool before you blow your stack?
Count to 10 – or more
Your mom was right! Counting to 10 (or 120, if necessary) slows your response to any stressful situation.
Whether you simply count in your head or take a few measured breaths, that pause will help you regain a sense of calm so you can address the situation rather than just react to it.
How to control your anger before it controls you, tip 2: Hit the road, Jack
If you can give yourself a quick change of scenery, do it. Leave the room. Go outside for a breath of fresh air.
A change of pace through a quick walk will help give you that same reset opportunity as counting, along with burning off some of your excess adrenaline — just one more way to control your anger before it controls you.
You might even bump into a trusted friend or colleague who will give you an instant mood lift.
Write it out
Acknowledge your anger and where it’s coming from.
That doesn’t mean blaming others unfairly when you get ticked off! But sometimes, putting everything in writing helps us gain perspective about what’s going on and where the emotions orient. Writing things down might also help you formulate a solution to the underlying problem.
Pro tip: do not leave your written rant on your screen or desk where anyone else can see it. If you use paper and pen, throw it away in the kitchen. Under food. Shred it. Take it home and burn it.
But do not leave angry words on a company device or hanging around to be found, especially by anyone mentioned in them!
Take back control
Sometimes, we get angry and frustrated because others are indeed out of line. Feeling like you have no control over your workplace or future is a sure path to an emotional spiral and possible outburst. So, once you’ve cooled off, assert yourself IF you can.
You may need to get a supervisor or HR rep involved. If your company offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), make an appointment and ask for guidance. (While HR is often looking out mostly for your employer, EAP will look out for you and your mental health.)
Setting boundaries at work is okay! It’s healthy.
Note that we’re talking assertive, NOT aggressive. You can be respectful while still taking back your rightful place or putting a colleague back in their lane. That goes for clients too.
“The customer is always right” doesn’t mean the customer gets to be a full-on jerk to you or your teammates.
On the other hand, there are indeed times that all you can do is let it go. Your boss isn’t going to change. Your colleagues aren’t going anywhere (soon). Clients will always have a PITA factor.
If trying to be respectfully assertive doesn’t work, you may not have any option but to channel everyone’s favorite Ice Queen. Recognize that “it is what it is” and let the anger go.
Take a tip from mindfulness meditation: acknowledge your feelings, observe them, and then move on to the best of your ability. Try not to judge yourself or the situation in that process.
Watch what you eat and drink.
Did you know how many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients affect mood? Calcium, magnesium, iron, Vitamin D, zinc, B12, B6, omega-3 fatty acids, and others are important to how the brain and nervous system work.
Consuming the right amounts of key stuff — especially in healthy foods— can help keep your mood stable and even give you a mid-day lift. The United States government has formulated Recommended Daily Allowances for all of these nutrients and most others that healthy adults need.
If you’re concerned that you might be low on any of these essential items, your doctor can help you out with simple blood tests and recommend any needed supplements. Food is the best source, but a basic multivitamin could help!
Try a little hemp helper
If the Scaries have their hold on you, you’re more likely to snap and pop off. And a little CBD could be something invaluable to put in your workday Zen toolbox.
Popping a few CBD gummies can help you take a deep breath, clear your mind, and chill. They’ll reset your equilibrium and may enable you to deal with things with a fresh perspective.
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