Anger and stress can kill relationships, destroy creativity and lower the quality of our lives.
These 8 techniques are some I always try to remember when I start getting worked up.
They help and let you take control; they help you become the master of your emotions once again.
1. Take a deep breath
Most fights tend to start calm and then escalate, getting worse and worse with everyone’s emotions getting stronger and stronger. By taking a deep breath you give yourself oxygen and calm, you can deescalate yourself giving you the chance to deescalate the situation.
2. Count to ten
If things have gone too far you can take a little time to count to ten, relax and really try to shed all your angry negative emotions so that you can go back into the discussion and say what you really want to say instead of things you will regret afterward.
3. Seek first to understand then to be understood
The people we fight with the most are usually the people we respect the most. In that sense we should know that those people aren’t out to hurt us or saying what they are saying out of stupidity, in fact they might be right.
Listen to them, their argument and their reasons, when you do you might start seeing the problem in a different way, you might see that their point of view wasn’t as wrong as you thought.
Once you have listened to the other, they are usually more open to listening to you. So if it does turn out that they are wrong, you have a greater chance of proving yourself right.
4. Remember, you are response-able
In every situation you have the power to chose your response, this is what makes the human race so powerful. We have control over our thoughts and emotions, when things happen; You get into a fight or you get bad news, you can chose your response, you don’t have to get mad.
5. Make a list
By getting everything out of your mind and on to paper you can get a better overview of what is making you stressed and/or angry. It will help you be more creative and let you focus more on finding solutions than having to remember all the problems.
List things you need to do, or you want to change, then identify the ideal solution to each situation and list an action you can take now on each to move it towards its ideal solution.
6. Take a 5 minute break to clear your head
If you are stressed or mad your emotions might have taken complete control over your senses, before you do something you will regret or you spend the next few hours without getting anything done, give yourself a chance to clear your head, get a cup of coffee, take a walk, relax a little.
7. Refocus your thought onto the positive
Your mind can only hold either a negative or a positive thought at the same time. If you refocus your mind onto positive thoughts it will be unable to think negative thoughts.
Forcing yourself to list all the positive things about the one you are fighting with, or all the positive things about the situation you are in will let you take control over your emotions and keep focusing on the positive.
8. Are you looking to Win or to save the relationship?
Do you have to be right?
Is the most important thing to be right or is it to preserve the relationship?
In some cases it is important to find a ideal solution, for example in business, but in most cases people fight about mundane things that don’t really matter. In that case you should always ask yourself “Does it matter if I cave?”.
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