20 Tips to Help Cool Off from Petty Arguments
1. Walk Away
Removing yourself from the person or thing that is making you angry is the first step to cooling down.
2. Meditate or Pray
Not everyone is used to praying, but everyone can benefit from meditating. Taking time to reconnect with God or with yourself will help you work towards calming down.
It can seem hard to smile when you’re angry; however, forcing a smile can have a big impact on your emotions. Your brain has no way to distinguish a forced smile and an involuntary one. Once you smile, you produce good-feeling endorphins, and it makes your mood instantly better. It seems kind of silly to smile when you’re angry, and it might make you laugh too, so why not give it a shot?
Laughing does not necessarily distract you from anger. It actually helps to relieve it! Laughter releases pent up feelings and can help alleviate the effects anger has on the body. For instance, when you’re angry, your body is naturally tense. Laughter helps to relax the body and the face muscles. So maybe pick out your favorite comedy to lighten up the mood a bit!
The simple act of breathing takes your mind off of being angry and helps your body to calm down. Completely fill up your lungs with oxygen, allow it to remain there for a second, and allow your breath to leave your lungs slowly. With each breath, you will hopefully feel your anger becoming less and less evident.
6. Walk Outside
Go for a walk. The act of movement helps the body to relieve pent up anger. Walking engages the senses as well and relieves stress. When you walk, you may smell fresh-cut grass and flowers. You may hear birds chirping and see varying shades of green, blue and orange. These sights and senses can help calm your body.
Journaling helps to reveal what we are really upset about. It helps to resolve issues, and it’s easier to decide on the course of action to follow for the next time around. For example, you could decide what your boundaries are and what to do when they are not respected.
Many people do not understand forgiveness. You are not excusing what the person did, and you are not saying that it is okay. However, you are deciding to release your anger and other emotions. When you forgive, you are deciding that you are better off without the negative emotions.
9. Hard Work
If you have some hard work to do, do it when you’re upset. Work out your frustration by chopping wood, digging a hole, kneading some bread dough, or some other vigorous task. You have a high amount of adrenaline surging through you. You might as well redirect your anger into something useful.
10. Think it Through
While you’re worked up, you may think it’s the worst time to try understanding someone, but it can be a good time to ask yourself, “Why might they have felt or reacted that way?” We often assume the other person was out to get us or doesn’t care, when this couldn’t be further from the truth. It helps to understand someone else because it helps us to see that it wasn’t personal to begin with, and it helps to ease into communicating with them again.
11. Talk with a Good Friend
Pick a good person to talk to—one who isn’t going to tell you what you want to hear. Let them know ahead of time if you just want someone to listen. If you want them to give you advice, accept it calmly. Fully listen to them, and consider what they say. They can be very insightful in showing you where you may have gone wrong or what you can do to better the situation.
Like hard work, anger helps to fuel you with energy for getting housework done. Some people don’t particularly like housework, so this is an excellent time to do activities while your mind is on something else. As you work through housework, you are likely to work out your anger as well.
13. Explore What You’re Upset About
While you might think that you’re mad at the person you were arguing with, it can often be a deeper issue. You may have had a lot of people in your life who treated you in a similar way. Once you find out what’s behind the anger, it is easier to resolve.
14. Take a Bath
Taking a bath helps relax the body. When the body is relaxed, emotions are quick to follow. Relaxation also helps to relieve stress. When you relieve your stress, you will find that your anger is hastened as well.
15. High-Impact Aerobics
Exercise helps to lower blood pressure and relieve stress, which is the opposite effect of what anger does. Once you have finished, you will feel better emotionally. Whether it be literal aerobics or going for a run, working out is a great way to relieve the stress and anger.
Doing something good for yourself helps your body and your emotions to heal. Remember how your mom told you to have chicken soup when you were sick? The soup is good for your health, but it’s not what makes you heal faster. What makes you better is your decision to get better. When you take time to care for yourself, you promote your own healing—within your body and your emotions. You can also ask your spouse or someone else to give you a quick massage if you need a pick-me-up!
Yoga has a way of changing your whole mood. Yoga students frequently express that they can come into a class in a bad mood and walk away without a care in the world. It’s true. Yoga helps you to become centered, focused and calm, as well as get in a great workout!
18. Sip Cold Water
Anger increases blood pressure and makes you feel hot. Don’t chug water down, but sip it. Feel the coolness spread through your body. The act of cooling down the body helps to cool down emotions as well.
Put on some your favorite music, whatever it may be. Different genres do different things for people, so whatever calms your or will help you deal with the anger, play it loud and enjoy it!
Taking time for any type of art helps you to express your feelings, but it also helps you to focus on something else. Drawing and other forms of art involve the right side of the brain, which allows a person to spend less time with the left side of their brain—the side that wants to analyze arguments over and over.
Above all else, realize that there are some things that aren’t worth your anger. Anger takes a great deal of energy, and your energy is precious. These are ways to handle the anger, but in the end, make sure you get the problem resolved to prevent further damage. Kids are worth it!