How to Keep Calm in an Increasingly Angry World 

photo of angry man driving a car

Angry people seem everywhere today. You see it in people’s faces. You hear it in their voices. You might hear it in your own voice. Living in a society that often consists of wall-to-wall annoyances and blood pressure pushing provocations, we are faced daily with what seems like countless reasons to blow a fuse.  Here are a few suggestions that you can implement to try keeping anger levels manageable.

Breathe! 

Sounds obvious, but many people don’t breathe properly or they do it just too shallowly. Breathe deeply. Fill the bottom part of your lungs first. You could even intensify the benefits by making such affirmations as “let go” or “breathe and relax,” saying it nice and slowly as you inhale and exhale. Sometimes this is just enough to bring your mind and body back under control.

Do Something You Like 

Get involved in something you enjoy. What are your hobbies? Have you got any? Maybe you need to get one. Take up painting, or learn a musical instrument. Turn your hand to gardening. There is a growing body of evidence to show that working in the garden really does help to soothe those stresses away. Being interested in something and having your mind on a hobby may be enough to tame those aggravations that often lead to anger, and it will channel your energies elsewhere.

Get Some Exercise

Not to be overlooked too is the immense benefit of exercise. Even just going for a brisk walk can do wonders when it comes to calming your spirit. Not only will you feel the physical benefits, but often a bout of exercise will somehow rearrange your thoughts about things so that you can view them more realistically seeing things from a different point of view.

Be realistic with yourself and others 

One of the most important things you can do to reduce anger in daily life is simply to have realistic expectations about life. Accepting the fact that potential triggers are an inevitable part of life is a good starting point in gaining control. Having unreachably high standards for ourselves and others is sure to lead to frustration, which if left unchecked can easily erupt into a burst of anger. It’s far better to make allowances for others and just assume they’re having a bad day if they do or say something that irritates you. As someone once said, you can’t change the gales, so you must adjust your sails. While we have little if any control over the things others may say or do, we do have control over how we react.

Say nothing (at least not right away) 

In situations where you’ve been made angry, choose very deliberately to remain silent. Leave the situation. Practice some breathing exercise in some quiet spot, and don’t return until you are calm. Imagine stormy waters being miraculously made calm. Look over those calm waters in your mind’s eye. Let the image be profoundly calm. Choose beforehand that you will never say anything in anger and make it your habit. When you’re calm, you’re far more likely to see the situation for what it actually is and handle it in a more calculated way. Approach it like an accountant would a problem. Take a moment. Visualise those still waters, and come back cool, detached and analytical.

We all have to live in a world full of annoyances. Even if you did get away to an isolated place with serene hills and streams, there would still be things that would test your patience. By cultivating your inner calm and applying these suggestions,  you might just be able to keep yourself calm in the face of someone else’s angry outburst. If you do, you can feel a sense of pride that you have begun mastering your emotions in what is often an increasingly angry world.