The Anger Detox Plan

Get a handle on your anger and keep calm with this plan to help you defuse any situation.

Posted on | By Sue Varma, MD
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How to Do an Anger Cleanse (2:23)

When plans go awry, it’s easy to lose our cool. We have so many balls in the air that when we drop just one, it feels like we’ve lost control. For many of us, the anxiety that comes along with change or lack of control manifests itself in anger.

Make a List of Your Anger Triggers

Make a list of all your anger triggers for one week. Once you do this, you can plan for the worst-case scenario. It doesn’t mean everything will go perfectly, but it’s about minimizing the chance for anger. This plan starts with preventing the anger before it hits.

For example, if you get road rage every time you drive down a certain road, change your route. If one of your kids always seems to spill his juice in the morning, put a mat down. If your husband always misplaces his keys, which then makes the family late to work/school, set everything out the night before.

How to Deal in the Midst of Anger

This is all about finding perspective. You’re putting your body under a lot of physical and emotional stress when you get angry and a lot of the time it isn’t worth it. When you are red-in-the-face angry that your husband left out another pair of dirty socks, you need to stop and ask yourself, “Will this matter in five years?” If your husband had an affair, that would be a different story. You have to learn how to pick and choose your battles.

Do a cost-benefit analysis. Will your temper just serve to alienate the person? If so, can you table it until you are calmer?

Article written by Sue Varma, MD