There are so many situations that can lead us to losing our temper every single day that I believe everyone should know a few useful tips on how to restrain yourself from an outburst in order to avoid an emotional meltdown. It’s not that hard to learn how to control yourself but it’s a thing you should do if you want to improve your relationship with your friends, coworkers, family members or sometimes even with complete strangers. By learning how to restrain yourself from an outburst, you’ll prove to everyone else that you are a mature and responsible person who cares about other people’s feelings and well-being. So, here is what you need to know:
1. Identify Your Feelings
The first step you should take if you want to learn how to restrain yourself from an outburst is to identify your feelings and to realize when you are about to burst. Notice if you show any physical signs like tense muscles or shaking, if you feel the pitch of your voice changing or other emotional reactions, like anxiety, anger or the feeling you want to hurt someone. These warning signs might announce an outburst. The faster you spot them, the faster you’ll calm down once you understand why are you feeling this way.
2. Distract Your Attention
If you’ve noticed that you’re about to have an outburst, try to distract your attention and focus on something else! You could use deep breathing techniques or even counting, and you’ll see how much calmer you’ll feel in an instant. That’s why, by focusing your attention on something different than the situation that can make you lose control, you’ll be able to think more rationally and avoid a potential conflict.
3. Listen Carefully
Every time you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel angry or if you’re even starting to lose your temper, try to take a little break and focus on listening (and I mean really listening) to what the other person is telling you. This way, you’ll be more empathetic, you’ll understand their reasons for acting in such a manner and you’ll also earn their respect for taking into consideration what they had to say.
4. Don’t Take It Personally!
If you find yourself in a situation that irritates you, try not to take it personally. Keep your objectivity and think about the way you react to that particular event. You’ll manage to see things more clearly and you’ll be able to evaluate the entire situation before you decide to act in a certain way. By doing this, you’ll surely have fewer things to regret afterwards.
5. Wait a Minute
Usually, angry people tend to react immediately without even thinking about the consequences of their actions. If you find yourself trapped in a certain situation and you feel like you’re about to explode, wait a minute and take some time to reflect about everything that has been said. Waiting is the most efficient thing you can do if you’re trying to prevent an outburst, because by doing this, you’ll give yourself enough time to process those events and you’ll be able to take the best decision on what you would do next.
6. There Are Things You Can’t Control
Learn to accept that, in life, there are a lot of things you simply can’t control no matter what you would do. Things like traffic jams, strikes or broken appliances can really get on your nerves sometimes, but by getting angry and losing your temper, you’ll solve absolutely nothing. Try to fix what can be fixed and if you can’t do anything about it, learn to accept things as they are. You can’t control everything and there are things that just happen and no one is to blame.
7. Learn to Act in an Assertive Manner
Usually, assertiveness can be very easily mistaken for anger but in fact, they are two very distinct concepts. Learn what assertiveness is and express yourself in a more assertive way. If you think that yelling and cursing is asserting yourself, you’d better think again. Try to find the perfect balance between being too nice and standing up for yourself! There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself as long as you take into consideration other people’s needs and feelings.
8. Sit down and Breathe
If you have the possibility and you’re noticing that you’re beginning to lose your temper, try to sit down somewhere for a few moments and just focus on your breathing. You’ll see that this little trick really works and you’ll feel calmer and more rational in an instant. People who meditate do know that as soon as you start focusing only on your breath, everything else will just disappear. This will also improve your emotional state and it will help you relax a bit.
9. Take a Short Break
If you realize that despite all you’ve been trying to do, you still haven’t managed to calm down and you fear you might do or say something you would later regret, try to take a couple of minutes to think about what is happening and go somewhere you can be alone with your thoughts. Sometimes even a public bathroom or a cleaner’s space would do just fine. If you have the possibility, you could just go home and continue the conversation that’s upsetting you another time when you can think more clearly.
I know that sometimes it can be quite difficult to restrain yourself and reevaluate your thoughts, but with a bit of practice, controlling your behavior in difficult situations won’t seem such a challenge anymore. Could you offer us any other tips on how to prevent an outburst? Please share your advice with us!