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How to Calm Yourself When Anger Takes Control of You

Q: In the midst of strong emotions like real raw anger, I literally forget everything and not able to control my temper. What can I do to fight that?

ToddAnswers: It takes time to develop any new habit, but every single time you can bring just a second of presence and awareness to that emotion, you are slowly developing that new habitual reaction of calm.

One thing you can try to do when you are sitting alone and have some time is to close your eyes and think of a situation in the past or a potential situation in the future that you know will trigger those heavy emotions and visualize how you wish to respond.

Really think about that trigger to the point where you can’t help but visualize yourself overreacting, and then sit with it until you find a way to react calmly. Think, “how can I react in the most effective and beneficial way possible?” Let me know how that works for you and go easy on yourself.


 Q: What could we do when somebody makes us angry? And makes us wanna react the way they react?

ToddAnswers: When someone engages in hurtful behavior, we do our best to witness the painful emotions within us arising, witness our thoughts and not resist them or be angry with them. Just observe and accept them.

Then, as the present witness, we can remain calm and present, and through clarity rather than anger, we can see the best path forward. Hurtful situations don’t need to cause us hurt when we can see the big picture in these small moments. We can respond with strength and compassion. Over time, every act of kindness we take will help lead to a kinder world.

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