Men tend to show their rage more than women, but anger can increase cholesterol levels and suppress your immune system—it may even give you a heart attack. So what can you do to defuse it?

Take three deep breaths

Breathing deeply helps you release tension and lower your feelings of internal anger.

vintage yawn

 

Don’t punch a pillow

Studies have found that, far from helping, hitting something only serves to increase your hostility.

vintage female boxer

 

Remember, whoever loses it, loses

Losing your temper makes you look like the bad guy, no matter who’s at fault. Visualise a scene in which you got angry and replay the “tape” several times, each time imagining yourself responding in a different way. That will give you new options for dealing with tricky situations.

vintage monster

 

Picture a red stop sign in your mind

Alternatively, wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it when you find your anger beginning to boil. Then take a few minutes to put the issue into perspective.

stop sign

 

Don’t get mad, get active

Jump on your bike and go for a ride or attack the weeds in your garden. Vigorous activity helps dissipate anger.

vintage bike race

 

Invest in an iPod

Then, when you feel yourself getting riled, switch on your portable music player, pop your headphones on and tune out the aggro.

vintage ipod

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