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Anger Management Techniques To Survive The Holidays

The holidays are an especially stressful time of year and knowing a few anger management techniques to help you cope may come in handy.

It's inevitable: a to-do list the length of your arm, house guests, parties, shopping, traffic, not to mention the stresses of spending time with family members you wouldn't be caught dead with if you weren't related- it's easy to blow your top this time of year. Is there anything you can do to prevent a meltdown?

Here are a few anger management techniques that might be useful.

Begin by lowering your expectations. Your holiday isn't going to be perfect, in fact, it's the idiosyncrasies and quirkiness of our families that make them so precious. Don't be set on being the one in control all the time. If you're used to being in charge at home, it can be stressful to let go and let someone like your Aunt Mildred be in control for awhile but if you can do it, even just for a little bit, you'll be happier in the end. If Uncle Homer likes to tell the same war stories over and over again, let him. Don't forget that this is only for a short time and soon enough it won't matter who said what or who did what, just that you all didn't kill each other. Try to remember that almost every single thing in life that you face in life which stresses you out will probably have zero impact on your life the next day, week or month. In fact you'll probably end up forgetting it even happened.

Exercise. As much as you can, try to get in regular physical exercise during the holidays. Physical exercise is a great way to reduce stress and lower the risk of uncontrollable anger.

Practice saying no. One of the most common holiday stressors is being over-committed. Learn to decline invites graciously and just say no.

If all else fails and you get in an argument, remember one of the most tried and true anger management techniques: walk away. Give yourself time to think of how best to respond to the situation before you react out of anger. Remember that when we're really angry, the rational mind is clouded and you're not seeing the whole picture. If you have to, tell the other person you can't respond to them now but will get back to them later and leave the room.