1. Write it down
A written rant is a neat way to let off steam. Not only does writing it down take the sting out of a situation, it can bring you all kinds of insights that elude you when you’re in the throes of throwing things.
Inhale deeply. Exhale the yuck.
3. Have an out-of-body experience
Instead of losing yourself in a frustrating situation, observe how others respond. Watching others deal with the delayed flight, the rude waiter or the customer throwing a hissy fit and holding up the queue can take you out of your own skin and turn down the tension.
4. Be a boy scout
If you know the things that routinely rattle you, you can be prepared for them.
Hate being hassled by hawkers?
Have a big smile and a firm ‘Absolutely no thank you!’ ready to roll off your tongue.
Loath it when people/trains/planes are late?
Always have a book in your bag.
Irritated by inane chatter?
Carry an iPod loaded with music/podcasts/audiobooks.
(Warning: Not recommended if the inane chatterer is your boss/spouse/parole officer.)
5. Go to your happy place
Mine has chocolate, Pepsi Max and new episodes Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars. Yours can be anything or anywhere you like, as long as it lowers your blood pressure and stops that vein from throbbing. Try lying on a warm beach, sailing a calm ocean or chilling to death metal.
6. Remember – it’s not always about you
If someone is being a giant clod, there’s a good chance they have iss-ewes that don’t concern you. They don’t mean to make you mad, you’re just collateral damage. This perspective can turn your anger into compassion. Or at least remind you that Tom Cruise wasn’t always this weird.
It’s very hard to be angry with a smile on your face. Just curl those lips and let the good feelings displace the bad. (Did you know the Mona Lisa’s smile was her anger-management strategy when told about Dan Brown by a clairvoyant? You can almost hear her screaming serenity now.)