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Jan. 7, 2011 | Volume 22, No. 1

LifeSolutions Corner

“Everything makes me angry lately. My co-workers are really getting on my nerves — the least little thing sets me off at work. I’m yelling at my kids and even the dog! I think I need some help with anger management.”


Good for you for recognizing that your anger is becoming unhealthy for your relationships. You’ve taken the important first step of admitting to yourself that you may have a problem, and you are reaching out to prevent your anger from becoming destructive at work or home … and from affecting your physical health.

Before your anger gets you into trouble, try some of the following tips:

Take a timeout. Just as you do with your kids when they need to get themselves under control, give yourself a “timeout.” Get away from the situation, if you can. Go to a quiet place or take a walk. If you can’t leave a work situation, step away physically from the person you are upset with; take a deep breath and let the person know you can’t talk about this right now.

Focus on your breathing. Take three or four slow, deep, belly breaths. Don’t breathe from your chest; picture your breath going down to and coming up from your “gut.”

Repeat a calming word or sentence to yourself, such as “Take it easy,” “I can handle this,” or “Chill out.”

Close your eyes for a moment and think of a person, place, or thing that makes you feel calm.

Consider other people’s points of view. Try to put yourself in their shoes to understand where they are coming from, in preparation for solving the problem. Practice empathy.

Talk it over with someone. A good listener can help you to understand your own feelings and reactions and find ways to deal with them.

Call LifeSolutions for that objective listening ear, to help you learn to practice the tips above, and brainstorm with you to develop a personal plan of action to deal with your anger.

We can be reached at 1-800-647-3327. We’re available 24/7 for emergencies. And our services are free and confidential — one of your workplace benefits.

Also, check us out online at www.lifesolutionsforyou.com. Click on the WorkLife portal log-in and put in your company code (upmc) to find articles, resource links, and webinars on anger management strategies.

Nothing in this information is a substitute for following your company policies related to information covered here.


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