Sipping herbs isn't the only way to subdue your anger. Try these seven tips for tranquility.
- Try tai chi. Nonstrenuous, meditative exercises, such as yoga or tai chi, can boost your mood, ease tension, and calm anxieties.
- Soak away your cares. Anyone who grows lavender in the garden knows that this flowering plant's lovely scent has a calming effect. Enjoy the benefits by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a hot bath. Don't have lavender oil? Toss a handful of Epsom salts in the tub to reduce tension and relax muscles.
- Boost your Bs. A vitamin-B deficiency can make you susceptible to irritability, aggressiveness, mood swings, or depression. "When you're angry or stressed, your body uses up B vitamins," says clinical herbal pharmacist Steven Ottariano, RPh, of Manchester, New Hampshire. Take a good multi- or B-complex supplement to improve your mood.
- Visualize peace. The American Psychological Association suggests visualizing serene experiences or imagery when you feel anxious or upset. Or try deep breathing exercises while slowly repeating a calm word or phrase, such as "take it easy."
- Sweat it out. Aerobic exercise—the kind that gets your heart pumping—triggers the release of endorphins in your brain. Those are the mood-enhancing chemicals that create a "runners' high," and thus quell anger and ease tension. Thirty minutes of exercise several times a week will help keep your heart healthy and your outlook upbeat.
- Watch a comedy. Anything that gets you guffawing will make you forget your frustrations. A good belly laugh reduces stress hormones, puts you in a better mood, and aids relaxation. Researchers at the University of California at Irvine found that after watching a video of the comedian Gallagher, participants' feelings of depression and anger dropped 98 percent.
- Consider counseling. If your anger is causing problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the quality of your life, a therapist can help you develop effective techniques to manage it. Also see the anger-management tips at the American Psychological Association's Web site (www.apa.org/pubinfo/anger.html).