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Tame thy temper: is your nickname "hothead"? Learn how to stay cool and still get your point across.

We all lose our tempers now and again. But if you often get so crazy-angry that you totally lose it, it's time to figure out how to deal. Shaking that impulse to twist the head off of your sister's Barbie after she "borrows" your iPod (again!) will help you resolve any problem while staying clear, cool and in control. Here are five secrets to not blowing your top....

Burn, Baby, Burn

Anger is a completely natural emotion--especially when you see your lab partner batting her lashes at your yearlong crush. Errrgh. But giving her an unexpected bang trim next time you're working the Bunsen burner would a) get you suspended and b) completely blow your chances of getting The Guy. Release that steam by going for a run, taking a kickboxing class, or even cranking up the music and shaking it like you're on So You Think You Can Dance.

Janice Styer, therapist at the Caron Foundation in Pennsylvania, explains, "A lot of energy goes with anger, so do some physical activity as an immediate release. Even just dropping to the floor and doing push-ups and sit-ups helps."

Let It All Out

Go to your bedroom, grab a pillow and yell into it as loud as you can. And if you cry too, hey, you get bonus points. "Anger does a number of negative things to you if you keep it inside, like turning to rage. By screaming and yelling, you give your anger a voice and put that energy outside of you where it belongs," says Styer. "Sometimes you may even want to punch somebody, so use your pillow if you need to since it's readily available and harmless."

The Write Stuff

Take 'all that pent-up anger, and spell it out in a diary, journal or even a letter addressed to the one who is causing you fury. Include every fightin' word--totally uncensored. "When you put words down, it gives validity to your thoughts and feelings and you can also look at it later and see if you want to handle things the same way next time," says

Styer. Can't find the words? There's plenty to be said for scribbling.

Talk It Out

Sometimes when you're angry, it feels like you've been invaded by a Body Snatcher who has sucked every ounce of rational thought right out of you. Cool down by chatting it out with your morn, a friend or a teacher to get feedback and, of course, some much-needed sympathy. "Talking with someone outside of the situation gives you another viewpoint, which is always helpful. It can be calming just to have someone really hear you," explains Styer.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Your 'rents suddenly retract their OK to let you go to the concert with your crew? Before you spazz, take a deep breath. "Physiologically, if you just listen to your breath going in and out, your body will react to that response and will calm down immediately. Do two minutes of breathing, then you can really look at what happened. You'll have a different response to the situation," says Styer.

A healthy sense of anger can be a positive thing. It might motivate you to figure out a solution to a problem, whether by talking it out or ignoring the gossip or whatever. So next time you feel like you're on Boiling Point, take a sec to find the calm before you blow.
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Author:Ryan, Sandy Fertman
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
Words:568
Previous Article:Choose or lose.
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