Face it, today's corporate office isn't the most ideal place to remain Mr Cool. Follow thesefive simple steps to avoid going up in an embarrassing blaze of fury on really bad days.
Believe it or not, Thomas Jefferson's suggestion that you count till 10 before responding is still your best bet out of a potentially volatile situation. While you are likely to do and say regrettable things when aroused, counting slowly to whatever number seems appropriate gives your blood pressure and heart rate a chance to return to normal. Very angry? Count till 100.
If counting didn't work wonders, another way to tone down your anger is to distract yourself. Boss yelling down the walls of his cubicle on you? Take a walk to the cafeteria for a sandwich and the latest copy of Sports Illustrated.
While this one happens quite involuntarily if you are making an effort to calm yourself down, it helps to make a conscious effort too. According to doctors, slow and deep breaths from the diaphragm - unlike shallow ones from the chest - slow the heart rate, reducing chances of an outburst of fury.
Pick a pen
If every instinct in you recommends clubbing the colleague with a chair, exercise restraint until you can find a pen and jot your feelings down on a piece of paper. Writing or journaling allows you to slow down and contemplate how to respond, instead of reacting destructively.
If the object of your anger is an email or text message, do not respond before you have calmed down. If you are really burning to say something, write out the response and keep it in your draft box for a while before deciding to send it. This will give you time to devise a sane and rational response to the situation.