Scream at the boss? Snap at a colleague? Throw your cell phone into your computer monitor?


In most cases anger isn't an illness but a normal human emotion that causes problems when it flares too hot, too often. People can learn to manage their anger with practical skills.


Psychologists believe that individual talk therapy is the most effective for anger problems. Anger doesn't occur by itself. It's nested and embedded with a lot of other emotions -- sadness, grief, shame. Angry people want to talk, given the opportunity.


Tips to Help Keep A Temper in Check


--Calculate what your anger is costing you. Many people with anger problems think anger gives them an edge, and establishes superiority. Instead, you just look like an idiot.


--Be aware of how you talk to yourself. If you keep saying how awful this is and making yourself feel alike a victim, you will get more angry.


--If you feel a blowup coming on, give yourself a time-out before acting on it. Wait 15 minutes before you say something, or an hour before you send an email. Keep your options open. If it's not going to be important in an hour, then let it go. It's not worth getting angry about.


--Keep an "anger log" to monitor what makes you angry. Learn to identify and avoid your triggers.


--Don't ruminate on past affronts or injustices.


--Get physical, without fists. When your primitive brain senses a threat, it sets off the 'fight or flight' cascade of hormones. Opt for flight instead of fight and burn off the extra adrenaline and cortisol with exercise. Even a brisk walk will help calm you down.


--Reframe the situation. Instead of seeing every inconvenience or frustration as a personal affront, imagine a benign explanation.


--Find a constructive solution to the issue at hand. Ask yourself: What do I need to be okay right now? That shifts the focus from how the other person needs to be punished to how I need to respond in a healthy way.