Emotions happen. We can, however, make choices about how we manage them. If you consider emotions simply as a form of life energy, you can begin to reframe the notion that there are "good" and "bad" emotions and direct that energy in positive ways.

The energy of anger, for example, can make you reactive. Or it can help you gain clarity about why you’re so charged, recover control of yourself in the moment, and develop a more intentional communication style.

Five Tips to Manage Your Anger in the Heat of the Moment:

1. Stop, breathe, and center yourself. When you’re under stress, notice if you’re holding your breath. Without knowing it, you likely close the throat and tense up, losing perspective, awareness, and the ability to make wise choices - just when you need these faculties the most. So stop, notice your tension, and open your throat. Let the incoming breath reconnect you with your best self.

2. Move from judgment to wonder. Why would a reasonable human being behave this way? An attitude of curiosity is useful in difficult moments. It introduces a learning stance, transforms anger, and brings you back to center. Curiosity and wonder are powerful tools to put in your conflict toolbox.

3. See the different parts of people. When you’re angry, you will see only the part of your "opponent" that you’re upset with. When you speak to that part, you get more of the same. So look for other parts - the person who is a good friend, brother, sister, worker. When you see that part, you'll find communicate differently.

4. Inquire and listen. Asking an honest and open question to try to understand the other person is a powerful antidote to anger. As you become quiet and attentive, you also give yourself time to breathe, center, and regain control of your emotions. Listening is an art and an ally under stress.

5. State your thoughts, hopes, and feelings. When you take the time to center yourself, understand your emotions, and hear your conflict partner’s view, you're more likely to communicate a message your partner can hear.

Anger can damage relationships, but it can also strengthen them. When you breathe, center, inquire, and respond intentionally, you take control back. And you're also more likely to be heard.

Author's Bio: 

Judy Ringer is the author of Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict and the award-winning e-zine, Ki Moments. Judy is a black belt in aikido and nationally known presenter, specializing in unique workshops on conflict, communication, and creating a positive work environment. To sign up for more free tips and articles like these, visit http://www.JudyRinger.com