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Anger is a normal emotion but when it is expressed inappropriately, loudly, aggressively, etc. it can cause problems. A recent study is the first to discover a technique for calming angry feelings in the heat of the moment.

The technique is called “self-distancing”. It requires that we pretend we’re viewing a situation from a distance as an observer rather than as a participant. Our tendency is to focus on our hurt feelings and react. If we “step outside of ourself” and view the situation like a fly on the wall, our reactions will be less intense.