Ready to lose it and let loose on someone? Ask yourself these questions to determine if your anger is appropriate to the situation. This comes from Duke University psychiatrist and anger researcher Dr. Redford B. Williams:

  • Is this situation important? Are you upset because someone is driving slowly in front of you? Yeah, not important.

  • Is my reaction appropriate? Your anger is appropriate is your kid’s little league coach is screaming at him. Your anger is inappropriate if you’re upset because your kid is batting 7th.

  • Can the situation be changed? You can sometimes change a situation, or modify your own behavior. But it’s very hard to change someone else’s mind. That’s a situation you should simply walk away from.

  • Is it worth it to take action? Consider if the emotional energy you expend is worth the possible payoff.

Dr. Williams says if even one answer to these questions is NO, your anger is misplaced. The good news is, in the time it takes to ask yourself these questions, may be enough for you to gain perspective and your composure.