Summer is officially in full swing and things have been heating up around the U.S. Sweat is beading on our foreheads and we’re looking for ways to cool down, while still enjoying the sunshine and outdoors.

Air conditioning, cool ocean breezes, fans – sometimes we just need some instant relief. And boy does it feel good when you feel the cool air on your skin.

Kids especially are great at finding fun and fast ways to cool off – running through sprinklers in the yard, doing cannonballs into swimming pools, and frolicking in the waves of the Pacific.

Their relief is instant and enjoyable.

So how do we cool off when it’s our emotions that are what’s heating up?

Separation and divorce are breeding grounds for heated arguments, but it’s important to keep your cool so you can continue to work amicably with your ex and achieve the best possible outcome.

We can learn a few things by watching our kids and seeing how quickly they cool themselves when they get too hot.

Remember these ideas to keep your cool when faced with heated arguments:

1. Breathe

Yes, it’s really that simple. There’s a reason why people swear by yoga and meditation. And you don’t have to become a yogi to put this into practice.

Deep breathing is relaxing and has been scientifically proven to affect the brain, the heart, digestion, and the immune system. Deep breathing acts like an automatic stress reducer in your body!

So there’s really something to be said for taking a step back and counting to 10 while you take deep breaths. Turn all of your focus towards your breath in the moment and then return to the situation feeling calmer and with a clearer head. 

It’s instant stress relief and cool down.

2. Understand control

This is a big one for couples going through separation where at least one person is always ready for a battle or to manipulate the situation.

Remember that you can only control yourself and your reaction. You have no control over the other person and they can’t control you either.

When we focus on ourselves, our own emotions, and our reaction, the awareness allows us to better handle what comes our way.

You can choose to yell or say intentionally hurtful things. Or you can choose to listen, stay calm, and keep your side of the street clean. Even if the other person is yelling and animated, it’s your choice to respond in the same way or to respond calmly with grace.

There’s a relief that comes with understanding control and you’ll be able to separate yourself from the heated emotions when you begin to only take responsibility for yourself.

3. Find agreements

Any heated situation immediately loses its fire the moment a point of mutual benefit is identified. You can shift the conversation by looking for agreements and places of mutual interest with your ex.

Highlight the areas where you already agree or you’re close to agreements. Move the conversation to these points and then begin to branch out from there.

When things have gotten heated, it’s helpful to bring you both together again in agreement. It reminds you both what you’re striving for and keeps you focused on the goals at hand, rather than just getting caught up in emotion.

So how do you cool off when things get a bit too heated?

Enjoy the final days of summer before school starts again and remember to enjoy the sunshine, but keep the heat out of your divorce.