Anger is a normal feeling and can be a positive emotion when it helps you work through issues or problems, whether thats at work or at home.
However, anger can become problematic if it leads to aggression, outbursts, or even physical altercations.
Anger control is important for helping you avoid saying or doing something you may regret. Before anger escalates, you can use specific strategies for controlling anger.
Here are some helpful ways you can control your anger:
1. Count down
Count down (or up) to 10. If youre really mad, start at 100. In the time it takes you to count, your heart rate will slow, and your anger will likely subside.
2. Take a breather
Your breathing becomes shallower and speeds up as you grow angry. Reverse that trend (and your anger) by taking slow, deep breaths from your nose and exhaling out of your mouth for several moments.
3. Go walk around
Exercise can help calm your nerves and reduce anger. Go for a walk, ride your bike, or hit a few golf balls. Anything that gets your limbs pumping is good for your mind and body.
4. Relax your muscles
Progressive muscle relaxation calls on you to tense and slowly relax various muscle groups in your body, one at a time. As you tense and release, take slow, deliberate breaths.
5. Repeat a mantra
Find a word or phrase that helps you calm down and refocus. Repeat that word again and again to yourself when youre upset. Relax, Take it easy, and Youll be OK are all good examples.
Neck rolls and shoulder rolls are good examples of nonstrenuous yoga-like movements that can help you control your body and harness your emotions. No fancy equipment required.
7. Mentally escape
Slip into a quiet room, close your eyes, and practice visualizing yourself in a relaxing scene. Focus on details in the imaginary scene: What color is the water? How tall are the mountains? What do the chirping birds sound like? This practice can help you find calm amidst anger.
8. Play some tunes
Let music carry you away from your feelings. Put in earbuds or slip out to your car. Crank up your favorite music and hum, bop, or sashay your anger away.
9. Stop talking
When youre steamed, you may be tempted to let the angry words fly, but youre more likely to do harm than good. Pretend your lips are glued shut, just like you did as a kid. This moment without speaking will give you time to collect your thoughts.
10. Take a timeout
Give yourself a break. Sit away from others. In this quiet time, you can process events and return your emotions to neutral. You may even find this time away from others is so helpful you want to schedule it into your daily routine.
11. Take action
Harness your angry energy. Sign a petition. Write a note to an official. Do something good for someone else. Pour your energy and emotions into something thats healthy and productive.
12. Write in your journal
What you cant say, perhaps you can write. Jot down what youre feeling and how you want to respond. Processing it through the written word can help you calm down and reassess the events leading up to your feelings.
13. Find the most immediate solution
You might be angry that your child has once again left their room a mess before going to visit a friend. Shut the door. You can temporarily end your anger by putting it out of your view. Look for similar resolutions in any situations.
16. Change your routine
If your slow commute to work makes you angry before youve even had coffee, find a new route. Consider options that may take longer but leave you less upset in the end.
17. Talk to a friend
Dont stew in the events that made you angry. Help yourself process what happened by talking with a trusted, supportive friend who can possibly provide a new perspective.
Nothing upends a bad mood like a good one. Diffuse your anger by looking for ways to laugh, whether thats playing with your kids, watching stand-up, or scrolling memes.