How to Manage Anger and Stress

How to Control Anger and Frustration in a Relationship

How to Manage Anger and Stress

Anger is a natural and normal human emotion that tends to make its presence known in any relationship, even if it is not addressed at the person to whom it is being expressed.

Unfortunately, anger often rears its head in our interactions with those we love the most, including our romantic partners. But passion in a relationship shouldn’t mean that emotions anger are expressed in uncontrollable ways.

Managing anger and managing your response to an angry partner is a useful skill that can promote intimacy and maturity in any romantic relationship.

As a therapist, I often challenge my clients to think about how their reactivity in a relationship gets in the way of who they want to be as a partner.

So often we shut down, complain to friends, or try and control our partner as a response to our anger. While these strategies may feel relieve us in the moment, they are rarely effective in the long-term.

Let’s take a look at four simple strategies for managing anger and growing maturity in your relationship.

Avoid the Impulse to Cut Off

When a person is fighting with their significant others, sometimes they may feel the urge to slam a door and give them the silent treatment. Going silent can calm you down temporarily, but it is ly to increase your partner’s anxiety or anger.

This doesn’t mean you have to sit down and solve a problem in the heat of the moment. Instead of quickly zooming the driveway or walking away, consider telling your partner that you need some time to calm down so you can organize your thinking.

Let them know that it’s important to you to work out difference and consider what’s an appropriate amount of time for you to think and come back to them.

If your partner tends to give you the silent treatment when you’ve forgotten an anniversary or skipped dinner with their parents, you’ve probably experienced some anxiety not knowing what’s going to happen.

You can’t make them talk to you, but you can share that you’re ready to share your thinking and work together when they’re ready.

Trying to coerce or threaten them into a quick reconciliation is ly to backfire and cause them to cutoff even more.

Focus on Managing Yourself (And Not Your Partner)

When someone we love is angry with us, often we feel compelled to appease and soothe them as quickly as possible. But we ultimately can’t control anyone’s thoughts, behaviors, or emotions—we’re only tasked with managing our own.

Being calm is much more effective than trying to calm someone else, and people who can stay focused on managing their own anxiety and reactions give the other person the space to do the same.

So instead of saying, “Please calm down!”, try taking a few deep breaths and slowing your own heart rate.

Similarly, if you’re angry with your partner and want them to change a behavior, your attempt at controlling them is ly to produce a negative reaction. The goal is to share your thinking with the hope that you’ll be heard, not to shame the other person.

Remember, it’s unly that you will be heard if your words and behaviors are lighting up the fear-response in your partner’s brain. Immaturity begets immaturity so often in relationships.

It might feel critical to send a rude text to your partner while they’re at work or wake them up in the middle of the night with your grievances, but these strategies rarely accomplish more than escalating a conflict.

Be Aware of Triangles

When you’re furious or peeved at a partner, it can feel cathartic to complain to a friend, your child, or even your therapist. When we use a third person to manage our stress about another, this is often called an emotional triangle. Wanting to vent is completely human and it is not wrong.

But sometimes this “triangling” keeps us from working out the problem in the original relationship and it can leave your partner feeling isolated or even make them more defensive.

So the next time you’re upset with your spouse, and you’re tempted to pick up the phone, ask yourself, “Am I asking for help or just looking for someone to agree with me?” If it’s the latter, maybe try calming yourself down before asking for someone else to do so.

And while there’s nothing wrong with sharing relationship conflict with your therapist, be aware that it’s their job to be neutral and help you do your best thinking—not to agree with you that your partner is the villain of the story.

Look Past the Issues

As individuals, there are certain topics which are ly to ignite an angry reaction or an anxious reaction that can lead to conflict. Often these are topics money, politics, religion, sex, parenting, or family drama.

It’s easy to assume that having different opinions can produce anger and conflict, but more often it’s our immature reactions to these topics rather than our actual opinions.

So rather than getting hung up on resolving conflict as quickly as possible, shift your focus back to responding as maturely as you possibly can. This doesn’t mean you need to put up with abuse or volatility from a partner, or even than you have to stay in a relationship.

Maturity simply looks being willing to not let your emotions totally run the show. It looks asking, “What is the best version of myself doing in this situation?” And you’re unly to see your best self slamming doors or screaming at people you love.

If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of anger in your romantic relationship, remind yourself that you are 50% of the equation. If you’re calmer and more mature, then your relationship will be calmer and more mature.

Perhaps your partner will rise to the same level of maturity, or perhaps you’ll realize that the relationship isn’t right for you. Either way, you’re choosing not to let anger run the show.

  When one person can make that choice for themselves, they’re ly to find a partner who can do the same.


What Is Anger?: Understanding a Strong Emotion

How to Manage Anger and Stress

One in three people say that they have a close friend or family member who has anger problems.

The finding, from a survey conducted in the U.K. by the Mental Health Foundation, suggests that many of us will encounter work situations where emotions run high, and can spill over into anger.

Not all feelings of anger are negative, though. For example, if you get animated on behalf of a colleague who's been given an unnecessarily hard time by others in the workplace, your response may strike a chord and result in a positive outcome. But angry outbursts that intimidate or undermine co-workers are always unacceptable.

Click here to view a transcript of this video.

In this article, we look at what anger is and why some people get angry, while others don't. And we explore the resources available on Mind Tools that can help you to manage anger – both your own and other people's.

What Is Anger?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines anger as “a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism.” Psychologist T.W. Smith agrees, saying it is “an unpleasant emotion ranging in intensity from irritation or annoyance to fury or rage.”

But what makes people angry is different for everyone. Things that spark ire in some people don't bother others at all. Yet we all regularly experience events that could make us angry. They include:

  • Frustration and powerlessness.
  • Hurt.
  • Harassment and bullying.
  • Injustice, real or perceived.
  • Exhaustion and burnout from stress.
  • Demands or criticisms that we think are unfair.
  • Threats to the people, things, or ideas that we hold dear.

Recognizing Anger

Anger and aggression are not the same thing. Anger is an emotion, while aggression is a behavior. Not everyone who feels angry is aggressive, and vice versa. Sometimes people are aggressive because they feel afraid or threatened.

Not everyone who's angry yells or seeks confrontation. Some people let their anger out by ignoring people or by sulking, or through sarcasm. People who behave this way are called passive-aggressive, and they can be as difficult to deal with as those who scream and shout.

Other people react entirely passively to anger. They show no outward signs of anger, no matter how furious they are. But these people may be doing themselves more damage by suppressing their emotions than those who show their anger.

The Dangers of Anger

An appropriate level of anger can spur us to take proper actions, solve problems, and handle situations constructively.

However, uncontrolled anger can have many negative consequences, especially in the workplace. It can cloud our ability to make good decisions and find creative solutions to problems. It can affect relationships with co-workers. And it can destroy trust between team members.

Effective team working is sharing ideas in a supportive environment. If people think the team leader is going to fly into a rage as soon as they suggest something, they'll stop contributing, and the team will stop functioning at its best.

Unexpressed anger can be as harmful as outward rage. The angry person who doesn't express his or her anger may bear grudges or see himself as a victim. His colleagues may not realize that there's a problem, so they may be less ly to be able to help him.

Frequent anger, whether expressed or not, poses health risks, too. One study found that people who get angry regularly are more ly to suffer from heart disease. Research has also highlighted a link between anger and premature death. Further studies have discovered that anger correlates to anxiety and depression.

The information in this article can be useful in managing anger, but it is for guidance only. Seek the advice of qualified health professionals if you have concerns over persistent anger.

Controlling Anger

It's important to deal with anger in a healthy manner, so that it doesn't harm you or anyone else.

First, recognize that the problem exists. Sometimes people don't understand that their anger is an issue, either for themselves or for others. They may blame other things: people, processes, institutions, even inanimate objects computers.

You probably know people this, or maybe you recognize it in yourself. You can tackle this by developing self-awareness, which can help you to understand how others see you, and in turn enable you to manage your emotions better.

Also, it's important to be resilient. Being able to bounce back from disappointment and frustration is much healthier than becoming angry about it. It's also good to learn to take control of your own situation, and to avoid believing that you're powerless. Get used to speaking up for yourself and telling people when you think that they're wrong.

Here are some more practical steps that you can take to prevent or manage anger:

Learn to recognize the onset of anger. When you become angry, your heart rate rises and you breathe faster. It's the classic fight-or-flight response. Be vigilant, so that you can begin to deal with the source of your anger before it builds up.

Give yourself a time-out. Try to stop yourself “leaping in” with an angry response to a situation. Count to 10 before you act.

Breathe slowly. Regulating your breathing helps to combat the onset of anger, calms you down, and allows you to think clearly.

Take the longer view. If your anger is recurrent, you may need to take a more strategic approach to dealing with it. Try to develop habits such as these:

  1. Exercise regularly. Exercise releases chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin into your body, which can improve your state of mind and make you less prone to anger.
  2. Find some quiet time. Practice relaxation techniques. Mindfulness and centering can help you to relax and cope better with stress and frustration.
  3. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, and can make angry outbursts more ly.
  4. Express emotion. Talk about your feelings with a close friend or loved one, and consider keeping a journal.
  5. Let go of angry thoughts. Try not to think that the world's unfair, or that everyone and everything is against you. They're not.
  6. Assert yourself. Assertiveness is not aggression. Learn to get what you want while taking account of others and respecting their feelings.

Dealing With Someone Else's Anger

It's important to demonstrate emotional intelligence when dealing with angry people. This helps you to keep your own feelings in check, while respecting the fact that others may be struggling with theirs.

Try the following six approaches for dealing with someone's anger:

1. Remain calm. Stay cool and let the other person express her feelings. Show that you really are listening, and reassure her that you want to understand what the problem is. Never meet anger with anger. But don't allow yourself to be manipulated or browbeaten.

2. Remember that you're talking to a person. Everybody behaves differently, and you need to treat an angry team member as an individual. If you are his manager you are due some respect, but so is he. Empathize and try to understand his point of view.

3. Don't just quote the rule book. Quoting company policy at someone when she's in a rage won't be effective, and it can make a bad situation worse. It's OK to be assertive and seek a solution once you've calmed things down, but using the rule book is not the way.

4. Be positive. Show that you want to resolve the negative situation to everyone's benefit. This doesn't mean that you need to give in, just that you show you're taking his concerns seriously and seeking resolution.

5. Keep it private. Don't allow “a scene” to develop. Find a meeting room or private space. This will allow you to have a proper discussion, and demonstrates discretion and tact. Alternatively, suggest a walking meeting to help to calm things down.

6. Be aware of unexpressed anger. It won't always be obvious that someone is angry. Look out for signs such as someone avoiding particular subjects or actions, going quiet in meetings, or avoiding eye contact. You may need to draw out the problem with careful use of questioning techniques.

You may find yourself managing someone who is justifiably angry about the behavior of someone else. Don't be afraid to stand up for them if you believe they are right, and you have the power to do so.

Anger is an emotion we all feel, and one that many people find hard to deal with. It can manifest itself in aggressive, confrontational behavior, or in more passive but no less damaging ways.

Start to manage your anger by recognizing it. Then, take steps to address it by tackling the source of your anger. Use relaxation techniques to deal with outbursts. In the longer term, try to develop self-awareness, emotional intelligence and resilience to cope better with angry feelings.

When you're dealing with the anger of co-workers, show empathy, and try to understand the root of their problem. Don't back down, however, and assert yourself calmly if you feel that someone else is using anger to try to impose their will on you.


Anger and Stress: Why It Is Important to Manage Them Both

How to Manage Anger and Stress

Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Anger management and stress management work in similar ways. One reason for this is because anger and stress both have a psychological component so they can be managed psychologically. Both emotions can affect us in very negative ways, mainly if left unmanaged, and that it is why it is essential to understand their relationship.

Prolonged exposure to anger and stress can take a toll on our physical health. It can raise our blood pressure which instigates other issues that affect us physically and emotionally.

 It can negatively impact our relationships as well. Beyond that, we can also develop negative habits as a response to excessive levels of anger and stress that become more difficult to control over time.

Either of these effects can result in more anxiety.

In order to begin managing the adverse effects of stress and anger, we need to look at how these emotions impact our lives. Stress can lead to anger which can lead to even more stress.

Neither feeling is healthy, but we shouldn't try to eliminate them.

Instead, we should attempt to control them by understanding factors that affect anger and stress and coping strategies for better management.

Certain events can trigger anger or stress in many people. The degree of anger or stress experienced has to do with how a person perceives and interprets what is happening to them.

For example, two people can be cut off in traffic. One person might interpret the gesture as a lack of respect, a threat to their physical safety or as a hostile gesture. This situation makes them angry. Another person may figure that the offending driver didn't see them or might be wrapped up in their own thoughts, and let the event roll off their back.

In both cases, there was a stimulus, a belief, and a response. The view, or interpretation, of the stimulus, is what led to the different reactions.

Some people have inborn personality traits that make them more susceptible to anger and stress. Some of these tendencies are seen early in life, but these tendencies can be mitigated.

  • Some people are naturally more observant than others. This trait can make them more ly to notice things that might make them angry—things that may go unnoticed by someone else.
  • Some people are naturally less comfortable with change, which can also cause stress and anger in certain situations.
  • Other people have a low tolerance for frustration and get angrier more easily than others. 

Our habitual thought patterns, which can be somewhat altered with practice, contribute to our experience of anger or stress.

Some people tend to interpret things negatively as a matter of habit. They may attribute someone else’s error to malicious or unkind motives, for example. They may take one negative event as a sign that more negative events are to come, which can contribute to anger and stress.

Anger and stress are natural experiences. The way we deal with conditions can make the difference between a healthy and unhealthy life.

With stress, for example, we can’t always prevent stressful events from occurring. However, managing stress through breathing exercises, journaling, or other stress management techniques, we can learn to neutralize the effects of stress.

We can’t always prevent anger from occurring, but we can work through our anger in healthy ways so it does not become a problem.

For example, expressing our feelings in respectful ways when they are still manageable can stop them from snowballing into feelings of being enraged or overwhelmed.

The other option is to try and “stuff” anger or express it in negative and unhealthy ways. That is when anger does become a problem.

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  1. Shaffer JA, Wasson LT, Davidson KW, Schwartz JE, Kirkland S, Shimbo D. Blood Pressure Reactivity to an Anger Provocation Interview Does Not Predict Incident Cardiovascular Disease Events: The Canadian Nova Scotia Health Survey (NSHS95) Prospective Population Study. Int J Hypertens. 2012;2012:658128. doi:10.1155/2012/658128

  2. Sutin AR, Costa PT Jr, Wethington E, Eaton W. Perceptions of stressful life events as turning points are associated with self-rated health and psychological distress. Anxiety Stress Coping. 2010;23(5):479–492. doi:10.1080/10615800903552015

  3. Mill A, Kööts-Ausmees L, Allik J, Realo A. The role of co-occurring emotions and personality traits in anger expression. Front Psychol. 2018;9:123. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00123

  4. Deater-Deckard K, Beekman C, Wang Z, et al. Approach/positive anticipation, frustration/anger, and overt aggression in childhood. J Pers. 2010;78(3):991–1010. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00640.x


Treating Anger Disorders: Anger Management Treatment Program Options

How to Manage Anger and Stress

Uncontrolled anger can affect your relationships, your job and your health. Rage can take over your life and result in depression, violence and suicidal feelings.

Your kids, neighbors and coworkers can also be at risk from uncontrolled outbursts and erratic behavior.

If you are suffering from anger issues, it is vital that you get the support you need to develop effective management strategies.

Several options are available, including both inpatient and outpatient treatment with mental health counselors. Executive treatment programs and luxury facilities are also available to serve a wider variety of patients. Modern treatments are targeted and effective, often offering results in as little as six to eight weeks.

Anger itself is not a problem. The trouble arises when your anger becomes uncontrollable, and you lose control of your behavior. This loss of reason and rationality can result in all sorts of problems, including erratic behavior, violence, abuse, addictions and trouble with the law.

Often, people with anger issues try to suppress their feelings, believing them to be inappropriate. This can lead to wild emotional outbursts and health problems.

Is There a Cure for Anger?

Anger is not something you can get rid of. It is a normal, healthy emotion shared by all people everywhere. When it gets hand, though, anger can become destructive and lead to all sorts of personal problems.

While you can’t cure anger, you can manage the intensity and effect it has upon you. Effective therapeutic strategies exist for managing anger and can help you become less reactive. You can even learn to develop more patience in the face of people and situations you cannot control.

Therapies for Anger Management Issues

Many therapeutic strategies are available to help you deal with anger issues. Some of these include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Improvements in communication skills
  • Focus on problem-solving
  • Avoidance of problematic situations
  • Humor and self-deprecation

While it’s possible to improve your anger response on your own, a qualified practitioner can help you move more quickly to successful management.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment for Anger Disorders

One of the most common types of psychotherapy is cognitive behavioral therapy. The purpose of the treatment is to help an angry person recognize the self-defeating negative thoughts that lie behind anger flare-ups. Patients work with a mental health professional to learn how to manage stressful life circumstances more successfully.

The cognitive behavioral approach has many benefits. Patients learn to:

  • Cope better with difficult life situations
  • Positively resolve conflicts in relationships
  • Deal with grief more effectively
  • Mentally handle emotional stress caused by illness, abuse or physical trauma
  • Overcome chronic pain, fatigue and other physical symptoms

Cognitive therapies are structured and may offer quicker results than other approaches. Better yet, the results are lasting, with patients showing significantly decreased relapse rates.

This sort of treatment tends to focus on specific problems and personal triggers. You’ll learn how to deal with your particular issues using conscious, goal-centered strategies.
The specific steps in cognitive behavioral therapy include:

  • Identification of situations or circumstances in your life that lead to trouble
  • Awareness of your thoughts and emotions surrounding anger triggers
  • Acknowledgement of inaccurate, negative thought patterns
  • Relearning of healthier, positive thought patterns

Very few risks are associated with cognitive behavioral therapy, and the benefits are plentiful. You will ly explore painful feelings and emotions, but you will do it in a safe, guided manner.

Cognitive therapy is considered a short-term approach and generally lasts about 10 to 20 sessions depending upon your specific disorder, the severity of your symptoms, the amount of time you’ve been dealing with anger symptoms, your rate of progress, your current stress levels, and the amount of support you receive from friends and family.

Heart Coherence Training

Another promising technique is heart coherence training.

By learning specific techniques to consciously monitor and alter their own heart rhythms, patients can reduce levels of stress hormones while increasing the mood-enhancing hormone dehydroepiandrosterone.

Heart coherence training also helps stabilize the autonomic nervous system, resulting in a reduction of anger’s physical effects upon the immune system. The end result can be fewer feelings of tension, irritation, stress and anger.

Anger Suppression

/>Many people try to suppress their anger. The attempt is doomed to fail and may even lead to painful physical consequences.

Suppression of anger does not make the emotional upset go away. Instead, a person may become depressed or anxious as the feelings of unexpressed rage are turned against the self. Attempts to suppress anger may lead to impatience and hostility that simmers dangerously below the surface, just waiting for a spark to erupt into boiling rage.

It is important to understand and release anger without trying to deny its existence.

Residential Anger Management Treatment Centers

If your anger problems are seriously affecting your day-to-day life, a residential or inpatient anger management treatment center may be indicated. The access to dedicated treatment staff and controlled conditions may be necessary if you find yourself:

  • In trouble with the law as a result of anger issues
  • Experiencing constant, uncontrollable arguments with your family members or coworkers
  • Lashing out physically at your children or other adults
  • Threatening violence to other people or their property
  • Losing control of yourself when you get angry
  • Believing that everything will be fine if you just hold in your anger

Remember that the purpose of anger management treatment is to give you the tools necessary to express your emotions in healthier and safer ways. A professional can help you get your anger and reactive behavior under control.

The Benefits of Residential Anger Treatments

Residential anger treatments help patients learn to gain control over their anger and frustrations.

Your therapist can help you to recognize dangerous situations and to become more conscious of the warning signs of impending rage.

Additionally, intense residential treatments can help you learn to avoid anger suppression, which can lead to hypertension, depression, heart troubles and anxiety.

Most importantly, you can develop these strategies while removing yourself from the triggers and risks of the outside world.

Luxury Anger Management Facilities

Inpatient treatment doesn’t have to mean sterile, inhuman conditions. Many luxury facilities exist and are dedicated to inpatient anger management therapy. Comfortable and serene accommodations have a positive effect on mental health and mood, so it’s wise to consider treatment facilities carefully.

If you want to learn more about what to look for in a treatment facility, contact us at .

Executive Anger Management Programs

Executive anger management programs are available for physicians, executives, lawyers and other professionals who may benefit from one-on-one treatment in a discrete and private setting.

Effective anger management strategies not only improve individual interactions with employees, patients and customers but also help to provide a basis for sound organizational policies. A professional who is able to positively deal with stress and anxiety is in a better position to work with and instruct others.

Managers and executives can expect to learn how to:

  • Find positive resolutions to stressful people, interactions and situations
  • Repair damaged relationships and restore trust
  • Communicate directly
  • Control emotional reactiveness
  • Empathize with coworkers and clients
  • Resolve conflicts in a healthy way

Contact us today at for more information about executive anger management programs and treatments.

Outpatient Anger Rehab and Treatment Programs

Sometimes, the commitment of a residential program is not possible. If your anger issues are not physically dangerous, and if you are unable to break completely free from your everyday life, an outpatient anger management program may be right for you.

Outpatient programs offer intense individual counseling, typically for six to eight weeks, and help prepare patients for more limited follow-up care moving forward. You will have to deal with external people and situations during your treatment, so supportive friends and family members can make a big difference.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

Because anger is a psychological issue, it is possible to treat symptoms with medication. While the goal of treatment programs will be to eventually make the patient self-sufficient, particular medicines can be helpful in the treatment phase.

Antidepressants such as Prozac, Celexa and Zoloft are commonly prescribed for anger issues. These drugs do not specifically target anger within the body, but they do have a calming effect that can support control of rage and negative emotion. Epilepsy medicines are sometimes indicated, particularly when a patient’s seizures result in anger reactions.

You should speak with your doctor about whether or not prescription medicines can help you with your anger issues. Pay particular attention to potential side effects and any risks of addiction. The purpose of medications is to complement your healing, not to complicate it.

A number of over-the-counter medications and supplements can also be used to improve mood and support anger management therapy. These include:

  • Valerian
  • Primal Calm (formerly Proloftin)
  • Benadryl
  • Passionflower
  • Chamomile

Benadryl is an anti-allergy medication that also helps to reduce anxiety. Valerian and Primal Calm are herbal extracts that purportedly promote lowered stress levels and calm feelings. Passionflower and chamomile are usually consumed in either tea or tablet form to support mood and reduce anxiety.

How to Find the Best Anger Disorder Treatment Facility

If you are ready to take control of your anger issues, you need to find help treating anger management problem. Look for facilities that offer comprehensive assessment, treatment and follow-up programs.

Speak to the health professionals directly, and ask questions about their qualifications, methods and expected results. Express any concerns you have, and make sure you fully understand all of the program costs.

In many cases, your health insurance will cover at least part of the treatment expenses.

As with any therapy, you’ll receive the most benefits if you:

  • Treat your therapist as your partner
  • Share your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly
  • Stay consistent with your treatment plan
  • Remember that results take time and determination
  • Do whatever homework your therapist gives you between sessions
  • Communicate well and often with your therapist, particularly if you are having difficulties

Whether you are in need of residential or inpatient care, considering outpatient therapy or seeking executive or luxury facilities, we can help you. Call to discuss your specific needs today.


Anger Management Tips

How to Manage Anger and Stress

Anger is a very powerful feeling that can happen when you are frustrated, hurt, annoyed, or disappointed. Anger can help or hurt you, depending on how you react to it. If you can react without hurting someone else, it can be a positive feeling.

If you hold your anger inside, it can lead to passive-aggressive behavior ''getting back'' at people without telling them why or being critical and hostile.

Knowing how to recognize and express these feelings in appropriate ways can help you handle emergencies, solve problems, and hold on to meaningful relationships.

When you’re angry, you might feel anywhere between a slight irritation to rage.

  • When you start feeling angry, try deep breathing, positive self-talk, or stopping your angry thoughts. Breathe deeply from your diaphragm. Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax” or “take it easy.” Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply until the anger subsides.
  • Although expressing anger is better than keeping it in, there’s a right way to do it. Try to express yourself clearly and calmly. Angry outbursts are stressful to your nervous and cardiovascular systems and can make health problems worse.
  • Consider the value of physical activity regular exercise as a way to both improve your mood and release tension and anger.
  • Avoid using recreational drugs and drinking too much alcohol, which can make you less able to handle frustration. Alcohol can also loosen your inhibitions so that you say or do something your normally wouldn’t.
  • Get support from others. Talk through your feelings and try to work on changing your behaviors.
  • If you have trouble realizing when you are having angry thoughts, keep a written log of when you feel angry.
  • Try to gain a different perspective by putting yourself in another's place.
  • Learn how to laugh at yourself and see humor in situations.
  • Practice good listening skills. Listening can help improve communication and can build trusting feelings between people. This trust can help you deal with potentially hostile emotions. A useful communication exercise is to say to someone, “Let me make sure I understand what you’re saying” and then restate back to them what you perceive as their main message or point of view. Often, this approach helps to clarify misunderstandings that can lead to frustrations, and help identify issues on which you may ultimately “agree to disagree” without turning into a fight.
  • Learn to assert yourself, expressing your feelings calmly and directly without becoming defensive, hostile, or emotionally charged. Read self-help books or seek help from a professional therapist to learn how to use assertiveness and anger management skills.

If you don’t deal with your anger, it can lead to anxiety and depression. It can disrupt your relationships and raise your risk of illness. Long-term anger has been linked to health problems high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, and digestive problems. Unchecked anger can be linked to crime, abuse, and other violent behavior.

Sometimes, a pattern of inappropriate anger can also be a symptom of a mood disorder, a personality disorder, a substance use problem, or another mental health problem.

If you believe that your anger is control and is having a negative effect on your life and relationships, seek the help of a mental health professional.

A psychologist or other licensed mental health professional can work with you to learn techniques for changing your thinking and your behavior. A mental health professional can help you deal with your anger in an appropriate way.

Ask your doctor if medicines could be helpful. Sometimes, antidepressants, certain anticonvulsants, and low-dose antipsychotics can help manage sudden attacks of rage or anger.

Avoid alcohol, short-acting benzodiazepines Xanax, or street drugs that can make you say or do things more impulsively. Choose your therapist carefully, and make sure to talk to a professional who is trained to teach anger management and assertiveness skills.


American Psychological Association: ''Controlling anger before it controls you.''

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


How to Manage Your Anger: Expert Tips to Tame Your Temper

How to Manage Anger and Stress

Anger management is a phrase that gets tossed around in everyday language, but it’s often misinterpreted. Managing your anger doesn’t imply that you won’t ever feel angry.

Life is full of challenges, and sometimes it is healthy and normal to experience anger.

What you do with that anger is important, so mature adults must learn the signs of anger and strategies to keep their reactions to situations positive and productive.

What triggers your anger response? Sometimes it can be an event or the simply memory of one. Your brain and body are built to become angry sometimes when you feel threatened.

But a person can’t respond aggressively to everything that makes them angry. Aggression sometimes may be physical, but it can also manifest itself as grumpiness, irritability, or sarcasm.

These negative responses can add up over time and weigh you down.

There are three major ways you can respond to anger: expressing your emotions, suppressing them, or calming them. There is no one right way, as each of these reactions can be appropriate in different situations.

For example, rather than acting aggressively, a person can be assertive about their rights and values. Rather than stuffing emotions into a box, a person can redirect their thoughts towards seeking a positive solution to a problem.

And finally, a person can practice calmness to reduce their overall reaction to stress and promote healthy living.

Signs of an Anger Problem

How do you know that your way of managing anger needs improvement. You might:

  • Feel a lack of control of your emotions
  • Feel depressed about your anger
  • Engage in or think about physical violence
  • Have frequent arguments with others
  • Feel constantly impatient
  • Find many people irritate you

If you struggle with anger, you also might experience physical symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping, heart problems, increased substance use, headaches, high blood pressure, and digestive issues.

Taking Action

There are countless benefits to learning how to manage your anger. Learning communication strategies and conflict resolutions skills can benefit your work life. You’ll foster positive relationships with friends and family members.

Managing anger can also help you feel healthier, as you’ll possibly sleep better, lower your blood pressure, and maybe even live a longer life. Learning healthy responses can also lower your risk for poor mental health and protect you from symptoms depression, anxiety, and substance use problems.

Let’s look at a few ways you can start learning to manage your anger today.

Access Resources – Chances are there are multiple resources available to you at work or in your community. If your workplace has an employee assistance provider, you can ask about free counseling sessions or educational classes that teach anger management.

You can also find in-person or online support groups for anger management. If you are not sure where to find resources, talk to your doctor or check with your local library.

You can also talk to a friend or colleague who has worked on their anger to talk about their experiences with resources in the community.

Pay Attention – Before you can change your reaction to anger, you have to spend some time observing it. Notice what triggers your anger. Is it work? Maybe rush hour or waiting in line at the grocery store sets you off. Perhaps it’s financial problems and looking at your bank balance.

Next, notice the signs of your anger. Do your palms sweat? Does your heart race? Do you drive aggressively? Also, pay attention to your thoughts.

Do you tend to switch on your worst-case-scenario thinking when you are angry? Before you can focus on the facts of a situation, you have to examine those irrational thoughts and challenge them.

Be Solution-Focused – There are many strategies that are focused on finding healthy, productive ways of managing your anger.

Using relaxation techniques can help you practice being mindful in your responses. You can learn deep breathing to calm your body and focus your mind.

Communicating your needs calmly and effectively can help you switch from aggressive responses to assertive ones.

If you feel you don’t have the skills to be solution-focused, the first step is asking for help. For most people, simply reading about anger management and coaching yourself simply isn’t enough. Signing up for a class or asking a professional for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a commitment to the promise that anger doesn’t have to steer your life in a direction you don’t want.

Anger is a reality of life, but you can manage it with the right work and a clear mindset. What steps can you take today to help manage your anger?