5 Tips to Better Control Your Anger

A Gallup survey of 160,000 people across 116 countries between 2020 and early 2021 found that nearly 24% of those polled experienced anger. Do you sometimes feel antagonized by someone or something that you feel has deliberately “done you wrong?” If yes, then you’ve experienced anger – according to the American Psychological Association. 

Anger can sometimes begin as a mild irritation but can become more powerful and cause intense rage and, therefore, must be handled appropriately and safely. “We must work toward healthier coping mechanisms to curb potentially destructive consequences of uncontrolled anger,” says Jessica Hunckler LPC, LCADC, ACS Program Supervisor at Acenda Integrated Health. 

1. Learn to breathe. As you get angry, the speed of your breathing naturally increases. To reverse that process, consciously slow down your breathing by taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and then gently exhaling out from your mouth.

2. Exercise. When you’re angry, you can take the opportunity to engage in movements like kickboxing or HIIT training to try and alleviate those feelings of, quite literally, wanting to punch something. “On the other hand, some people prefer more calming techniques, such as yoga, to reduce their heart rate and find their zen,” adds Hunkler.

3. Recognize your triggers. If you’ve fallen into the habit of losing your “cool,” take note of what initiates this reaction. Over time you start to identify trends so that you can better plan for certain circumstances and adapt as needed.

4. Use humor. Sometimes “silly humor” can de-escalate a situation.

5. Seek professional support. If you often find yourself arguing with others, becoming violent, making threats, or even getting into trouble because of anger-related incidents, consider seeking a professional to support and help you in learning to better manage your anger.