Learning library
Managing stress and emotions
7 Anger Management Techniques to Help You Stay Calm

7 Anger Management Techniques to Help You Stay Calm

Anger isn't always a bad thing, but learning to control it is essential for effective communication.

Anger Management Techniques

Anger is a normal part of the human emotional spectrum. It's one of the emotions that make us uniquely human.

However, anger can have negative consequences, especially if not managed properly. It can cause damage to relationships, impede judgment, and even harm one's health. Fortunately, there are ways to control and mitigate these effects.

In this blog post, we'll explore seven anger management techniques that can help you stay calm and composed.

What is Anger?

Anger is a feeling marked by hostility towards someone or something that you believe has intentionally harmed you.  It is often defined by feelings of stress, frustration, and irritation.  You may experience physical tension, an increased heart rate, and a rush of energy from adrenaline in your body.

Why is Anger an Important Emotion?

We often think of anger as something negative. However, in some cases, it can help protect you like an umbrella. Once you identify the underlying reasons for your anger, you can address deeper issues you might be facing to overcome your challenges. 

Anger Is a Shield 

When you're in danger, anger is there to protect you. It can help you deal with aggression. When you're angry, your focus sharpens and you become more alert. You reflexively defend yourself. If someone is threatening you, anger can help you stay alive. 

Anger Can Lead to Self-Improvement

Anger can be a strong driver of change if channeled properly. If you're angry with yourself, for example, that feeling may stimulate you to take steps to improve and accomplish your goals. If you can identify situations that make you angry, you can work to gain control and learn from the emotion.

Anger Can Help You Set Boundaries 

When you're angry, other people notice. If someone is overstepping, anger sends a message. It can help you demonstrate where your boundaries lie, allowing you to create more meaningful relationships.

Understanding Your Relationship with Anger

Anger is a normal and healthy emotion that can be valuable when understood and utilized correctly. It is neither good nor bad, but instead conveys a vital message just like any other emotion. When negative emotions such as fear, sadness, grief, guilt, or powerlessness arise, an anger response works as a shield. Always remember that anger is often a secondary feeling that occurs in response to your other emotions, which means there is more going on beneath the surface than you realize. By exploring your primary emotions, you can better understand your relationship with anger.

What are the Signs of Anger Management Issues?

If you find it difficult to regulate your temper and are quickly agitated, it may be an indication of anger issues. Another indicator that you may be dealing with rage issues is if this occurs frequently. If you're already damaging other people and your relationships with them due to your anger, becoming violent verbally or physically is another red flag.

Book with Confidant

Book with a vetted Confidant Health provider

Book appointment

Anger Management Techniques and Tips

Although anger is healthy at times, there are more productive ways to respond in most situations. Here are some techniques and tips to help you manage your anger:

1. Keep Your Composure

Effectively managing anger means you keep yourself from getting carried away. It's never ok to abuse another person, physically or verbally. One way to help keep your composure is to practice mindfulness. Take a deep breath and try to understand what's causing the anger. Focus on how to solve the problem instead of lashing out.

2. Catch Yourself Early in the Process

Learn to identify anger in the beginning stages. Once you recognize these stages, you can catch yourself and address the underlying problems before your anger becomes unmanageable. 

Frustration, annoyance, and discomfort are emotions that tend to build. If you can recognize when you are experiencing these feelings, you may solve the problems before you get angry.

3. Learn to Walk Away

There is nothing wrong with walking away to calm down and then coming back to address a problem. In this way, you may collect your ideas and express yourself politely and calmly. If you learn to keep things polite, you'll improve your ability to talk it out instead of giving in to your anger. 

4. Practice Active Listening

Anger often stems from misunderstandings that could be avoided with better communication. When interacting with others, it's crucial to listen attentively to every word they say without letting your mind wander. This focused listening helps clarify the intentions behind their words, reducing the likelihood of misinterpretation.

Furthermore, being a clear communicator yourself can prevent ambiguous situations that might trigger anger. By ensuring that your own messages are straightforward and easily understood, you can help establish a calm, transparent dialogue that defuses potential conflicts.

5. Be Assertive, Not Angry

Assertiveness is one of the healthiest ways to deal with anger. Learn to be assertive by knowing what your needs are and how to meet them, and then calmly make them clear. This approach allows you to express your feelings and establish your boundaries without being aggressive. Practicing assertiveness not only helps manage your anger but also builds respect and understanding in your relationships.

6. Use Non-Violent Communication

Respect others by using nonviolent communication (NVC), a communication approach designed to enhance empathy and mutual understanding. NVC involves expressing oneself honestly and receiving others empathetically, without judgment or aggression. This technique can help slow your thoughts down, helping you to remain calm.

For example, present neutral facts about the situation instead of making accusations—"You missed dinner" as opposed to "You are late." This method not only prevents the escalation of conflict but also encourages a constructive dialogue where both parties feel heard and valued.

7. Use "I" Statements

You can also avoid hurting people with your words by using "I" statements. These types of statements allow you to talk about your feelings without making others feel like you're judging or blaming them. For instance, saying "I feel ignored when you don’t answer my calls" instead of "You never answer your phone!" helps convey your emotions more gently and encourages understanding rather than defensiveness.

The Connection Between Anger & Addiction Recovery

People who struggle with substance use and dependency often have a complex relationship with anger. They sometimes find it difficult to manage their emotions effectively. When negative emotions such as fear, sadness, grief, guilt, or powerlessness arise, an anger response can act as a protective mechanism. 

Moreover, according to a study published in 2019, there is a significant relationship between anger and relapse among individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The study found that individuals who exhibit higher levels of anger are more likely to experience relapse, which suggests that managing anger effectively is critical in the recovery process.

Anger management interventions, therefore, not only help in reducing anger but also play a significant role in maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse. The study emphasizes the importance of integrating anger management strategies into treatment programs for substance use disorders to address these emotional challenges comprehensively.

Find a Therapist

Meet our team of vetted providers and book your first appointment.

Get started

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

One of the most healthy ways to cope is to express yourself creatively, whether via writing or painting. By doing so, you can keep from being angry and hurting other people's feelings. 

Keeping a journal may also be a helpful tool in identifying and coping with the situations that bring out your anger.  Like other forms of creative expression, it may help you relax and let go of pent-up frustration.

A few examples of acceptable outlets for aggression are squeezing a ball, punching a bag, scrunching paper, or pounding a pillow. It could be a healthy way to vent your frustrations without hurting anyone. 

When to Seek Professional Help

Think about seeing a mental health expert if you feel like your anger is getting the best of you or if it's ruining your relationships. Talking to a mental health expert can help narrow down the possible causes of your anger difficulties to a specific source.

If you're angry, they can help you control it. Together, you can find healthy ways to express your anger and learn how to respond properly to your triggers in the long run.

Additionally, seeking help has become easier, especially with the advent of online therapies that offer convenient and flexible access to mental health support. These online options make it more straightforward than ever to connect with professionals from the comfort of your home, helping to reduce barriers to treatment.

Overcome Anger Issues with Confidant Health

As we've explored various anger management techniques to help you stay calm, remember that while these strategies are beneficial, they might not be sufficient for everyone.

In cases where anger seems overwhelming or unmanageable, it's best to consult a professional. 

Confidant Health offers specialized support for such challenges, allowing you to connect with experts and groups who understand your experiences. With Confidant Health, you can access online therapy sessions that prioritize your privacy and convenience, ensuring you receive help comfortably from your own home.

If you're ready to take the next step in managing your anger effectively, book an appointment today with Confidant Health and start your journey towards a calmer life.

This article has been medically reviewed by
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Nurse Practitioner

Erin is a Nurse Practitioner with 8 years of experience in midwifery and women's health. She has spent the past 5 years specializing in the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders.

Book appointment
Confidant mobile app screens
Get immediate access to the care you need today

Scan the QR code below to download the app.

QR code to download the app
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play