How to Control Anger: 16 Simple Tips on Dealing with Anger

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
Chinese Proverb

Anger could cause big problems. A problem that is small in the beginning could become bad if we handle it with anger. Not only will the situation itself get worse, our relationships with others could also deteriorate. In short, handling something with anger won’t make things better.

How to Control Anger That’s why it’s essential to control anger. By controlling anger we will be able to handle problems with calm. We can then exercise our wisdom and judgment to the problem at hand to achieve the best possible solution. Being someone who sometimes gets angry, there are some tips I find useful on dealing with anger. Here they are – choose the ones that work for you:

1. Take a deep breath

Taking a deep breath is an easy way to calm your nerves. It will be easier for you to do the other tips when your anger has subsided.

2. Drink a glass of water

It’s also an easy way to calm your nerves.

3. Take a bath

I know it is not possible in many circumstances, but if you can do it the effect is immediate.

4. Don’t speak while you are angry

If you did so you may speak harshly to others and that could be something you regret. There is a nice quote about it:

When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.
Thomas Jefferson

5. Listen to what people say

Continuing the previous tip, not only should we not speak while we are angry, we should also learn to listen. Pay attention and try to understand the point the other person makes.

6. Take a walk

Changing your situation is a good way to overcome anger. One way to do so is by taking a walk outside.

7. Pray or meditate

Praying or meditating is an effective way to calm your nerve. It could help you regain your inner peace.

8. Listen to calming music

My favorite is instrumental music since it seems to have better calming effect but you can use whatever music that works for you.

9. Have realistic expectations

Sometimes we are angry simply because we have unrealistic expectations toward others. Make sure that your expectations are realistic. You can’t expect other people to be like you.

10. Realize that nobody is perfect

Everybody can make mistake including you. Realizing this will make it easier for you to understand when someone makes mistakes.

11. See from the other person’s perspective

One way to do that is by asking yourself: “How do I feel if I’m in his or her position?”

12. Tell a wise friend

Sometimes you just need to talk about it with a wise friend. He or she can help you see the problem in the right perspective. Just be careful to choose the right person.

13. Look at the positive side

This is a habit you should build. The habit of looking at the positive side will help you look at many situations in constructive ways.

14. Exercise

You can control anger by directing your energy to a different direction so that it’s no longer available for anger. A good candidate is exercising.

15. Learn to forgive

If you release forgiveness you will no longer have reasons to angry to someone else. You can then focus on positive ways to solve the problem.

16. Think in long term

Often we are angry because we see too near to the future and do not think about the implications in the long term. By seeing in the long term we will be able to see the consequences of anger. There’s a quote I love about it:

When anger rises, think of the consequences.
Confucius

***

How do you control anger? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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Photo by Alejandra Mavroski

70 Comments

  1. […] Leadership by Example    Getting Back on Track- 5 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a SlumpHow to Control Anger- 16 Simple Tips on Dealing with Anger […]

  2. What works for me is asking myself do I really want to be angry.
    One popular method is of counting 1-50 slowly.

  3. Avani,
    Nice tip! Often we actually do not want to be angry.

  4. Donald, If we really know the cost of getting angry, we probably would never want to be angry again. Not talking about saying wrong words in anger or taking wrong decisions, that is for later on.

    Just look within to see how much our body has to pay for that emotion. When I used to get angry I would find might heart pounding hard and burning, a huge buzzz and noise in head and something very close to a bad headache. Worse, it stayed with me long after the moment got over and spoiled an extra few hours. A cost, I definitely don’t want to pay for something that can’t give me one benefit.

  5. Avani,
    That’s a creative way to look at it. Many people – or I, at least – only think about the costs of getting angry in term of wrong decisions or bad relationships. But it’s true that our body must also pay for it.

  6. I don’t really feel angry anymore even though I used to feel that way all the time. I feel more disappointed and tired, I guess. A lot of these tips do help, and I’ve done most of them. I’ve lost most of my anger even in some bad situations — just doesn’t work for me. It’s very difficult, but I do my best with what power I do have. I really don’t want to be an angry person anymore…

  7. Donald,

    I wouldn’t take credit for that creative way of looking at cost of anger. I had joined a ten day residential Vipassana Meditation course. Had learned over there that not only anger but each thought affects our body in some way (positively and negatively). These sensations are so subtle that usually we don’t feel them. But when in extreme situations like anger they are so strong that we take notice.

    You can find more about Vipassana here : http://www.dhamma.org/

    @J.R. Please do check this course out. While I can’t gaurantee it will help, a lot of people in my family do vouch about this making a difference.

    ps: I am not trying to sell Vipassana. And I don’t gain anything from it 🙂

  8. J.R.,
    It takes time to change but having the resolution of wanting to change is always a good start. I’m sure you will also overcome the feeling of disappointment and tiredness.

    Avani,
    Thanks for the information!

  9. i have people in my life who are poisonus to me and looking at this info, i know how to control my feelings, especially with the people who are peices of crap that i have to live with. i cant change the world. but with info i know i can change me and keep my inner peace.

    thanks so much.

  10. I get angry in no time.The problem with me is that i get very angry at small things.The only person I release my anger on is my fiance.But my way of getting angry is very irritating; I go silent for days and days.My fiance keeps asking me to speak out so that we solve the issue but i hesitate and take alot of time to speak up.Things go worse in this time..I keep hurting myself and also others but i dont speak up..I have tried going through alot of websites to overcome this anger but i just cant help it.Please help me how can i get rid of anger and stay happy.

  11. My problem is I don’t know I’m out-of-control angry until I’m there – it’s like going up a gradual incline, and then realizing you’re 200 feet higher than you just were.

    What’s worse, I don’t express it in out-of-control ways, like yelling or throwing things. I fool myself into thinking I’m in control because my voice is so even, but what I’m saying when I do is so venomous its embarrassing.

    I will try these steps. I only hope I remember to use them.

  12. I have tips like these :
    1. If u are angry on standing position, you may sit.
    2. If u still angry, you may lay down
    3. If u still angry, you may wudhu (cleaning body by water in islamic way).

  13. May be there are many techniques that help in controling anger, I, however was a failure often times to calm myself down. There are many situations in which I really get very mad!

    What drives me crazy is someone being so insensitive, undermine you, or treating you with desrespect with no reason for such.

    I just wonder, I wish there is a sort of bill that can be swallowed then you get mometarily cool, no side effects, nothing.

    I hope the world will be a better place for all of us, and we will all start caring about each others feelings and really respect ourselves as well as respect others despite the differences! Then I bet there will be less and less anger

  14. Hey i just read those comments and i thought i was the only one that felt like that i felt alone or crazy. It is good to know that i am not the only one who does get angry over small things and doesnt know how to control it, I have grown up with my mum and dad yelling at each other and i just thought it was normal to shout when you are angry i need to learn how to control it in heated situations….pls let me know of any good sites thanks so much

  15. I get angry at little things which after thinking alot about become worse. Little things can get me angry. It takes a long time to get to know the real me that is why i get angry with my family alot. I go sometimes months without speaking, iv just started ignorning recently but it is getting far more worse and i am trying my best to stop it. I have a real big problem with saying “sorry” even when i really do mean it, the words can take a very long time to come out. Sometimes i get really angry and it takes all my strength to control, i am a strong person and i just want to be mre careful. I am a female and 18 years old.

  16. hello every body
    i saw all the comment i am also the patient of anger .when i am anger i dont know what iam saying ,by birth i am a angry man .when i am angry i tell the words that are supressed within me .i dont throw things,i dont bet children,but i tell unknowing words to one who is in front of me.but i reach the people immediately after my anger and say soory for what i did.
    I catch up with with all in sudden time only and try to talk with them in friendly way

  17. Hey, I get angry at little things, I used to be able to hold all of my anger and frustration inside, and now i cant do that any more. I become very angry, and i have to hit myself or a cushon or a wall or anything (not alive) to cool off. Afterwards i become kind of depressed. I will try to remember these steps for future outbursts =)

  18. Hey everybody,
    I am usually a very angery person. I am easily ticked off by some of the stupidest stuff. For instance I heard this rumor that i was dating somebody who i hated then my best friend said that they were joking about not being friends. I almost punched them. Then i had a scowl on my face and i went 5 hours like that before i started to read this stuff which calmed me down alittle. I have no control of my anger and when i am super angry i have these headaches that are there for a good 3 days before i take advil. Thanks for this comment.
    Peace!

  19. I usually get angry if there is a time crunch and things are not going as planned. This is usually nobody’s fault but my own, and I expect others to get into gear as I would. So……..if I actually took control of my own schedule and tried to be 10min early instead of on-time for the happenings in my life, most of the reason for my anger would vanish.

    This is essentially a problem of blaming others for my problems instead of reflecting upon myself for solutions. Take responsibility for your own actions and reactions.

    I also like the idea of breathing deeply while counting to 10.

    My personal quote and something I should refer to regularly:
    “You can change the future about as much as you can change the past. In this moment you can find peace.”

    The present moment is all we have. Try to find that peace in each and every situation. When you’re stuck in traffic ask yourself, “Is being 10 minutes late really going ruin my life? If it is, do I really want to go where I’m going? Have I given my children and spouse a smile, hug, and kiss today?

    Just take a moment, breathe, and reflect upon the big picture and the things that are most important to you.

    So, breathe slowly and deeply. It is our life source.

  20. Hello when i get anger i try to control it but for me i need any one to speak and give some addvise for me. Most properly we need to mix with the happy surrounding which we can forget and forgive the situation! Try to practice it be happen but don’t show with others and it will make problem for your life. Try to cool down with soft music and also take a glass of water. Think every things positevely. I try to give a story which in my life, When i be double (having special girlfriend) im always get anger the maximum and hurt my girlfriend too and lastly it change to break off now she enjoy her life but me suffer and realize my mistakes and try to change my self to become perfect men in the world. We need to control our anger other wise the anger kill us and make us suffer. Try to understand other situation and also fellings. Don.t suffer like me try to change it now. Past 3 months im happy with my lonely life with my computers and my carrrer. Be cool and smile always
    ——-Planet Of Smile—————

  21. Good presentation about anger. Thanks for the brilliance tips and perhaps it work when every time we apply it in our daily life.

  22. The tips do help but I just came to grips that I have anger issues and may have destroyed my marriage from speaking out of anger.

  23. Thanks alot it, helps

  24. thanks a lot for those tips, I’m a patient person so I can manage myself not to feel angry. I always try to stay calm and keep cool to protect myself in any kind of bad manners.

  25. Ugh. Im just venting. this isnt important. Ok. I used to hold in anger so well. Now i suck at it.I have a tendency to get extreamly mad in less then a sec.well anyway my mom walked in the door from work and i was listening to music on tv.i asked her where the volume remote was. she said oh you probably lost it again. In that small sec i flipped out. i started yelling at her and told her to stop blaming me for everything. (that happens alot). anyways im sitting at the kitchen on bar stools doing my homework, and my mom yells at me if my bangs are in my face. and i have side swept bangs so thats hard to do cause thats how there supposed to be. but my mom says if she doesnt see them in a clip that shes gonna cut them.ugh i hate the way she cuts my hair. so i started yelling im sorry ill put it in a clip.so she gives in and says fine go do it fast.the next time she looks at me. there in my face again cause i didnt move.so she tells me to come to the bathroom cause she was gonna cut my hair. i told her in an attitutde straight up NO. so she was waiting for me to hurry up and move. im just sitting there staring at her. So she starts yelling at me some more to get my azz in there. i keep yelling. If you cut my hair im never going to school again and i hate the way she gets my hair cut. so she walked over to me slaps me and drags me to the bathroom.i kept grabbing my bangs so she couldnt cut them and she grabs my hair and pulls really hard. it hurt so bad and i was so mad. and when im mad i cry alot. so i start crying and she leaves and slams the bathroom door.so i brush my hair and put it in a clip. (still crying). so i go and get my shoes on and get my jacket. im not aloud to but i was gonna walk to my best friends house and just cry.but my mom stopped me and said i wasnt aloud to go outside. so i go to the ilianii and sat there in pitch dark crying.then i finaly go inside and shes in there on the floor crying. so i feel bad i made my mom cry. and i sit in my room staring at my guitar feeling bad. she comes in and starts talking to me about hows its all my fault and i shouldnt blame her. im just sitting on my bed crying still just looking straight ahead showing no emotion. so she leaves and i go online and read other peeps comments and write this. now that i read what i wrote i feel so much better.

  26. i am a angry person inside, on the out side im the nicest coollest guy you could every meet. im willing to put everything at risk for freinds and family. but deep inside i feel hate and anger!!!! I will be set off by almost any stupid thing. my biggest problem right now is my girl freind texts alot and i have a hard time dealing with the fact that she texts other guys, just freinds of course but when i hear there ring tone go off i will instantly become angry and feel the need to physicly destroy something (not living of course) i have been counting to 10. sometimes 100 glass of water helps and i have also tryed taking a bath all these together calms me just enough to have a conversation, without being affraid of saying something i might some day regret.

  27. You cant hold your anger inside, I tried and it built up to what happens now, its a very powerful thing.

  28. Reading through the tips you have made, I can’t help but think they are not really effective when someone really is in a complete rage. Mildly angry perhaps, but in that fraction when you really want to punch or hit someone (maybe even yourself!) the deep breaths and glass of water is not really effecitve. If anything, I’d probably through the glass off the floor!

    THe tips are also largely dependant upon the situation you are in. For example, if my boss comes over and asks me to redo a piece of work for the 3rd or 4th time (as he’s a complete control freak and doesn’t offer us any autonomy at all), then the rage I have is an instant one.He did this the other day and when he walked away, I punched myself in the face 6 or 7 times. There was an immediate rush of complete fury that I had to get out. Take it out on him, and I’m out of a job, but take it out on myself and it’s dealt with. Ok, I have a battered and bruised face (!) but I still have a job and a home.

  29. A few comments from someone who counseled at-risk youth for many years:
    You’re right, Nicola, these tips won’t work (at least initially) if you have rage instead of anger. Please consider going to a counselor regarding your rage, because there’s definitely more going on with you than your boss. I can tell you that everyone gets angry, but people react differently to their anger. It is abnormal to react to your boss in such a way, and you need to find out how YOU can control your rage before you harm yourself or someone else.
    Tyler, you might try to work on your communication skills. Maybe by just talking to your girlfriend calmly about this. She might not change her mind, but you can listen to her side and get another perspective.
    Erica, obviously you learned your anger “management” skills from your mother! Neither of you seem to handle your anger well. I would disagree with your mom that this situation was your fault. Both of you equally handled this poorly. I would suggest family therapy to learn how to handle your anger effectively, but also how to get along well with each other!

  30. Thanks for providing the numerous ways on how to control anger. It’s awesome.

    I read somewhere that drinking water can somewhat help to control anger because it tends to cool you down.

  31. Civilization is unatural. Therefore, only nature can restore our minds and calm the beast within. To our primal selves, billions of years in the making, this all does not make much sense. If one gets too angry, they can wind up in prison or dead. Therefore, the only true therapy for anger is to get out into the wilderness, for at least a few days.

  32. I too get very angry, very fast. I get there so quick that I can’t even get myself to count to 10 or drink water. I KNOW this does help, I’ve been able to do it when I’m mildly irritated. I feel I’m a very nice person, caring, loving and fun, however, I see and hear my children getting mad and I know I’m hearing what they hear from me. You think this would be enough to stop doing it. It helps for a short time, then the old me comes back. I scream at my husband and children when they don’t instantly do as they’ve been told (more my children). My husband has voiced his concern that someone will call the police and the law says someone has to go. This has never happened. I sometimes wonder if this is what will make me get a grip on things. My mother was a yeller, we don’t have a great relationship to this day. I have always said I want to be better for my daughter. I’m so scared that I’m repeating history. I’m on Welbutrin XL and it does help, but not completely. I have spoken to several doctors about my concern. I fear that they look at me and can’t possibly see how this professional, educated, married woman could totally loose it. No one has really addressed the problem. Even my dog is afraid of me and hides under the bed when I raise my voice even a little. I will keep looking for the answer and maybe someday I will make that appointment with a counselor.

  33. my boyfriend and i are always fighting because of my not so good attitude and because of that, we always fight everyday and everynight! when we start fighting i couldn’t control myself anymore i just want to kill him or punch him but its just all in my mind… and with that my life wud also become miserable because of him, i don’t even know what to do, i always blame him of becoming what iam… =(

  34. I no longer believe anger is wrong. I now use anger as an assertive
    process. Anger helps me to express my feelings to resolve conflict.

  35. I liked these tips very much. I considered myself
    a giving, caring people. My biggest problem i have with getting angry if someone disrespects me. I usually stay calm at first at state why i’m upset, but the minute I feel like i’m not being heard i totally blow it. I don’t hit or anything like that but i will become pretty ugly acting.

  36. I’m in an abusive relationship and this relationship and his actions has made me angry against him. So whenever he says anything to me that’s insulting or anything that’s disrespectful or anything that’s just irritating to me (he always has something negative to say) I instantly go from 0 to 10 and I raise my voice;he says it’s positive criticism; however, when I raise my voice I’m countering what he has said to me and this makes him angry b/c I’m yelling and then he in turn wants to lay hands. How can I not get angry and raise my voice? What he says makes me sooo angry b/c what he says is not true. He is just a controlling person. I try to walk away and he says communication is the key and that I always walk away from him (but he follows) he constantly nic pics and know it makes me angry. I dont’ know what to do….. the physical abuse needs to stop but I’m afraid….

  37. i am angry when my boyfriend of 10 yrs. keeps cheating and drinking and putting me down calling me names and telling me hes better than me that i’m scum of the earth and sick in the head it really pees me off to no end and i’m trying hard to keep my cool

  38. Anger is the capicity of Ones inner Feelings.And the Degree of Anger happens at the Time when That feeling is being Deceived with Either love,Freindship or Loosing a Promotion due to Influence or any other related Topics.The Rise of Anger varies from one person to another.After all Anger is an expression of Loosing what you need.When Anger is full of Emotions,Hate and Grudge and Sorrow !! My Point here i suggest immidiately Pull back your Thoughts Try what ever you can to avoid any clashes or word exchanging and most of all Take a Trip where you would see the Big Picture of your Problem and for sure you will get the Clue.

  39. i get so mad sometime at my mom when you talks to me like she have no sense, i try to respect her but she really gets under my skin, ands is’s not just her other people in my family to, they works on my nerves for real, i think i need to take a vacation

  40. After reading these tips, i’m really going to follow them. Really impressive. And i promise i will control my anger.

  41. i get angry on any thing n every thing…i simply loose control.. i m yelling ,n m histaric…….i dnt have any particular reason for anger….my anger irretates me n i realize that m wrong mostly abt the things m angry on….i want to control it my temper..bcoz it hurts me n specially my love ones,,,,i will try to act upon whts suggested above n hope that i get over this anger….

  42. To be Honest i have exstremly bad anger probs. i have yet to calm myself i really need something great to help me cause i just got a ticket for beating a kids ass for something stupid. i have flash anger so ill need something that calms me super fast

  43. i get anger fast.tocontrol this iused these tips this was very useful for me . thanks!

  44. im a 17 year old girl and i ruined a relatioship of two years from my anger.. my anger get bad where i scream sametime punch.. i lost the love of my life because i dont know how to control it..i jus need help controlling it and see that little things shouldnt make u anger.. please sameone help me.. if u can my emial is [email protected]

    i dont want to be anger all the time..i need help.

  45. Monique Avakian
    Monique Avakian

    Well, Donald, as you can see from the comments, this is a very important topic. I encouragement folks to look at anger management books, get into therapy, join an anger management group and really focus on this problem. You will be so glad if you work on getting this straightened out for yourself. It is a life-long process and important to accept that first. There is no magical step. And, if you are impulsive and go from 0-60, then you really have to work hard at this.

    One aspect I don’t see covered is the physically addictive component of the physiological hormones/body chemicals that are released when you are angry/violent. This is really important to start to understand because there is this unconscious addiction to surging cortisol or getting so upset that you are stuck in a high-cortisol state and can’t “re-calibrate”, then you put your adrenal glands at high risk.

    Donald, maybe you could look into this aspect for us.

  46. When I get angry I tend to take it out on my wife and it isn’t even her fault. I also seem to get angry over stuff that either I don’t really know why or It is something I can not change. Now he she has ask me to leave what can I do to go back home. I do know I need help. Even as a kid I have been very angry. I have been through and seen more than most people can only imagine. But people are always to quick to say thats the problem.

  47. want something that would work with irritational anger….when we are irritated, we merely think of applying these tips with the situation.

  48. Hello everyone,

    I need an advise, when I get angry I cannot control myself even by taking a deep breath, even walking out of the situation and try to relax myself. And the worst part is I cannot think clearly at all. I have said things to others what I never wanted to say but I regret now of saying it now to them.

    So please if someone can help me out, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks

  49. […] was going to post a long list of anger control techniques, but the truth is that a deeper understanding of this problem is more important. I just wanted to […]

  50. Hi, I’ve read these 16 tips and will try all of these. Because i really want to get out of this shit. It has created a lot of problems for me till yet. I get angry on such little things which are in fact makes no sense. Even this is such a stupid thing i.e while driving, if somebody overtakes me in an abnormal way, i cant tolerate and i get angry and starts racing with him and till i don’t make him feel inferior, i don’t feel calm. I was such a cool guy before that people were jealous of me that how could things are not making any difference for me, even if somebody abuse me and i’m right, i still didn’t do anything, in fact literally i prayed for him/her that may GOD bless him. but don’t know what happened to me after. I get too much angry on such little things now and trying to get rid of it but can’t. Ah man ! what should i do now ?

  51. Thank you for these excellent tips to control anger. I am a 22 year girl doing MA in journalism. I always loose my temper while any body not listen me.Your easy steps make me feel good in my day to day life.but i have some other tips to control anger that is while you get angry you just sit and think about past days when you achieved something.Think about your childhood.Think about any memorable and happiest moment of your life.Try these steps you definitely feel good and it make you smile on your face. THANKS

  52. these all are very effective ways!!thnx for sharing.i foucus sometimes on no.14 by taking my bat and tennis ball in my hand and go outside and hit the wall with ball with so much power that after few moments my anger get away!!any way thnx again….!

  53. thx so much, i am a 13 year old boy and just got kicked out of my school untill i can controll my self and these tips seem really useful. thx again
    =]

  54. inayat ullah niazi
    inayat ullah niazi

    I take exercise early in the morning daily .No rest day.
    I keep changing the type of exercise and locations.If anger overcome me i say to my self,a sort of self suggestion “i have got rid of all kinds of mental pressure”.I count this on my finger tips.After some time i feel relax.storm of anger vanishes….These are magical words.I TAKE DEEP BREATH for 12 times..i imagine that power ful healthy fresh air is entering my body..this also helps to control mind.Good habits..positive thinking also helps lot..

  55. Thank you so much for your 16 Simple Tips on Dealing with Anger. I really have a problem in controlling my anger. I’m a short-tempered type of person. Your tips will be very much helpful to me. 🙂

  56. Thanks so much for the awesome tips, will def’ be using a few of these during school.

  57. thanks a lot for these. another thing i’ve learnt is that playing an instrument also tends to calm me down

  58. Thanks for the article, very useful.

  59. Thx you very helpfull i will try all of them……but will be hard at the heat of the moment when im mad!!!16 is the one i will try the hardest to remember, thats the one that could change things before i speak when mad…it will be a chalenge cuz my hole life when im mad im dramatic, will be weired to not speak up… but willing to try to save my famely….thx

  60. These tips will change my life

  61. Thank u so much hope they work effectively

  62. good going,but it won’t help my friends at scool
    or work.

  63. thank u for the information its good i can apply this specially to my brother .. hehehe and all the people who annoys me … 🙂

  64. hi i am nivetha .i could not control my anger.everyone around me would always think me as a short temper but after reading these tips i feel i could control my anger .bye

  65. thanks for the tips and I am 13

  66. i have problem with my anger and my parents i am 10

  67. Thank you for sharing these easy anger management tips. I sometimes find myself in the height of my anger that I tend to aggravate the situation. When I finally realize it, the damage has been done. So, thank you for these posts. I will surely keep these tips in mind and try to practice them.

  68. A Really crazy thing happened today …I was pretty mad for some reason ….ran in to the kitchen to tell my mom….In a fit of rage I drank some water…turns out over 70% of my anger was gone….

  69. A great article about anger. I. Will be sharing it with many people.
    Thanks

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