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15 Anger Management Techniques That Work

Updated on October 10, 2016

Effective Anger Management Techniques

Anger is part of life — just like memory, happiness, and sadness.If not handled well it can be very destructive and may lead to numerous negative consequences like being physically injured,ending up in jail,losing loved ones or feeling guilt or shame. In this article I will teach you how to manage your anger effectively by focusing on the positive.

Develop an awareness

This is the first and very important step. Clinical psychologists Patrick M. Reilly and Michael S. Shopshire suggest that ‘’To break the anger habit, you must develop an awareness of the events, circumstances, and behaviors of others that “trigger” your anger. This awareness also involves understanding the negative consequences that result from anger. For example, you may be in line at the supermarket and become impatient because the lines are too long. You could become angry, then boisterously demand that the checkout clerk call for more help. As your anger escalates, you may become involved in a heated exchange with the clerk or another customer. The store manager may respond by having a security officer remove you from the store. The negative consequences that result from this event are not getting the groceries that you wanted and the embarrassment and humiliation you suffer from being removed from the store’’

Greek philosopher Plutarch on Anger Management
Greek philosopher Plutarch on Anger Management

Take a timeout

If you feel you are in a situation where your anger can escalate, leave that situation.

For example, you may be a passenger on a crowded bus and become angry

because you perceive that people are deliberately bumping into you. In this situation, you can simply get off the bus and wait for a less crowded bus.

Similary if you are involved in an argument and you feel that you are becoming too angry ,it may be helpful to leave the discussion or take a timeout.Reilly and Shopshire explain ‘’ a timeout is defined as leaving the situation that is causing the escalation of anger or simply stopping the discussion that is provoking it. Timeouts are important because they can be effective in the heat of the moment. Even if your anger is escalating quickly on the anger meter, you can prevent reaching 10 by taking a timeout and leaving the situation.Timeouts are also effective when they are used with other strategies. For example, you can take a timeout and go for a walk. You can also take a timeout and call a trusted friend or family member or write in your journal. These other strategies should help you calm down during the timeout period’’.

Anger Meter
Anger Meter

A 1 on the anger meter represents a complete lack of anger , whereas a 10 represents a very angry and explosive loss of control that leads to negative consequences. Points between 1 and 10 represent feelings of anger between these extremes. when a person encounters an anger-provoking event, he or she does not reach a 10 immediately, but the individual’s anger starts at a low number and rapidly moves up the scale. There is always time, provided one has learned effective anger management techniques, to stop anger from escalating to a 10.

Keep a positive attitude

Some people are always angry because of things that happened to them..During the years,When I was facing repeated failures in my career,I would be quick to lose my temper. I’d think, ‘’ life is so unfair , a useless struggle’’. Negative thoughts like this made me angry at life and everyone around.If I had thought more positively like,’’Failures are stepping stone to success.One day the handwork will pay off,'' I wouldn’t have being feeling so bad and on the verge of losing my fuse.Be patient when you face hardships and keep thinking positively .If you count your blessings,and are patient with problems,you’d be less likely to lose your temper. positive thankful people don’t lose their temper quickly.They are actually calm and in control most of the time.

Control your self talk

The previous example showed how my negative self-talking led to having a short control your self talk.Other examples of negative self-talk are:

‘’My boss is not going to like my presentation.he is never satisfied with my work.’’

‘’I’m sure,she will be late as usual.’’

‘’No matter how much effort I put into cooking.My husband will complain when he tastes it.

‘’No one bothers to communicate with me.’’

Self-talk affects emotions. Negative self-talk can result in anger.

Be patient

When someone makes you angry and your blood starts to boil,be patient and wait for the emotion of anger to subside. Emotions also work on the principle of gravity,when they go up they are bound to come down.So if your anger is rising quickly wait patiently without doing anything,it will subside.No one has ever had a heart attack or died because of being too,exercise this virtue.

‘’ Research has shown that the neurological anger response lasts less than two seconds," says Ronald Potter-Efron, Ph.D., an anger-management psychotherapist and coauthor of Letting Go of Anger. Beyond that, it takes a commitment to stay angry. count to 10 and see if the urge to explode has diminished.

Anger management:Silence is the best answer.
Anger management:Silence is the best answer.

Effective Anger Management Techniques

Be quiet

When you feel angry,be quiet. It’s not the right time to say anything. When we are angry our minds can’t think logically. You might say something that you will regret later. Venting your anger verbally only worsens the situation and adds more had long been thought that aggressive expression of anger such as screaming was therapeutic and healthy but numerous research studies have found that people who express their anger aggressively only get better at being angry.So be quiet at least for a few moments while you think about a proper response to anger ,you will begin to calm down. One leading Anger management expert says ‘’the first thing the angry person should do is to shut up’’.

Buddha quote
Buddha quote

Effective Anger management Techniques

Don't take offense--Try to understand Problem people

When my so-called friends make subtle digs at me.I neither feel nor express anger but instead I feel sorry for them. They are insecure and jealous or else they wouldn’t be trying to put me down. Often I would take pity on my supervisor. If he were happy with his life he wouldn’t be insulting me or pouring out poisonous words. I felt sorry for him because he had to live with so much poison inside.

Talk instead of hitting

when you feel angry instead of hitting that person or smashing things or even venting you anger verbally be quiet . when the emotion has subsided,choose to talk.Anger management expert and clinical Psychologist W. Doyle Gentry advises following these three steps:

1. Come up with a label to identify the intensity of your anger.

For example, are you annoyed, irritated, mad, irate, or in a rage? Start by saying, “I feel. . . .” Don’t say, “I think. . . .” What you’re going for here is your feeling, not your thoughts about how obnoxious the other

person was.

2. Identify the thing that triggered your anger.

For example, “Every time I come home, his friends are here. We never have any time to ourselves.” Continue your conversation by saying, “I feel _______ [insert the word you came up with in Step 1] because. . . .”

3. Ask yourself what it would take to help you return to a non-angry state.

For example, “I would appreciate it if he would ask his friends to leave when I get home from work so we can have some one-on-one time.” When you’re able to go through these three steps inside your head, see if you can actually have that conversation with the person you’re angry with’’.

Do not be sarcastic, it hurts relationships.Don’t say to your tardy friend that "It's OK that you're late. I had time to read the menu―40 times."but say instead "I wish you would try to be on time, especially when you know we have limited time''.

Stay focused

When you begin to speak out in anger,you are likely to lose sight of the problem,issue or circumstance that initially triggered your anger.Instead,in the heat of the momemt you move from one grievance to another midstream. What started out as’’I asked you to do the dishes and you forgot’’ quickly evolves into ‘’you never listen to me,you never help me out around don’t care about me.I don’t know why I married you in the first place’’.

The more intense your anger,the more likely the emotion will divert your attention from the problem at hand.One way to control your anger is not to jump from one grievance to another but stay focused on the problem that initially provoked your anger.this way things are less likely to get out of control.

It’s best to stay quiet and let the emotion subside but if you can’t do that and you choose to speak while angry― stay focused on the problem.

Effective Anger Management Techniques:Preventive Measures

Change your beliefs

Albert Ellis an American psychologist,developed a very interesting model that can help you break your anger habit.

Ellis calls his model the A-B-C-D or rational-emotive model. In this model, “A”stands for the event which provokes anger. “B” stands for the beliefs that people have about the provoking event.Ellis claims that its our interpretation of events that incite anger,events themselves don’t cause anger.“C” represents the feelings that people experience because of their interpretations of and beliefs concerning the ( anger triggering )event.

Ellis’ approach consists of identifying irrational beliefs and disputing them with more rational or realistic perspectives.So in this model “D” stands for dispute.

People may have many irrational beliefs that may lead to anger. Consider an example where a friend of yours disagrees with you. You may start to think, “Everyone must like me and give me approval.” If you hold such a belief, you are likely to get upset and angry when you face rejection. However, if you dispute this irrational belief by saying, “I can’t please everyone;some people are not going to approve of everything I do,” you will most likely start to calm down and be able to control your anger more easily’’.

Examples of the irrational beliefs or self-talk that can produce anger escalation are reflected in statements such as “People should be more considerate of my feelings,” “How dare they be so inconsiderate and disrespectful,” and “They obviously don’t care about anyone but themselves.” Beliefs underlying anger often take the form of “should” and “must.”

How to Control your anger
How to Control your anger

How often during a typical week in the past month did you get irritated, mad, or angry?

See results

If you answered A, B, or C, your anger is within a healthy, normal range. If you answered D, E, F, G, or H, your anger is excessive (you’re angrier than 75 percent of people)

Anger Management strategy:Plan difficult conversations
Anger Management strategy:Plan difficult conversations

Plan Difficult Conversations

If you are worried about having a conversation that may provoke your anger or make you lose your cool― then try to take control of the situation even before it happens. Think about what you are going to say and write it down.Be well prepared.this way you are less likely to get side tracked or confused during will be more in control of situation and less likely to lose your temper.I highly recommend reading ‘’ Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High’’ .I have read many self-help books but this one clearly stands out.It’s interesting and teaches the art of communication superbly. Practice the tips written in the book and you will be able to xpress your feelings and avoid conflict.

Reduce Your use of chemicals such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol:

Chemicals alter brain chemistry and affect your emotions. Use of drugs such nicotine,caffeine,cocaine,alcohol , Hypnotics and tranquilizers etc, make a person prone to anger.if you regulary use any of these drugs you are likely to get provoked quickly and have trouble controlling your anger. So try to reduce drug use as much as possible.Eat healthy organic food.

Take Regular Exercise and Keep Fit

I’m sure you have observed that people who have health issue,lose their temper quickly.they are more irritable and struggle with their emotions.Healthy people don’t lose their cool so soon.Try to keep fit.Avoid junk food and take regular exercise.Walking releases feel good chemicals in body and regulates the level of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.To control anger effectively its important to be in good mood and good health.

Get enough Sleep

United Nations Convention on Torture, and Amnesty International consider extended sleep deprivation a form of torture.If you are torturing yourself by not getting proper amount of sleep (7-8 hours) then , it won’t take much to set off your temper .

Have fun

It’s very important to take some time off. If you are working too much like 10 hours every day and there’s not enough time for relaxation and enjoyment then your are more likely to lose your temper or have trouble staying calm.It takes energy to be calm and in control of your emotions and if you are lacking that energy every thing in your life will become a strain.

Spare some time for listening to music, hangout with friends,drink herbal teas,read books. This will keep you in a good and happy mood.

Listen to the message Anger is giving you

Anger is not a useless emotion.It has a hidden message to deliver.Instead of expressing it,stop and listen to the message.for example i feel angry when someone tries to manipulate me.It would be wrong for me to scream at the manipulator.Instead i should calmly find a solution to the problem which would be to interact less and stay on alert when dealing with the manipulator.
So your anger might be indicating that :

  • You have irrational beliefs
  • You need to protect your rights
  • you are leading an unhealthy lifestyle like drug use,too much work
  • or you are dealing with a potentially harmful person or situation.

No matter what the reason ,do not express it, but control it ,and try to find solution to the problem, you think your anger is pointing towards.


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    Post Comment
    • passionatelearnr profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Thank you Dora for taking time to read.

      Respecting other person's beliefs can often save us a lot of trouble.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Instead of changing my belief, can I just allow the other person to have a belief different than mine without getting angry about it? Just wondering. Altogether, you made some very helpful suggestions.

    • passionatelearnr profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Thank you emge.;-)

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh 

      3 years ago from Singapore

      This is a wonderful hub on a complex topic. Voted up


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