How We all get angry for one reason or the other, so anger is a normal feeling. Anger can be a positive emotion, especially when it helps you work through problems or issues at home or at work.
However, anger can become a big issue if it leads to outbursts, aggression or physical altercations. That is where how to control anger and stay calm come in. To help you avoid doing or saying something you may regret, anger control is vital.
Do you know anger can be caused by lack of sleep? Before your anger becomes problematic, you can use the following strategies to control your anger.
25 ways to control anger and stay calm
#1. Go walk around
If you really want to reduce your anger, exercise can do the job effectively. You can go hit a few golf balls, ride your bike or bicycle or simply go for a walk. Anything that gets your limbs pumping will help your body and soul.
#2. Take a breather
When you are angry, your breathing will be shallower and speeds up. To reverse that shallow breath, take a slow, deep breath through your nose and exhale it through your mouth for several moments.
#3. Count down
Do a count down or up to 10 for a few times. You can start at 100 if you are really mad. The time it takes you to count will help slow your heart rate and your anger may subside in the process.
Shoulder rolls and neck rolls are a good nonstrenuous yoga-like movement that can help control your body as well as harness your emotions. You don’t need fancy equipment for this.
#5. Play some tunes
Play music to get carried away from your feelings. Get in your car to listen to music or use your earbuds. Crank up your favorite music but avoid heavy metal. While playing your favorite music, bop, hum or sashay your anger away.
#6. Repeat a mantra
Repeat again and again a word or phrase that helps you calm down and refocus. You can repeat something like, “Take it easy,” “Relax,” and “You will be OK.”
#7. Relax your muscles
Progressive muscle relaxation helps you to tense and slowly relax muscles in your body, one at a time. Take slow, deliberate breaths as you tense and relax.
#8. Mentally escape
Get into a quiet place or room, close your eyes, and try visualizing yourself in a relaxing scene. As you meditate, focus on imagining a scene such as the color of water, the height of mountains or how chirping birds sound like. This will help you calm your anger.
#9. Take a timeout
It makes sense to take a break by sitting away from others. When you are alone, you can process events to help you return your emotions to neutral. In fact, you can use the time to schedule your daily routine.
#10. Don’t talk
When you are angry, you may be tempted to say rash words, which you may likely regret. Just pretend your lips are sealed as you would do as a kid. This moment you keep mute will help you to calm your anger.
#11. Rehearse your response
You can prevent any form of outburst by rehearsing what you will say or how you will approach the issue in the future. During the rehearsal period, you will be able to find solutions to the issue.
#12. Write in your journal
That word you don’t want to say, write it in your journal. Jot how you are feeling down and how you want to respond. During the time you are writing the words, your nerves will calm and you will be able to think about events leading to your feelings.
#13. Take action
When you are angry, you can harness your angry energy to something good for someone else. Write a note to an official or sign a petition. Pour your emotion and energy into healthy and productive things.
#14. Picture a stop sign
Picturing the universal stop sign can help you calm down when you are angry. In fact, it is a quick way to help you visualize the importance of halting yourself, action and walk away from the moment.
#15. Find an immediate solution
Maybe you are angry that your child left for a friend’s house, leaving the room messy. Just shut the door. Putting it out of your view will temporarily calm your anger. During that time, you can look for a solution. Look for similar resolutions when anything angers you.
Good mood upends bad mood more than anything else. You can diffuse your anger by looking for a way to laugh. Maybe by scrolling memes, watching a stand-up comedy or playing with your kids.
#17. Talk to a friend
Don’t dwell on the event that made you angry. Talk to a trusted and supportive friend who can provide you with a new perspective.
#18. Practice gratitude
Try to focus on what is right when everything looks wrong. Remember the number of good things you have in your life. This can help you neutralize your anger.
#19. Change your routine
If it is your slow commute to work that is causing your anger, find a new route. You may need to consider options that take longer but make you less upset.
#20. Write a letter
Send an email or letter to the person that made you angry and then delete it. Oftentimes, expressing your emotions in some form is better. This can also calm you down.
#21. Practice empathy
Put yourself in another person’s shoe and view the situation from their perspective. When you see the event the way other person saw it, you will understand their plight and become less angry.
#22. Set a timer
When you are angry, what comes to your mind is what to say. Before you say anything, give yourself a set time. During the time, you will be calmer and more concise.
#23. Find a creative channel
You can turn your anger to something productive such as writing poetry, gardening or painting. Emotions are powerful muses for creative people, so use yours to calm your anger.
#24. Imagine forgiving them
You need emotional skill to forgive someone who has wronged you. If you find it difficult to forgive immediately, you can at least pretend you are forgiving them to help evaporate your anger.
#25. Express your anger
If you can handle it the right way, it is nice to express how you feel. Ask a friend you trust to help you be accountable to a calm response. We all know that outbursts can’t solve any problem, but mature dialogue can help you ease your anger and reduce stress. In fact, it may prevent future issues.
Everyone experiences anger from time to time, but you need to deal with your anger in a healthy way to avoid outbursts and aggression. If none of the above ways to control anger is helpful to you, talk to your doctor. A therapist or mental health specialist can help walk you through factors contributing to your anger and other emotional problems.