Quotes About Anger To Help You Manage This Emotion In A Healthy Way

Medically reviewed by Majesty Purvis, LCMHC
Updated June 11, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Virtually everyone experiences feelings of anger from time to time; it's a normal human emotion, and expressing it in healthy ways can be positive. If it’s not well-managed, however, it also has the potential to be destructive, creating issues in relationships, at work, or otherwise. Letting go of anger isn’t always easy, but discovering the right coping mechanisms can help. We’ll discuss techniques for doing this below. First, however, let’s learn a bit more about anger. Then, we’ll take a look at inspirational quotes about anger that have been said by various public figures over the years, which may offer you a new perspective on this common emotion.

It can take time to learn to control your anger

What is anger?

Anger is an emotional reaction to perceived hurt, injustice, or provocation. While it’s natural, it can easily trigger irrational responses that cause us to lose control of our ability to think logically. One reason for this is that the human body has a built-in, physiological stress response to anger—similar to the way it handles fear. Instead of making us want to flee as we might when we're afraid, however, anger often drives us toward confrontation. With practice, it is possible to learn how to decide whether to let our emotions win in situations like this, or to let our prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain responsible for judgment and self-control—take over instead. According to the American Psychological Association, our reaction to anger is a learned response that we pick up through observing others. This means that with some effort, we may be able to shift the way we handle it.

Quotes on how uncontrolled anger can be harmful

There’s nothing wrong with feeling the emotion of anger, but how we handle it can make all the difference. The following anger quotes relate to the potential negative consequences of letting your emotions control you:

  • "You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger." –Buddha

  • "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind." –Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "Anybody can become angry—that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not within everybody's power and is not easy." –Aristotle

  • "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." –Buddha

  • "Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." –Mark Twain

  • "It is wise to direct your anger towards problems, not people—to focus your energies on answers, not excuses." –William Arthur Ward

  • "When you hold on to anger and unforgiveness, you can't move forward." –Mary J. Blige

  • "Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind." –Robert Green Ingersoll

  • "The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present." –Barbara De Angelis

  • "When you assume negative intent, you're angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response."–Indra Nooyi

  • "How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it." –Marcus Aurelius

If these quotes don’t resonate with you, consider looking for anger quotes directly related to your interests, inspiration, and beliefs. For example, if you feel a strong connection to the belief in a god, quotes from your religious texts might help you feel a connection to the message. Likewise, if you’re interested in a particular motivational speaker, you might look for quotes about anger that they’ve shared. 

Quotes on other ways to handle anger

Letting yourself get carried away by a strong emotion like anger isn’t the only option when you experience a feeling like this. These inspirational quotes will remind you of the power of taking a different approach and the positive outcomes that can result from this. Take a look at these quotes that offer a glimpse into alternative perspectives and strategies:

  • "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So, let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we'll change the world." –Jack Layton

  • "Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath." –Thich Nhat Hanh

  • "The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy." –Mehmet Oz

  • "Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not 'yours', not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you." –Eckhart Tolle

  • "Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness." –James Thurber

  • "As far as having peace within myself, the one way I can do that is forgiving the people who have done wrong to me. It causes more stress to build up anger. Peace is more productive." –Rodney King

  • "I realized that if my thoughts immediately affect my body, I should be careful about what I think. Now if I get angry, I ask myself why I feel that way. If I can find the source of my anger, I can turn that negative energy into something positive." –Yoko Ono

  • "Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache, and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life." –Joan Lunden

Tips for managing anger in a healthy way

It will likely take some practice, but you can learn healthier ways to manage strong emotions like anger so that you’re less likely to create negative outcomes for yourself next time you feel this way. First, remember that suppressing your anger isn’t always the healthiest option. Finding a safe, constructive outlet for your extra energy can be a good alternative, such as physical exercise. One review of studies on the topic reports that findings suggest exercise can be an effective way to help individuals release feelings of anger. You might also consider taking up journaling, which can offer a healthy outlet for you to express your feelings and can provide you with the opportunity to more easily recognize anger triggers so you can avoid them or shift your response to them. Trying to apply some of these strategies when you start to feel angry during the day can help you better manage your feelings. 

Another common piece of advice for managing feelings of anger is to stop when you recognize the feeling coming on, and then take a few deep breaths or even leave the triggering situation if possible to give yourself time and space to calm down. If you have trouble recognizing your emotions before it’s too late, you might consider developing a mindfulness practice. Returning to your breath and paying attention to the physical sensations of anger can help you recognize it earlier on, so you have time to take a step back. This strategy can help you learn to build a greater awareness of thoughts and feelings as they come over you, and research shows that mindfulness can have many other mental and physical health benefits as well.

It can take time to learn to control your anger

How therapy can help

If you’re having trouble managing feelings of anger, you might consider seeking out the support of a therapist. They can work with you to analyze what makes you angry and uncover any potential root causes of your reactions. They can also help you learn how to manage this emotion in a healthier way. 

A recent study suggests that just four weeks of therapy delivered via internet can help people with anger and aggression. If you’re having trouble locating a mental health provider in your area or don’t have time to travel to and from in-office appointments, online therapy may be a viable alternative for learning to handle feelings of anger. With a virtual therapy platform like BetterHelp, you can get matched with a licensed therapist who you can speak with via phone, video call, and/or online chat from the comfort of home to address the challenges you may be facing. For client reviews of BetterHelp counselors, see below.

Counselor reviews

“Kerline is so warm and kind, and a wonderful listener! She created a safe and open space where I could talk freely and without fear of judgment. Her weekly calls and exercises have given me the tools I need to cope with stress, anxiety, relationship issues and anger. The entire CBT process was very healing and I'm so grateful she led me through it. Her insights, knowledge and caring nature were so valuable, and I'd recommend her to anyone.”

“Working with Contrina is so helpful and she has been so understanding. I’m so glad I turned to her to help me with a problem that has been years in the making. She offers me the outside perspective I need to break out of a cycle of hurt and anger that is affecting me deeply. She is wise, authentic, relatable and unfailingly kind. She has challenged me and pushed my thinking. I’m grateful to work with her in such a unique and convenient way.”


Copying down some of the quotes posted here that resonated with you may provide inspiration later on healthier ways to manage feelings of anger. If you’re interested in getting professional support in this area, you might consider meeting with a qualified mental health professional.

Learn to separate anger from behavior
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