How To Be Less Angry: 9 Actionable Tips

Updated February 04, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Fawley

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Feeling angry often can be exhausting both physically and mentally. And, yet it's so easy to struggle with anger. Anger is a natural emotion, but it can become unmanageable for some. If you feel like your anger is getting out of control, there are many different things that you can do to make a change. Simply trying to suppress anger down deep inside of you and not deal with it is not a healthy way to address the problem.

If you are trying to learn how to deal with anger, the good news is that there are many different strategies that you can use to take control of your anger. It would be nice if there was a magic formula that you could use that would just allow you to feel less angry, but life doesn't work that way. But you can try out the anger management exercises and tips listed below to learn how to be less impacted by anger.

1. Practice Meditation for Anger

When you practice meditation, you are learning how to be mindful about the present moment. When you sit in a quiet place to meditate you are learning how to take in the present moment and what is happening around you including within you.

Part of meditation includes allowing yourself to be aware of all the emotions you are feeling. But, instead of allowing anger to control your thoughts and behavior, you acknowledge that you feel the emotion, but you don't act on it. You observe your thoughts and choose what you want to focus on. This allows you to shift your focus thoughts that contribute to anger and give them less weight.

There are many different meditation or mindfulness exercises out there to help you get started.

2. Learn Why You Are Angry

There are many different reasons why anger can become a problem for people. And, often the thing that we think we are angry about really isn't the problem.

If you want to learn how to be less angry, it can be helpful to learn what the root cause of your anger is. For example, if your child spills milk at dinner you may explode in anger even though it was an accident. It's not that you have no right to be angry in this situation, but it could be that you had a very stressful day at work, and you are stressed about a long list of problems. Even though the spilled milk was an accident, it was the thing that pushed you over the edge since you are already struggling with so much. If you can identify the root, it can help you direct anger towards the root of the issue and not at those around you that are unrelated.

A good way to learn where your anger is coming from is to talk to a therapist. They can help you get to the root cause of your struggle with anger.

3. Get Regular Exercise

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When you get physical activity on a regular balance it's good for you in so many ways. One of those ways is that you are able to boost your mood. When you participate in regular physical activity it can help you to lower your levels of stress and to think more clearly. If you are starting to feel like your anger is building up it can be helpful to go for a walk, a run, or hit the gym. Or, look for an activity you enjoy that you can participate in on a regular basis. If you enjoy running, you could join a local running group so you have a set appointment to look forward to each week.

4. Look For Anger Management Groups

If you really struggle with coping with anger on a regular basis it can help to join an Anger Management Group. People in these groups are able to learn from others that are going through similar situations and experiencing the same struggles. This can be helpful in allowing you to know that you are not alone and reduce shame. It can also help you to learn coping skills that you did not know beforehand. And, it can show you what works, what doesn't work and give you the support and motivation that you need to continue working towards making a change.

5. Learn What Situations Cause You To Struggle

Take some time to think through the situations that you find cause you the most amount of anger. With a little bit of work, you may notice that it's the same type of situations that you struggle with. See if you can identify what people or situations seem to trigger anger. Once you have this information you can create a plan of improvement. It could be as simple as avoiding those situations or those certain people if possible. Or, it could be needing to limit your time or to find someone that can help keep you accountable when you are in those situations.

6. Learn To Forgive

If you find that you have a lot of anger in your daily life, it could be that you are struggling with forgiveness. You might have a hurtful situation in your past that you haven't been able to deal with yet. The hurt and resentment that you allowed to stay in you when you don't forgive someone, can cause you to be irritable and angry.

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It's not usually easy to forgive someone that has hurt you. But even if they don't ask for your forgiveness it's still important for you to take the step. When you don't forgive someone, you are hurting yourself more than you are hurting them, as you are the one left holding on to that hurt.

This can be a difficult thing to do oh, and you might need help. An experienced therapist will be able to help you walk through the process of learning how to forgive and answering any questions that you have.

7. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

This may seem like common sense, but it's so much harder to do than it is to say. If you struggle with anger, chances are you also might struggle with blowing things out of proportion. When we feel irritable it's easy to make a big deal out of something that is actually small. If you want to learn how to be a less angry person you need to learn how to identify the difference between the things that you should be angry about and everything else.

If you're in a place where you feel like everything is making you angry including the people that you love, it can help to talk to a therapist. Chances are there is something much bigger going on that is causing you to feel this anger. When you're able to identify the root cause of your anger, it becomes much easier to not worry about all of the other things.

8. Take A Moment

Sometimes all we need to get control over anger is to just take a minute. You've probably heard of the strategy of counting to 10 when you are starting to feel angry before you do or say anything, and this is the same principle.

It's easy to say or do the wrong thing when you are responding and anger. That's why it's so important to learn how to take control of the situation. This means when you're starting to feel angry you need to be able to recognize that feeling and then step back for a moment. When you do this you'll be able to process a situation easier before deciding what to do or say. This can be incredibly helpful and not making a situation worse with your anger. It can be very empowering to learn that you can do something different, like choose to walk away, in a situation that triggers anger. It doesn't have to control your actions.

9. Talk To A Therapist

We aren't built to handle all of our problems on our own. If you're struggling with anger and you feel like it's really impacting your life in a negative way, don't be afraid to reach out for help. You may not know all the answers, but you don't have to. There is an experienced therapist that is able to help you through the process.

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Talking to a therapist either in person or through an online service can be just the thing that you need to help you learn the coping skills to deal with your anger. They can also help you learn how to identify your triggers so you can know how to either avoid them or to be prepared for them.

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