Strategies To Release Anger Productively
Have you been experiencing anger lately and wondering why it can be so hard to control? If so, you’re not alone. During an anger attack, many people can relate to reacting in a way they later regret. Below, we’ll discuss ways to change this pattern, get rid of outbursts and anger attacks, and manage your emotions in a healthy way.
Learn Ways To Let Go Of Difficult Emotions And Stabilize Moods
Pent-up anger is a common emotion, but sometimes it can feel challenging to keep rage under control. Learning how to release your emotions appropriately may help you stabilize your moods, have healthy relationships, and improve your overall health.
Anger can sometimes be a natural response when you face perceived threats. It can be a survival instinct that activates the body’s fight-or-flight reaction. Muscles may tighten, and the face and hands may begin to flush. Feeling attacked or threatened can inspire powerful, and sometimes aggressive, feelings and actions.
Both internal and external factors can trigger strong emotions such as rage. External triggers are a result of outside influences, such as a coworker spreading rumors about you or a person cutting you off in heavy traffic. Internal triggers may involve brooding about personal issues or obsessing over negative experiences from the past. Learned behaviors, inherited tendencies, and brain chemistry may also play a role in the severity of these feelings. Learning how to release these emotions in a healthy way can greatly improve your mental health.
Frequently experiencing feelings of rage may mean you have a low tolerance for frustration. However, it is possible to learn how to calm your anger and release your emotions in a healthy way.
What Causes Rage And Anger?
Anger can be caused by several factors. Genetics and physiological factors can play a role in emotions, even at an early age. Learned social and cultural behaviors may also affect someone’s ability to handle strong feelings like anger. If someone is taught that expressing negative emotions is bad or rude, they may suppress their feelings and then lash out when they can’t handle the anger any longer. Finally, family background can play a role. People who grow up in families that are chaotic, disruptive, or not skilled in expressing emotions may have more difficulty managing anger.
Strategies To Release Intense Anger
Suppressed anger can pose problems for your physical health, mental health, and relationships. What can you do about it? There are several techniques people use to express their emotions, as discussed below. Everyone handles moods differently, so you might try several strategies to determine which ones work best for you when you’re feeling angry.
Get Physical Exercise
When you’re feeling angry, your breathing may quicken. You may find that you take short and shallow breaths. This can trigger other physical symptoms, such as high blood pressure. Breathing exercises may help you to calm down from the body’s fight-or-flight alertness.
To start, you might practice taking slow, controlled breaths. Imagine the air going in through your nose all the way to your lungs. Then, follow the breath as it leaves your body.
You might also try counting as you breathe. For example, you can inhale while counting to four, hold your breath for another count of four, and then exhale counting to four again.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercises
When you feel rage, you may notice that your muscles seem to tense up throughout your body. One way to release rage is to address this tension. You might try slowly tensing and relaxing each muscle group one at a time. These muscle relaxation techniques may help your body recover from the muscle-tightening response to anger.
Guided meditations can sometimes help calm rage or other emotions. Several websites offer guided meditations for calming the nerves. You could install a meditation app on your smartphone to use whenever you’re angry, or you may even use it a few times a week as a preventive strategy.
Write It Out
Sometimes writing thoughts and emotions down on paper helps get them out of your head and puts them in perspective. You might consider journaling, writing poetry, or writing a letter to someone who wronged you (that you may or may not send). Writing can help organize your thoughts and may provide insight into the situation. When you write, you might try to avoid focusing only on the adverse aspect of the event or situation. Instead, you can try to brainstorm solutions or how to handle things differently in the future. You can write until your feelings of rage are expressed and feel less powerful.
Let Go Of The Situation, Feeling, Memory, Or Person
Sometimes it’s simply best to walk away from the source of anger. It could be permanent or temporary, but either way, it can be helpful to take a break from the triggers consistently causing rage. If you must end a relationship or find a different job, you might do so if possible.
Change the Way You Form Your Thoughts
When you feel rage, “black-and-white thinking” is common, and it can be easy to perceive problems to be much worse than they are. Cognitive restructuring may help you replace negative thoughts with more rational ones. Below are some tips for :
Avoid words like “always” or “never” when thinking or talking about the person or situation making you feel angry. These absolute words may serve to justify your rage and alienate others.
Rage often has a way of quickly making thoughts irrational. You might try taking a few breaths as mentioned above and then trying to determine if your thoughts are irrational, such as “the world is out to get me.” Then, you might try replacing irrational thoughts with more logical, constructive thoughts.
Translate expectations into desires. You may feel tempted to make demands when you’re feeling angry, such as demanding fairness or appreciation. This may not be well received. Instead, you can request what you’d like to see happen as a desire. It may not always work, but this type of assertive communication may help get your point across in a much more amicable manner.
Develop Your Support Network: Get Closer When Needed
(Friends, Family, Therapists, Workout Partners, Parents, etc.)
If you are experiencing anger, finding an appropriate support network could be the difference between lashing out at the world and constructively releasing rage. You might ask a family or close friend who has an empathetic, rational approach if they’ll let you vent your emotions.
Talk To An Online Therapist About Your Anger
Not everyone has the luxury of a supportive friend or loved one. However, some people who experience intense rage turn to therapists, who are trained to provide insights into thought processes and offer evidence-based strategies to deal with rage in a constructive and assertive way.
A therapist can work with you to help you determine where your rage is coming from and how to address it. They can also help you learn how to express your rage so you can overcome the mental and physical symptoms that you experience because of it.
If a traditional therapy setting is not right for you, BetterHelp offers affordable, online therapy sessions. You can talk to a licensed therapist from the comfort of your own home via phone or video chat. You can also contact your therapist in between sessions via in-app messaging, and they’ll get back to you as soon as they can.
Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar concerns.
“Josh has been really helpful to me and helping me find ways to control my anger. I am more positive now and it’s all thanks to Josh for helping me get strategies.”
“Krysten has been an immense help in dealing with and confronting my anger and depression issues. I started to notice immediate changes in my general disposition within a week of working with her. My friends and family have even said I seem less bitter and jaded. And the fact that I can communicate with her frequently has done wonders in keeping me on track and progressing forward. My time working with Krysten and being on BetterHelp has been a positive experience and done much more for me than traditional in-office therapy ever did.”
Resources on how to manage your emotions and anger, and get the support you need. If you are struggling with feeling like you have control over your reactions, anger, and intense emotions, you can get professional support through a therapist to help you navigate ways around anger you may be experiencing. While anger can be a normal emotion, it can be challenging to navigate on your own. Anger doesn't have to dominate your everyday life. Help is available for the anger challenges you may be facing.
Get additional support and help with your day-to-day life, navigating anger, and overall mental health journey via the resources below:
For more information on mental health, please see:
- SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) SAMHSA Facebook, SAMHSA Twitter, SAMHSA LinkedIn
- Mental Health America, MHA Twitter, MHA Facebook, MHA Instagram, MHA Pinterest, MHA LinkedIn
- WebMD, WebMD Facebook, WebMD Twitter, WebMD Pinterest, WebMD LinkedIn
- NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), NIMH Facebook, NIMH Twitter,NIMH YouTube, NIMH LinkedIn
- APA (American Psychiatric Association), APA Twitter, APA Facebook, APA LinkedIn, APA Instagram
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