Anger Issues? 7 Best Techniques To Help You Calm Yourself Down In 2023

7 techniques that work on how to calm yourself down.

1. Acknowledge the feelings.

Next time you are angry choose 1 of these 15 ways to calm yourself down:

Anger is an emotion that doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. When we are absorbed in anger, we often have knee-jerk reactions because the emotions feel so real and powerful.

Emotions come and go but the behavior has long-lasting consequences. When you’re angry, try to remind yourself that it’s just a feeling, and it will pass soon enough.

Sit with the feeling for a few minutes without saying or doing anything. If you feel like crying or punching a pillow (but not a wall or a person), then do so if it helps relieve the tension.

2. Breathe.

Anger causes many physical reactions — a rush of adrenaline, increased heart rate, tightening of muscles, and rapid breathing. When you manage these physicals symptoms, you can begin to calm your mind as well.

If possible, close your eyes and take five minutes to practice abdominal breathing. Count each breath up to ten, saying the number on the out breath. Do this several times until you feel your heart rate slow down and your body relax.

3. Excuse yourself.

If another person triggers your anger, excuse yourself from them before you respond.

Say something like, “I need to step away for a moment,” and leave the room so you can manage your feelings and practice breathing privately.

It might feel good in the moment to scream and yell or respond with a snarky comment, but you know this isn’t the best way to react, even if the other person is behaving badly.

Give yourself time to respond appropriately without the distorting cloud of anger. Taking a walk outside, going for a run, or exercising in some way can help diffuse the angry feelings.

4. Identify the root.

When you’re calmer, ask yourself what really made you so angry. How did you feel threatened? This requires some deeper self-inquiry. You might say initially you were angry with your spouse because “He acts like a jerk.” But what is really behind that feeling?

Use this question template to help you: “When my husband (wife, boss, etc.) says (does) _______, it makes me feel ________.”

Don’t use the word “angry” or any related word to describe your feelings. Dig out the threat behind the anger. Maybe it makes you feel diminished, unloved, disrespected, stupid, etc.

This self-inquiry requires honesty and vulnerability, but it will help you better understand yourself so you can make positive change.

5. Examine the feelings.

When you come up with the word or words that describe the threat you feel, examine those feelings more closely.

Sometimes the feelings are legitimate, healthy responses to unjustified or undeserved treatment. If someone continues to put you down or lies about you, for example, then your threatened feelings are valid.

Other times it’s not so clear. Perhaps someone makes an offhand remark, but you interpret it negatively because you have low self-esteem, or you’re simply feeling tired.

Try to step outside of yourself to view the situation with dispassionate eyes.

6. Use the balloon or the box.

There are some situations that trigger anger, but they really aren’t worth expending much time or mental energy.

Let’s say someone cuts you off while driving or an acquaintance makes a passive-aggressive remark about you in front of others.

These situations are fleeting and likely won’t happen again with the same person. You feel the anger bubble up, but taking action would cause more harm than good.

I like to use the balloon visualization in these scenarios. You simply visualize your anger as an orb of energy, and you mentally place it in a balloon. Then release the balloon and imagine it floating away and out of sight.

If it’s a situation you want to deal with later, but you can’t at the moment it happens — for instance, a co-worker undermines you in a meeting — then mentally put the situation and your anger in a box and put it on a shelf.

You can proceed calmly until it’s time to take the box down and deal with it.

7. Write about it.

Writing is a great way to release your anger and explore your feelings. When an anger-triggering situation happens, first just let it flow on the page and discharge all of your angry thoughts.

Then go back and write the scenario as if you’re a bystander observing it. Simply chronicle the events and words as you remember them.

Go through the exercise of examining the emotional threat behind the anger, and write about that as well.

Finally, write a plan for dealing with the situation in a healthy way. What kind of change do you desire? How can you calmly communicate that? How can you maturely share the way the situation made you feel?

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