Anger is a normal reaction to some situations. Anger can also be helpful when it matches the situation and motivates people to take action or work towards a goal.

What is anger?

Anger is an emotion that tells us when something may be wrong. For example, we may feel angry when something is beyond our control or feels unfair, when we can’t reach a goal, or when someone is hurt or threatened. We can also feel angry when we are under too much stress. Anger can involve a wide range of feelings. We may be a little annoyed over a minor incident, like being stuck in traffic or missing our bus. More serious problems, like getting hurt or seeing someone else get hurt, may cause strong feelings like rage. Sometimes, we just feel angry for no reason.

What can I do about it?

Anger is a normal reaction to some situations. Anger can also be helpful when it matches the situation and motivates people to take action or work towards a goal. However, anger that’s dealt with in unhealthy ways can create problems and affect your well-being. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to deal with your anger.

Immediate strategies

These strategies won’t solve the problem. Instead, they can help put you back in control so you can find a productive way to deal with the problem. They may also be useful if you find yourself saying or doing things in anger that you regret later.

  • Count to 10.
  • Leave the situation that’s making you angry, if possible.
  • Repeat calming phrases such as, “Take it easy” or, “Will this matter in six months?”
  • Breathe deeply. Many people, especially adults, breathe from their chest, which doesn’t give the benefits of a deep breath. Try to breathe deep into your stomach. You’re on the right track if your stomach goes out first. It may seem simple, but taking deep breaths can help calm your mind, slow your heart, and even lower blood pressure.
  • Try to shift your attention to something more pleasant or relaxing. This can be very helpful for minor annoyances that you can’t control.