10 Tips For Dealing With Your Anger Productively

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​In this article I want to give you some tips for dealing with anger in a healthy and productive manner. That's an important point, actually. Anger is not a "bad" emotion. In fact, it can help you make a change in your life, help you solve a problem, and even help you stand up for something you believe in.

So, there's nothing "wrong" with being angry. What matters is that you learn to cope with and express your anger in healthy and productive ways and not in ways that bring undesirable consequences.

**And, if you're in the Durham (or the greater Triangle area of NC), keep in mind that at KKJ we offer counseling and coaching for anger management. Please reach out and we'll be happy to help.

  • Do An Honest Assessment Of Your Anger
    Deciding to take control of your anger, rather than having it control you, is a key first step. That requires some self awareness. Ask yourself how you have been reacting when you get mad. Do you retreat and hold it in? Do you yell, scream, and say hurtful things? Do you throw things, break things, or punch walls? Do you get violent toward others? Do you hurt yourself?
  • Work On Self-Awareness In The Moment
    Anger is a powerful emotion, and managing it can be a challenge. That's where self-awareness comes in. It's the ability to notice what you're thinking and feeling and to then understand why that is. Start by trying to notice what you're angry about and why. Before reacting to your anger, take a beat and try to put your feelings into words. This seems elementary, but in the heat of the moment, it's a skill that takes time and patience to develop.
  • Consider Your Choices And Consider The Consequences
    This is an off-shoot of being self-aware. Rather than just reacting, try to think about several reaction options. In fact, try to list at least three. From there, try to consider the consequences of each reaction.
  • Have A "Fire Drill" Plan When Anger Is Intense
    Sometimes anger is so powerful that it's very hard to have self-awareness and self-control in the moment. If that tends to be the case for you, consider having a plan in place for the next time you get angry. It's similar to when you were a kid in school. You practiced a fire drill so you wouldn't have to think about what to do if the school actually caught fire. In this situation, plan what you'll do when you feel the anger boiling up. Maybe it's taking a 5 minute walk. Maybe it's counting to 100. Maybe it's leaving the situation and taking a day to decide how to respond.
  • Try To Recognize The Warning Signs
    Try to think about past times your anger got the best of you. Were there any clues it was building? Did you have physical cues like a pounding heart, sweating, or teeth grinding? Did you start to get snappy or defensive? Did you get a "flash" of a bad mood? Were you overly critcal of yourself or someone else? If you can learn to recognize these symptoms ahead of time, it can make a world of difference in how you react.
  • Learn a Breathing Technique
    Deep breathing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to reduce the intensity of your anger. It can be as simple as taking slow breaths for 1-2 minutes and repeating a phrase like "relax" or "let it go" to a mediation routine.
  • Move Your Body
    Exercise is an incredible way to let off steam. It could be low-impact, like walking around the block or it could be high intensity, like running or lifting weights. Also, it can be helpful to get anger out in a healthy way by doing a boxing class, dancing, or something similar.
  • Reach Out For Help
    Talking to someone you trust about how you're feeling is a very effective way to release some of the energy as well. It could be a trusted friend or family member or if could be a trained professional. And certainly, if your anger seems out of control, it's very important to seek the help of a professional.
  • Work To Find A Solution
    One of the hidden beauties of anger is that it can help improve your life. But, that's only the case if you use it as a catalyst for positive change. For example, instead of focusing on what make you mad, try to focus on resolving the underlying issue. Additionally, if a solution is not possible, perhaps your anger is telling to you make a major change to fix an unacceptable situation.
  • Practice Forgiveness
    Try not to hold a grudge. Forgiveness can be a very powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, your quality of life will certainly suffer. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation and it might even strengthen the relationship.

More Information On Dealing With Anger More Productively:
If you're in the Durham (or Chapel Hill, RTP, Raleigh) area and would like to learn more about how we can help you, we invite you to call or setup an appointment by contacting our office.


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Dr. Katrina Kuzyszyn-Jones

At KKJ, we focus on the specific problems that affect your daily life, using well-known, evidence-based techniques. While techniques are important, authenticity, warmth, and empathy are integral for people to flourish in, and outside of, counseling. You are a whole person—mind, body, spirit - with strengths, and weaknesses. Let us help you form a stronger family, decrease stress, enhance your relationships, find meaning in your life, and realize overall greater health and well-being.

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