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10 Tips on Anger Management

Whether it’s because your little fur-ball of a cat scratched up your $278 couch or your neighbor’s crazy midnight parties, dealing with anger can be difficult without the right methods. In this article, you’ll learn 10 tried and true tips on anger management.

  1. Be aware of your situation

The first step towards change always begins with awareness. When it comes to dealing with anger, this means noticing the slight changes in your behavior the moment your patience begins to crumble. 

As soon as you become aware of the fact that you’re starting to get angry, learn to catch yourself and say something to sober yourself up like my personal favorite “You’re heating up, watch yourself boy.”

Use all of your senses and be completely aware of your surroundings. Be present in that very moment and just tune in to everything you’re feeling.

What does the air smell like? Do you feel your blood boiling like a river of magma? Are your ears cold? 

Dial your senses up to 100 and be present in that exact moment. By doing this, you'll be in a sort of hypersensitive state that will help you gain some perspective on your emotions.

  1. Move your body

For centuries, we’ve known that exercise plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy body and a flexible mind. 

Exercise allows our brains to release different chemicals that improve the way our brains function and develop. This is especially great for us hot-heads because we can release any pent-up stress while keeping our minds healthy.

“In a September 2014 study, Art Kramer

 and colleagues at the Beckman Institute at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that physical activity was linked to white matter integrity and improved cognitive function.”  (Psychology Today - Christopher Bergland)

In case you didn’t know, white matter is tissue in the brain that helps to speed up the transfer of information.  

  1. Take deep breaths

As cliché as it is, taking deep breaths really does help when it comes to dealing with anger. By taking several deep breaths, we give the various systems in our body a chance to recover and release tension. 

“When we breathe in a shallow way, the body remains in a cyclical state of stress—our stress causing shallow breathing and our shallow breathing causing stress. This sets off the sympathetic nervous system, the branch of the autonomic nervous system that primes us for activity and response.

“Shallow breathing doesn’t just make stress a response, it makes stress a habit our bodies, and therefore, our minds, are locked into,” says John Luckovich, an apprentice Integrative Breathwork facilitator in Brooklyn, New York.”” (Headspace - Rachael Rifkin)


  1. Face the issue

Think of any time you’ve been mad and you’ll notice that it was linked to an issue that had to be resolved. 

Anger always has a cause and if you figure out the reason for your anger, you can figure out a way to deal with it. 

You could be angry that your dog keeps chewing on your shoes you left laying on the floor. 

So, what could you do to address the issue? 

Well, you could train your dog or get a closed cabinet to put your shoes in so your dog won’t be able to chew on your shoes anymore.

However, this isn’t to say that all causes for anger can be addressed. 

For example, let’s say you got scammed by some bogus overseas company. The company said they’d deliver within 4 days but it’s been 3 months and you still haven’t received anything. 

You paid them $850 through wire-transfer and they won’t respond. In this case, you’re pretty much never going to get your money back.

You made a mistake and you’re angry about being scammed. What can you do? Wire transfers can't be reversed and even if you report them, they're way out of reach.

In a situation like this, really all you can do is learn from your mistake and wait for time to deal with your anger. 

  1. Talk to someone you trust 

When we get angry, our minds get so focused on our immediate problems that we can easily develop a sort of tunnel vision that makes everything else around us irrelevant.

In the heat of the moment, we say and do a lot of things that we end up regretting or, to put it plainly, we do a lot of stupid stuff. 

Getting advice from a valued person like a mentor, your spouse, or maybe a family member can be a great step towards figuring out how to handle your anger. 

Plus, even if they don't know how to help directly, people often find that simply talking to a person they trust is a great way to vent out their frustrations.

Do remember to take their advice with a bit of caution though as you'll still have to think through whether the advice they give you would actually help you out.

  1. Scream at the top of your lungs

Despite what many people say, screaming is a great way to quickly release any frustration. However, it definitely isn't suitable for every situation like at work for example. 

If you get the urge to yell, do it in private or somewhere out in the open without a lot of people around so you don't embarrass yourself.

I’ve gone through many occasions where all it took was one good string of shouts and all the problems flew away. Gamers, I'm sure you know what I’m talking about.

  1. Carry something that reminds you to be calm

When we attach ideas, emotions, and thoughts to items, we can essentially turn anything into a symbol that reminds us of basically anything we want it to (sentimental value). 

The same way a gift from a loved one can remind us of them, we can use things as tools to guide our minds into a relaxed state.

Monks this quite often and carry beads/bracelets that serve as physical representations of their thoughts, ideas, and values.

Taking it a step further, some people (myself included) choose to get tattoos for a more permanent solution.

  1. Entertain yourself

Let's face it, being an adult sucks sometimes. We have a million and one things to worry about and it's hard to stay centered. 

With all our worries, we can easily lose focus and our mind can get fatigued which can easily make us more irritable.

To deal with that, maybe all you need is some time kicking your feet up onto your coffee table and just reading a book while hugging your pet chinchilla for 10 minutes.

Whatever floats your boat, go do it.

  1. Hug someone you love

Various studies have shown that our brains release different chemicals to improve our brain function when we give and receive hugs.

“Oxytocin is a chemical in our bodies that scientists sometimes call the “cuddle hormone.” This is because its levels rise when we hug, touch, or sit close to someone else. Oxytocin is associated with happiness and less stress.” (Healthline - Erica Cirino

  1. Consider consulting a professional

In some cases, self help may not be effective. Because of this, it’s important to seriously consider consulting a professional. 

Professionals are trained in various disciplines and know many different methods to help you with your anger. They will work with you step by step and guide you through all the milestones of handling your emotions. 

After all, even though a fork is great for eating salad, you wouldn’t want to use one to scoop up your soup. There’s always a right time and place for things. Some situations just require a different set of tools, no shame in that. 

To recap, those tips were:

  1. Be aware of you situation
  2. Move your body
  3. Take deep breaths
  4. Face the issue
  5. Talk to someone you trust
  6. Scream at the top your lungs
  7. Carry something that reminds you to be calm
  8. Entertain yourself
  9. Hug someone you love
  10. Consider consulting a professional

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