19 people share impactful ways they calm their anger

Anger is an incredibly hard emotion to shake. While it is okay and good to get angry, because it is a necessary signal for our survival, there are some unhealthy ways to deal with it. Not dealing with it at all is worse still. So when physical and emotional violence towards those who anger us is not an option, how do people bear their anger? These 19 responses from a thread on Reddit offer insightful and helpful ways that are really smart when dealing with anger.

19 people share impactful ways they calm their anger/Pixabay

Anger is unfortunately a common experience in everyday life. This is amplified by social media. Although it happens frequently, chances are high that not all of it is processed which can take a toll on mental health. So as we wind up Mental Health Awareness Month, we found a thread where Reddit user u/Grouchy-Trip9582 asked: "What do you do to calm your anger?" and we thought the answers would be really helpful.

Here's what the responses had to say.

1. "I have to get away from people."


"Same, but it's almost impossible with two younger children around. I think I hold the Guinness World Record for the number of times I have tried to sneak into the bathroom to poop but always get interrupted. Going on seven years with having every single poop interrupted."


2. "Think about cooking. It sounds weird, but I debate what I'm gonna cook for dinner and run through the ingredients in my head. That way, I'm distracted from rage, and it gives me time to process my feelings."


3. "You just summed up in one comment what people spend thousands in therapy to understand. Just keep asking why you feel the way you feel until you get to the root of the problem.

I’m pissed at this person.


Because they flaked on me.


Because that’s bullshit.


Because you should be able to depend on people.


Because your word is your bond.


Because that’s all I have, so it matters to me.

Bingo — your word means something personal to you, so it is upsetting when you cannot trust the word of others or when they give their word flippantly. Take that knowledge and communicate to your people that you’d rather have a maybe than a yes because you need to be able to depend on a yes."


4. "I begin singing something in my head. Something calming like Pink Floyd or any number of Black Sabbath songs."


5. "A therapist of mine told me that most anger is a reaction to a different type of feeling. I try to analyze what other feelings I'm feeling and get to the core of it. Sometimes, it sucks because anger is a knee-jerk response usually and hard to really calm — but to avoid arguments, it's better to analyze. It also helps you to understand others more."


6. "There is a Feeling Wheel that lists anger as a primary emotion and then lists secondary emotions as let down, which branches into betrayed, disrespected; humiliated which branches into jealous and ridiculed; and so on. Not gonna list it all because of copyright.

I have anger issues, and this tool helped me get down to the REAL reason for my reaction. Telling my therapist I was angry wasn’t helpful, but I couldn’t think of another word. I keep the Feeling Wheel handy so I can refer to it even when I am in the middle of being angry; it takes me out of the situation long enough to:

• Calm down.

• Recognize what I’m truly feeling.

• Start to figure out why.

• Prepare a reasonable reply.

They make a keychain and a sticker. Hope this helps."


7. "Have you ever read about stoicism? A big part of that is the neutrality of perception. Changing how you perceive the world can help you control how you react to it. In the moment, though, it's more about recognizing the signs you're about to lose your temper and intervening somehow. Taking a deep breath, leaving the situation, and doing a grounding exercise."


8. "For me, strong emotions are like a runaway train. I can't 'just breathe.' First, I need to catch my breath, so to speak. I was given a technique to try called 'Five Senses.' It's been very helpful when I experience strong emotions and feel overwhelmed. Name five things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste."


9. "Remember the three Rs: Recognize that you are becoming angry. Remove yourself from the situation. Return to address the situation."


10. "Beat the shit out of the pillows on my bed."


11. "I touch various parts of my palm with my thumbs. It helps with being presently minded."


12. "Running. Going for a jog has saved my mental state more times than I can count."


13. "I eat spicy foods, or I walk. Spicy helps me to redirect the heat of anger, and walking helps disperse the energy elsewhere."


14. “' Double breathing technique.' You take one big inhale to expand your lungs to near full capacity, hold for four seconds, then take another smaller inhale and hold for four seconds. Then, I take a big exhale until my lungs are nearly empty of air, hold for four seconds, and flex my diaphragm to do a little exhale afterwards. Then, I go back to regular breathing and realize how immensely it has helped. In my opinion, holding for four seconds between each interval really helps clear the mind and lower tension in the body. Hope my explanation wasn’t too shitty."


15. "Remember that your anger is not you, it is something being forced on you, similar to pain. You are not pain, you are feeling pain. You are not your anger, you are feeling anger. This is an outside force attempting to influence you. It is an external foe to be defeated."


16. "I kinda just let myself be angry. I’ll literally just sit there and be mad because nothing else works."


17. "I heard a psychologist once say that anger is the direct result of violated expectations. If you're expecting A and get B, you become angry."


18. "After a fight, I start doing things I like. It calms me down for some reason."


19. "In my case, when I'm extremely angry, I can't out-reason with my thoughts and emotions. What has worked for me is: (1) separate myself from other people, (2) make myself feel the emotions at their highest level, (3) try to remember to be patient with myself if it takes a while for things to subside, (4) also try to remember not to judge the thoughts that come across my mind, (5) take deep breaths in and out, (6) listen to loud music and sing, (7) journal absolutely everything, (8) walk outside, (9) if I can manage, ask myself what the underlying emotions are that caused the anger, (10) talk to others once I've composed myself enough, (11) do something good for someone else. If I talk to other people, I make sure that they aren't going through a rough time of their own and that they will not encourage the anger/add fuel to the fire (people who thrive off drama to satisfy their own turbulence)."


Anger is often a signal that personal boundaries have been crossed. However, we don't always or ever know what those boundaries may be. It is through calm processing that we learn to set boundaries with others, develop better responses and reactions, and understand ourselves better. Hope the responses from these users are helpful.

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