7 Strategies to Control Anger and Regain Emotional Balance

February 19, 2023
Anna Jankowska, LCPC

By Anna Jankowska, MA, CEAP, SAP, LCPC

Anna Jankowska is a mental health, addiction, and substance abuse counselor with over 17 years of experience and has specialized training and skill in working with individuals, groups and communities to improve mental health outcomes. NPI number: 1598843526

Anger, an emotion that can be challenging to handle – particularly when experienced habitually – necessitates comprehension of how it operates and what strategies we can use to restrain it. It’s important to understand how anger works and what strategies we can use to control it. This blog post will explore the effects of anger, identify triggers for this emotion and provide practical solutions such as taking time outs or practicing relaxation techniques so that you can learn more effective ways of managing your emotions. We'll also discuss why seeking professional help is sometimes necessary in order to gain better insight into our feelings and reactions when faced with difficult situations. Strategies to control anger are an essential part of leading a healthy life, both mentally and physically – read on now for tips on how best to do this.

Effects of anger

Rage can be a typical feeling, yet when it spirals out of control and transforms into something damaging, it may cause issues—at work, in individual associations, within the family, and with the general nature of life. And it can leave you feeling helpless, powerless against the raging tempest of a seemingly unstoppable emotion.

The effects of anger on our physical health are well documented. It can spark a surge in heart rate and blood pressure, releasing hormones such as cortisol that could have detrimental repercussions if not addressed. Anger also affects us emotionally by creating feelings of guilt or shame for how we may have acted during a fit of rage or frustration. This psychological unrest can oftentimes result in additional detrimental conduct, such as indulging in alcohol overindulgence or participating in other self-sabotaging acts.

Uncovering what causes your anger is the initial step to controlling it, so that you can evade those scenarios or be better equipped to manage them when they occur. Common triggers include feeling overwhelmed with tasks, being disrespected by someone else, feeling threatened physically or emotionally, having expectations not met by others (or yourself), dealing with frustrating people/situations/events etc., experiencing financial hardship etc Knowing what sets off your temper will help you recognize these situations before they get out of hand so that you can take steps to manage them more effectively instead of letting them spiral out of control into full blown rage episodes.

When passions flare, sometimes it's best to pause and retreat until tempers have cooled enough for more measured discourse. If possible, try taking a few deep breaths before responding; this will give your body time to relax and allow logical thinking rather than reactive behavior which could worsen things if done without proper consideration beforehand. Taking breaks throughout the day can also help prevent build up over time that could eventually lead to an outburst later on – allowing yourself regular moments where nothing needs doing except just breathing deeply allows tensions within both mind and body space dissipate naturally over time instead of accumulating until something finally snaps inside us all together suddenly one day.

Allowing ourselves moments each day dedicated solely towards relaxation gives us valuable opportunities to look inwardly at any unresolved issues that may be lurking beneath the surface level of consciousness, helping to identify potential problem areas before they become major sources of distressful reactions later on down the road.

If managing your own temper is proving to be a struggle, consulting an expert may be the next course of action. A therapist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can provide useful tools for addressing the root causes of why certain events trigger angry responses and offer guidance on healthier ways of dealing with similar scenarios should they arise again in the future.

Learning how to manage anger effectively doesn't mean suppressing it completely; rather, it is about learning healthy ways of expressing ourselves constructively whenever necessary while still respecting boundaries set forth by others around us, which is equally important. Having access to tools designed specifically to tackle the underlying causes behind frequent bouts of uncontrolled aggression allows individuals to gain greater insight into themselves, enabling positive change on a long-term basis and ultimately leading to improved mental wellbeing as a result.

Rage can bring about destructive impacts on both mental and physical wellbeing, so it is essential to gain proficiency with techniques for managing it. Finding the factors that make people angry and learning coping mechanisms for them is one way to achieve this.

Identify Triggers

Identifying the triggers that cause your anger is an important step in managing it. When you discern what initiates your ire, it becomes simpler to take measures so as to forestall its intensification.

It’s helpful to pay attention to situations or people who tend to trigger angry feelings and reactions. Common triggers include feeling disrespected, being ignored or dismissed, feeling overwhelmed by stressors, and having expectations not met. It’s also important to consider how past experiences may be influencing current responses—for example, if a person has had traumatic experiences in the past related to certain topics or situations they may react more strongly when those topics come up again.

When trying to identify your own personal triggers for anger, ask yourself questions such as: What am I feeling right now? How did this situation start? Is there something about this particular instant that evokes a reminiscent reminiscence from my bygone days? Am I expecting too much from myself or others? Are my needs being met here?

Engaging in moments of contemplation can afford you the opportunity to probe into why particular matters arouse your ire and how best to approach them in the future. Keeping a journal can be useful in tracking patterns over time so that you can better understand which situations tend lead towards increased frustration and anger for you personally to stop the cycle of anger.

Gaining cognizance of your instigators can aid in taking the requisite steps to contain your ire before it gets out of hand.

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Take a Time Out

Pausing from an emotionally-charged event can be beneficial in allowing one to calm down and reflect on the best way of managing it without becoming angry. It’s important to remember that taking a time out doesn’t mean running away or avoiding difficult conversations. Giving yourself some time and space will allow you to approach the conversation with clarity.

Recognizing when your emotions are starting to overwhelm you is the first step in taking a break. Once you're aware of when your feelings are becoming unmanageable – whether it's through stress, irritation or anger boiling up – act swiftly to avoid the situation worsening. Once you recognize these signs, it’s important that you take action right away before things escalate further.

One approach to achieve emotional composure is by temporarily detaching from the situation for a brief interlude – maybe even only five minutes or so – allowing your feelings to settle down prior to resuming. Attempting relaxation methods, like deep inhalation or mindfulness meditation, could aid in decreasing feelings of stress and unease while settling the psyche simultaneously.

Having those who comprehend your plight and can render emotional assistance when required can be an advantageous asset. Conversing about how you feel with someone else may help provide clarity and enable both parties involved in an argument to come together peacefully, rather than allowing the situation to become more intense due to anger-driven reactions from either side.

When emotions are running high, it is important to step back and think about the situation logically. Yet, if these measures prove inadequate for reining in your ire, there exist other methods of relaxation that may be more beneficial.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

In times of tension or vexation, a popular and useful approach to tempering emotions is deep inhalation. Deep breathing is a technique to calm down. It's easy to do. Just sit with your eyes closed. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. As you inhale, take your time to count up to four; while exhaling, gradually make it all the way to six. Repeat this process until you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Progressive muscle relaxation is another technique that can help reduce tension associated with chronic anger. This involves tensing each muscle group individually before releasing the tension completely. Start by clenching your fists tightly for five seconds then release them completely while focusing on how much better they feel when relaxed compared to when tense. Continue this process throughout all major muscle groups such as arms, legs, neck, shoulders etc., until you have worked up from head to toe and back again several times over a few minutes period of time.

Visualization is another useful technique which involves picturing yourself in a calm environment, such as lying on a beach or walking through a peaceful forest trail. Focus your attention on the sights, sounds, smells, textures and tastes associated with that place or situation until it feels real enough to help relax both body and mind naturally without requiring too much conscious effort.

Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool for anger management. It allows us to objectively watch our thoughts, rather than being lost in the emotion of the moment. This practice allows us to gain insight into our thoughts and actions, enabling more rational decision-making rather than simply responding on an emotional level without considering the potential impacts.

Practicing relaxation techniques can help to reduce feelings of anger, and provide a healthier outlet for dealing with stress. Yet, if you still have difficulty in controlling your emotions, consulting a specialist could be advantageous.

Seek Professional Help

Anger is a natural emotion, but it can also be destructive. If you have attempted to control your rage and it has not worked, considering professional assistance may be the ideal choice.

A mental health professional can assist in devising personalised approaches, tailored to your unique circumstances, that could help you better regulate and control anger. Your therapist can also work with you on identifying triggers that cause your anger and teach techniques for managing those triggers before they become overwhelming.

Your therapist may suggest relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and mindfulness meditation. These methods can assist in diminishing tension and enabling one to manage troublesome sentiments, for example, outrage, in a more advantageous manner. CBT can be beneficial in diminishing angry episodes, assisting individuals to identify irrational thought patterns and replace them with more constructive ones.

Sometimes, if other treatments are not yielding desired results, medication may be prescribed by a physician. Medication prescribed by a doctor could include antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications which could help reduce symptoms of anxiety associated with uncontrolled anger episodes. It’s important to note that medication should always be used alongside counseling so that the underlying causes of the problem are addressed as well as any physical symptoms related to it such as increased heart rate or sweating during an episode of rage

Gaining assistance from an expert can furnish you with the means and materials to gain insight into your temper, allowing you to start taking strides towards a more sound, harmonious way of living.


Strategies to control anger involve identifying triggers, taking time out when needed, practicing relaxation techniques and seeking professional help. Controlling your anger can be advantageous for fostering better connections with others and promoting positive mental health. Controlling your emotions can be a difficult task, yet with the appropriate methods in place you can reclaim command of your feelings and live a more joyous life.

It's time to take control of our anger and begin the journey towards a healthier, more balanced life. We invite you to join us at Counseling Center of Illinois for anger management classes that can help provide strategies and tools necessary to manage your emotions in an effective manner. Our team of professionals are dedicated to helping individuals find their inner peace by providing mental health therapy and other resources that can assist with finding healthy ways of managing one’s anger. Let's start now!

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