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Ways to Deal with Anger

Directions: Some people choose to ignore or bottle up anger, but this approach may actually cause more harm because the root problem is never addressed. Instead, try to manage anger so it can become more positive. Here are some ideas:

Breathe deeply from diaphragm (your belly, not your chest) and slowly repeat a calming word or phrase like “take it easy.” Think of relaxing experiences, such as sitting on a beach or walking through a forest.

Remind yourself that the world is not out to get you; you’re just experiencing some of the rough spots of daily life.

Identify the specific problem causing the anger and approach it head-on–even if the problem does not have a quick solution.

Angry people tend to jump to conclusions. Slow down and think carefully about what you want to say. Listen carefully to what the other person is saying. At times, criticism may actually be useful to you.

Make sure to set aside personal time to deal with the daily stresses of school, activities, and family. Ideas include:

Listening to music
Writing a journal
Talking about your feelings with someone you trust

Maybe a change of environment would help reduce angry feelings. For example, if your friends are angry frequently or make you angry, consider making new friends who may contribute more to your self-confidence and well-being.


These relaxation exercises are focused breathing techniques which help reduce anxiety and tension. These techniques can be performed with your eyes open or closed. You can also do them at any time and no one will even know.

For all these exercises, make sure you are breathing from your diaphragm-that means from your belly, not your chest. If you’re having trouble, try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. You should feel your stomach rising about an inch as you breathe in and falling about an inch as you breathe out. If this is still difficult, lie on your back or on your stomach; you will be more aware of your breathing pattern. Remember, it is impossible to breathe from your diaphragm if you are holding your stomach, so relax your stomach muscles.

Count very slowly to yourself from ten down to zero, one number for each breath. With the first breath from your diaphragm, say “ten” to yourself, with the next breath, say “nine” and so on. If you start feeling light-headed or dizzy, count more slowly. When you get to “zero,” see how you are feeling. If you are better, great! If not, try it again.

As you inhale, count very slowly up to four; as you exhale, count slowly back down to one. Thus, as you inhale, say to yourself “one, two, three, four;” as you exhale, say “four, three, two, one.” Do this for several breaths.

After each time you inhale, pause for a few seconds. After you exhale, pause again for a few seconds. Do this for several breaths.

While riding in or driving a car (with your eyes open if you’re driving!) Before you take a test or exam. When someone says something that bothers you. When waiting for an important phone call. Before going on a date. When you feel overwhelmed by a project or homework. While standing in line. Before an athletic game. Before a presentation, etc.

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