How can one control anger?

Described in words such as wrath, indignation, enraged and furious, “anger” an intense emotion has often been experienced by most of us at some point or other in our lives. In fact, it is a negative emotion felt very early in life, as there are times when infants and toddlers display signs of anger, much before they start schooling. However, given today’s highly competitive world, the stresses of everyday life, make most of us angry when things do not seem to go the way they should. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with such negative feelings provided there are healthy ways of communicating the feeling without going overboard.



Feeling of Anger (Image source:

According to psychologist Charles Spielberger, who has specialised in this specific domain “Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage,”. Like every other emotion, this feeling too is associated with various mental and bodily changes within the body such as increased secretion of adrenaline and noradrenalin hormones, secreted under stressful situations. This results in dilated blood vessels, accelerated pulse rate with elevated levels of blood pressure. Besides this, they release the glucose from the liver leading to a multitude of health problems like diabetes, blood pressure stroke and cardiovascular diseases.



Generally triggered as a reaction to other people’s conduct and behaviour, it can be due to one’s own reminiscences or thoughts. A perfectly healthy and normal emotion though, anger leads to serious consequences such as family break ups, disappointments frustrations and certain losses.



There are twelve different types of anger, out of which four are highly destructive.


Self-inflicted Anger

This is a type of anger resulting in self- infliction, as a means of punishing oneself being in the wrong about a certain something.


Volatile anger

Volatile anger, an unpredictable type appears all on a sudden flying off into a rage. This kind is generally manifested verbally or at times physically.


Judgmental Anger

A form of bitterness and dislike towards a person resulting in humiliation, making them feel insignificant.


Behavioural anger

This is a type of anger triggered as a reaction against a person or a situation involving belligerent and callous behaviour.


Thus, these are the four types of destructive anger leading to serious consequences. The other eight types of anger are as follows…

Retaliatory Anger

Retaliatory Anger is perhaps One of the most common and dangerous type of angers, directed, towards the person who had caused humiliation and insult as a retaliation.

Passive Anger

One of the most complex types of anger, Passive anger is subdued and not conspicuous. Extremely difficult to identify this type of anger avoids any sort of confrontations with individuals and circumstances.


Verbal Anger

Anger articulated in words of criticism intended to humiliate, and by deeds is verbal anger.


Chronic Anger

This is an eternal underlying type of bitterness prevalent against life and people in general. At times, the bitterness could be concerning self. Highly detrimental, this sort of anger creates a lot of nervous tension generally correlated to stress related problems such as insomnia, headaches, mood swings and depression.


Deliberate Anger

This kind of anger is caused when things do not turn out the way they want or when plans are thwarted. Therefore, this type is concerned with gaining control over a situation or person.


Overwhelming Anger

A kind of hopeless frustration, the overwhelming kind of anger is caused due to force of circumstances that is too intense for the person to handle.


Paranoid Anger

This type of anger raises its ugly head due to the green-eyed monster Jealousy. An emotion induced when feeling possessive about something or someone or intimidated by others.


Constructive Anger

A positive kind of anger directed with a particular drive at encouraging constructive reforms and fighting injustice.



To overcome anger it would be wise to recognise the warning signs. These include

  • A racing and pounding heartbeat
  • Clenched fist, arms and jaws.
  • Headaches
  • Lack of concentration
  • Heavy breathing
  • Hyperactivity
  • A hot and flushed sensation
  • Walking back and forth



Psychologist Jerry Deffenbacher specializing in anger management opines that certain people are more impetuous than others are and get easily excited at the slightest provocation. Nevertheless, a few others are perpetually petulant and cantankerous. However, easily exasperated people, with little or no restraint whatsoever, unable to take things in their own stride, do not throw things and act grouchy, instead retreat into their sulky shell. The cause for their infuriation directed more towards an unjust situation, is in most cases completely unwarranted.


According to research there are a few factors contributing towards anger, one of which being genetics. Some kids are born very sensitive with a tendency to be easily infuriated, from a very early age.


The other cause being that kids are taught from a young age not to express anger in any way and as such, these negative feelings are not directed usefully. Another reason is the discouragement of expressing feelings among families with a lack of skilled emotional interaction.


Nonetheless, it would be wise to develop a few strategies to tackle and control anger and the cause for the spark of such profound emotions and feelings. The subsequent section of the article will tell you how to control anger?


Identify the source of anger

Do not give space for anger to grow; therefore identify the cause of the anger to help nip it in the bud. Maintain an honest anger journal recording the emotions along with a series of events and occurrences on a day-to-day basis. This will help identify the nucleus of the feelings correlated with anger. Recognize the source and find ways of avoiding such negative emotions.


Breathe Deeply

When angry follow a few relaxation techniques like taking a deep breath. From the diaphragm breathe deeply acquiring fresh air into the lungs, and then gradually exhale the air, which will instantaneously help blood pressure levels return to normalcy. However, the exhalation process ought to be longer than the inhalation for release of anger. Repeat the process five times and notice the relaxation of facial muscles.


Visualize picturesque locale

Another relaxation technique is to close the eyes and imagine a serene and scenic location for a couple of minutes such as a garden, beach, park, mountains, green pastures, island or any other location of imagination or reality. Imagine inhaling the beauty of the calm picturesque locale, making peace with the inner self.


Creative pursuits

Under the present stressful conditions in the modern world, it is but imperative to dedicate a few minutes for relaxation. Therefore, when the red monster (anger) raises its ugly head, it is better to engage in some creative pursuits such as painting, drawing, gardening, music or writing to set free the escalating temper.


Rest and sleep

To repress rising tempers, sleep is another relaxation method used to calm the irritated nerves. Sleep has a positive effect on metabolism, immune system and imparts a feel good factor. Besides this, sleep has the magical effect of stabilising blood pressure and pulse rates. It prevents secretion of stress hormones and protects against risk of cardiovascular diseases. Read some tips to have a sound sleep


Relaxing bath

A relaxing bath along with soft soul stirring melodious strains provide a relief from red-hot tempers and bestow an inner sense of peace and calm.


Drink Cold Water

To counteract hot tempers take a glass of cold-water taking a small sip at a time to keep absolutely cool and relaxed. Read Health benefits of drinking more water


Prayer and meditation

Prayer and meditation provide the inner tranquillity and serenity to withstand any kind of temptation a pre requisite for a peaceful existence.


Exercise and Yoga

Targeting energies to different physical output such as swimming, brisk walking, jogging, hitting the gym or practising yoga can work wonders to solve a difficult situation and help de-stress. These help stimulate the chemicals in the brain offering a renewed spirit of positive energy.


Punching bag

A punching bag can help diminish hostility and have a good exercise for soothing the gushing adrenaline flowing through the veins.


Count up to 10

In order to dampen the fiery fumes of burning anger, take a deep breath, pause count numbers from 1 to 10. This will help resolve the anger.


Shout aloud

Another simple way to blow the steam is to shout or scream any word aloud from a distant place, where the voice is unheard thus helping to get rid of the heaviness off the chest.


Refrain from speaking

Extreme anger may lead to verbal attacks, which might very well be regretted later on. Therefore, it would be advisable to refrain from speaking when a person is angry to avoid saying something unpleasant.


Listen Carefully

Besides refraining from talking, it would be wise to listen carefully and judge from the other person’s perspective, gaining insight into the positive side of affairs.


Use “I” statements

In a difficult situation, it would be best to express one’s own disappointments regarding an incomplete task rather than throwing the blame on the other person.


Realistic expectations

Most people have an underlying opinion that the world ought to conform to their expectations, without realising that; each person is an individual unique and different from the other. This results in a feeling of frustrated anger when circumstances do not correspond as expected.



Another tip to ease antagonistic feelings is to engage in comfortable self-talk making statements for self-inspiration.


Talk to someone trustworthy

Seek timely guidance from a trustworthy, dependable person such as a relative, counsellor, friend or colleague. This will definitely help let off the steam.


Good Humour

Using humour to change the charged atmosphere is another vital tip for tackling feelings of anger. Besides, making light of the situation, humour also gives a balanced thus resolving the pressure of negative feelings.


Change of scene

If the immediate states of affairs are the cause for anger, then taking a short break from the distressing scene, provide clarity of thought and a better insight into the circumstances.


Forgive and Forget

Last but not the least and the most important aspect of letting go of anger is forgiveness. This helps alleviate the emotional stress, resolves issue preventing unpleasant thoughts and nostalgic musings.



Thus getting annoyed with a person or situation is not beneficial to anyone least of all to the person concerned. Uncontrolled anger has the power to trigger wrinkles acne and impotence. Besides, the emotion, affects the smooth functioning of the hormones with a steep rise in blood pressure levels. Therefore, building up resentment deprives a person of happiness and festers on the concerned person. Remember anger is only one letter short of the word “DANGER”.