Everyone feels angry sometimes, but we have to deal with those feelings before we lose control. There are techniques you can try to stop yourself becoming violent or abusive if you know you’re getting angry. If you practise these techniques - perhaps with a friend - you’ll be able to use them when you’re losing control.
1. List things that make you angry
If you know the things that frustrate you and make you angry, you may be able to avoid them or do things differently when you’re faced with them.
2. Time out
‘Time out’ means stepping away from a situation and giving yourself space. It may help to say ‘I need to take a break – I’ll come back in half an hour’.
3. Controlled breathing
Try taking five long, deep breaths and slowing your breathing. While you’re breathing, try to relax the muscles in your arms and face.
4. Talk yourself down
Telling yourself you can handle the situation can help calm you down.
You might try saying things like ‘okay, you can handle this’ or ‘I’m not going to let this get to me’. Or you might try words like ‘relax’ or ‘take it easy’ while you breathe deeply.
Try to avoid negative statements that might make you feel angrier, such as ‘she’s always doing that’ or ‘how dare he!’.
5. Use imagery
Picturing yourself in a relaxing situation may help. Use what you feel is relaxing - it may be swimming or lying on a beach, sitting on a mountain top, or reading to your children.
6. Gentle exercise
Last reviewed: August 2017