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Anger management tips

2-minute read

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

Gentle exercise, such as yoga, or other forms of stretching can relax your muscles and make you feel calmer.

Some people find it helps to talk to professionals, such as doctors or psychologists.

Alternatively, you can call helplines such as Lifeline, Kids Helpline or MensLine.

Read about managing anger here, on the Australian Psychological Society website, and about MensLine's counselling services.

Last reviewed: August 2017

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