7 Simple Anger Management Techniques

Anger has so many negative mental health implications, not to mention societal ones like domestic violence, road rage, job termination and the like. Anger has gotten a bad rap, especially with men. Men are afraid of their anger, and they often tell me that they’re “not an angry person.” Identifying ourselves as angry people – instead of people who get angry – is certainly a difference.

We’ll take a quick look at 7 simple anger management techniques to help you out when your anger feels out of control to you. Practice these with regularity, and you’ll be able to quiet down the anger that might otherwise lead to into some otherwise sticky situations.

1. Walk away from a situation that inspires your anger. It may be helpful to communicate to a person that is inspiring your anger (e.g. your wife or girlfriend) that you need a few minutes away from the situation. But, make sure and come back to the problem to resolve it diplomatically: too often, men walk away from conflict and fail to go back to resolve it.

2. Reset with your breath. You know, that active life force right under your nose that you overlook during the day. Focus on your breath for ten deep breaths, or two minutes, whichever comes first. You can anchor yourself and reset in the present moment with attention to conscious breathing.

3. Say “I’m angry.” Say it to yourself, or say it to someone else.

4. Ask yourself: “What would be the implications to me in this moment if I acted on this anger?” Even if I want to rage out or thrown or hit something or someone, what would that get me? How would that work for me? Think about how a destructive impulse leads to the behavior, and think about the consequences for yourself, or someone else you care about, like a child or employer you are interacting with.

5. The Lifesaver Technique: I learned this last week from the anger expert W. Doyle Gentry, Ph.D, in a training I took. He says that the next time you find yourself angry, suck on a lifesaver until it’s all gone before you respond in anger. You buy some time to respond, as well as take advantage of the sucking reflex to achieve a state of calm. You’re also consuming something sweet, which the brain likes as something pleasurable.

6. Don’t criticize, judge, manipulate or say that someone “always” or “never” does something. Refer back to tip #3 to help yourself.

7. Stay with the felt sense of anger as it arises in your body. Usually we get angry with our heads, but if you can pull back and attend to the anger rising in your body – sometimes in your heart or stomach region – you’re disconnecting from the reactive anger response and training yourself to look at other, less obvious sources of anger.

Use these tips frequently for best results, and you’ll be a anger management pro in no time. Make a conscious effort to turn around your relationship with anger, and you’ll see your other relationships start to change for the better.


About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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5 Responses to 7 Simple Anger Management Techniques

  1. Calvin Williams says:

    This is Calvin’s wife. He is angry all the time. Blow up over the smallest things. He served in the Gulf War 1990-1991. When he came home, the show MASH was on and he heard the incoming bomb and got up and dove behind the bed. Once he thought I was the enemy while I was sleeping. He has some medical issues that could have come from the area where he served. He works all the time, supporting 5 children of 6, the oldest left, (24 years old), and he does not see the fruit of his labor because he has a destructive mentality. I’m speaking boldly and straight forward because I discern that 20 years of our marriage has be affected by anger, and now I perceive it has come from the days spent in the Gulf War that has not been addressed. I’m not sure if he got the proper debriefing he needed from the service. Help!

  2. Jason says:

    Hi Calvin’s wife: It sounds as if you husband is suffering from PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, something common for those in the military who have seen combat. He would need a special form of counseling called EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which has been shown to help in the treatment of PTSD. I know there are good practitioners who use this type of therapy with the Veteran’s Administration, so I would encourage you and your husband to look into this with your local VA. Best of luck to you both.

  3. Alvin Wong says:

    We have a 39 year old single son, who is a teacher that needs anger management help. What is the best way to get him help?

  4. Jason says:

    I would try to talk with him about your concern for him, rather than approach him with criticism or hostility. If he’s open to it, your approach would come from a “soft” touch, rather than saying something to get him further upset and angry. Ideally, he would recognize that this is a problem and seek out professional counseling himself.

  5. Themba says:

    Anger problem with my girlfriend cause she cheated on me and I have never know how bad I can be

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