Anger is something we all experience from time to time. It is a natural human emotion. But when you notice that you feel angry more often that usual, or if anger seems to be affecting your physical health, it’s time to look at ways you can manage it and help yourself to feel calmer.
How does anger affect the body?
- Increase your heart rate
- Make your muscles feel tight or tense
- Cause tightness in your chest
- Make you feel hot
You might also have trouble sitting still or sleeping. Lack of sleep can cause stress and even poor physical health, so make sure you read our tips on sleeping better at night
How does anger affect the mind?
- Cause stress
- Make you feel confused
- Leave you feeling mentally exhausted
- Be very distracting
Mind, the mental health charity has some excellent resources on how to help deal with anger. But here are our tips:
5 tips for keeping your cool
Take a break
Go for a walk, find a quiet space where you can think clearly, or simply breathe deeply and slowly. You can also try to count up to, or down from 100, which will take your focus away from your anger and slow your pulse. Anything you can do to take some time out from the situation or feelings that are making you angry will help.
Play some music
Music can help change our mood and temporarily take our minds elsewhere. Play some of your favourite music and sing along or dance (if that helps) to help you move away from anger.
You can simply write, scribble, or draw out your emotions into a pad whenever you need to. If you are struggling with anger more often lately, a diary might help you to notice patterns or situations that are making you angry or that you are finding stressful.
Talk to a friend
Find a trusted friend and share your frustrations with them. They might suggest a solution, or simply make you laugh (another great way to feel less angry).
Use your anger creatively
Emotions can be channelled into many creative activities. Paint, sing, do some gardening, or write a story when you feel angry. You will feel productive and it also works as a distraction for you too.
Not sure what else to try?
If these ideas don’t help you, consider talking with your doctor. They may recommend a mental health specialist or therapist to help you work through underlying factors that may contribute to anger.