Ways to calm down anger
22 Things to Do When You’re Anxious or Angry
We all worry and get upset from time to time. It’s a normal part of life.
But what happens when that anxiety or anger takes over, and you can’t calm down? Being able to calm yourself in the moment is often easier said than done.
That’s why having a few strategies you’re familiar with can help you when you’re feeling anxious or angry. Consider adding these calming tactics to your toolbox.
Here are some helpful, actionable tips you can try the next time you need to calm down.
“Breathing is the number one and most effective technique for reducing anger and anxiety quickly,” says Scott Dehorty, LCSW-C, of Delphi Behavioral Health.
When you’re anxious or angry, you tend to take quick, shallow breaths. Dehorty says this sends a message to your brain, causing a positive feedback loop reinforcing your fight-or-flight response. That’s why taking long, deep calming breaths disrupts that loop and helps you calm down.
There are various breathing techniques to help you calm down. One is three-part breathing. Three-part breathing requires you to take one deep breath in and then exhale fully while paying attention to your body.
Once you get comfortable with deep breathing, you can change the ratio of inhalation and exhalation to 1:2 (you slow down your exhalation so that it’s twice as long as your inhalation).
Practice these techniques while calm so you know how to do them when you’re anxious.
2. Admit that you’re anxious or angry
Allow yourself to say that you’re anxious or angry. When you label how you’re feeling and allow yourself to express it, the anxiety and anger you’re experiencing may decrease.
3. Challenge your thoughts
Part of being anxious or angry is having irrational thoughts that don’t necessarily make sense. These thoughts are often the “worse-case scenario.” You might find yourself caught in the “what if” cycle, which can cause you to sabotage a lot of things in your life.
When you experience one of these thoughts, stop and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this likely to happen?
- Is this a rational thought?
- Has this ever happened to me before?
- What’s the worst that can happen? Can I handle
After you go through the questions, it’s time to reframe your thinking. Instead of “I can’t walk across that bridge. What if there’s an earthquake, and it falls into the water?” tell yourself: “There are people that walk across that bridge every day, and it has never fallen into the water.”
4. Release the anxiety or anger
Dehorty recommends getting the emotional energy out with exercise. “Go for a walk or run. [Engaging] in some physical activity [releases] serotonin to help you calm down and feel better.”
However, you should avoid physical activity that includes the expression of anger, such as punching walls or screaming.
“This has been shown to increase feelings of anger, as it reinforces the emotions because you end up feeling good as the result of being angry,” Dehorty explains.
5. Visualize yourself calm
This tip requires you to practice the breathing techniques you’ve learned. After taking a few deep breaths, close your eyes and picture yourself calm. See your body relaxed, and imagine yourself working through a stressful or anxiety-causing situation by staying calm and focused.
By creating a mental picture of what it looks like to stay calm, you can refer back to that image when you’re anxious.
6. Think it through
Have a mantra to use in critical situations. Just make sure it’s one that you find helpful. Dehorty says it can be, “Will this matter to me this time next week?” or “How important is this?” or “Am I going to allow this person/situation to steal my peace?”
This allows the thinking to shift focus, and you can “reality test” the situation.
“When we’re anxious or angry, we become hyper-focused on the cause, and rational thoughts leave our mind. These mantras give us an opportunity to allow rational thought to come back and lead to a better outcome,” Dehorty explains.
7. Change your focus
Leave the situation, look in another direction, walk out of the room, or go outside.
Dehorty recommends this exercise so you have time for better decision making. “We don’t do our best thinking when anxious or angry; we engage in survival thinking. This is fine if our life is really in danger, but if it isn’t life threatening, we want our best thinking, not survival instincts,” he adds.
8. Have a centering object
When you’re anxious or angry, so much of your energy is being spent on irrational thoughts. When you’re calm, find a “centering object” such as a small stuffed animal, a polished rock you keep in your pocket, or a locket you wear around your neck.
Tell yourself that you’re going to touch this object when you’re experiencing anxiety or frustration. This centers you and helps calm your thoughts. For example, if you’re at work and your boss is making you anxious, gently rub the locket around your neck.
9. Relax your body
When you’re anxious or angry, it can feel like every muscle in your body is tense (and they probably are). Practicing progressive muscle relaxation can help you calm down and center yourself.
To do this, lie down on the floor with your arms out by your side. Make sure your feet aren’t crossed and your hands aren’t in fists. Start at your toes and tell yourself to release them. Slowly move up your body, telling yourself to release each part of your body until you get to your head.
10. Drop your shoulders
If your body is tense, there’s a good chance your posture will suffer. Sit up tall, take a deep breath, and drop your shoulders. To do this, you can focus on bringing your shoulder blades together and then down. This pulls your shoulders down. Take a few deep breaths.
You can do this several times a day.
11. Identify pressure points to calm anger and anxiety
Going for a massage or getting acupuncture is a wonderful way to manage anxiety and anger. But it’s not always easy to find time in your day to make it happen. The good news is, you can do acupressure on yourself for instant anxiety relief.
This method involves putting pressure with your fingers or your hand at certain points of the body. The pressure releases the tension and relaxes your body.
One area to start with is the point where the inside of your wrist forms a crease with your hand. Press your thumb on this area for two minutes. This can help relieve tension.
If you’re short on time but need to calm down fast, these quick in-the-moment tips can help.
12. Get some fresh air
The temperature and air circulation in a room can increase your anxiety or anger. If you’re feeling tense and the space you’re in is hot and stuffy, this could trigger a panic attack.
Remove yourself from that environment as soon as possible and go outside — even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Not only will the fresh air help calm you down, but also the change of scenery can sometimes interrupt your anxious or angry thought process.
13. Fuel your body
Being hangry never helps. If you’re hungry or not properly hydrated, many relaxation techniques won’t work. That’s why it’s important to slow down and get something to eat — even if it’s just a small snack.
Try nibbling on some dark chocolate. Research shows it can help boost brain health and reduce stress.
Wash it down with a cup of green tea and honey. Studies show green tea can help reduce the body’s stress response. Research has found that honey can help relieve anxiety.
14. Chew gum
Chewing on a piece of gum can help reduce anxiety (and even boost mood and productivity). In fact, research shows people who chew gum regularly are typically less stressed than non-gum chewers.
15.Listen to music
The next time you feel your anxiety level cranking up, grab some headphones and tune in to your favorite music. Listening to music can have a very calming effect on your body and mind.
16. Dance it out
Get moving to your favorite tunes. Dancing has traditionally been used as a healing art. Research shows it’s a great way to combat depression and anxiety and increase quality of life.
17. Watch funny videos
Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. Research has found that laughing provides therapeutic benefits and can help relieve stress and improve mood and quality of life. Do a quick internet search to find funny videos for an instant mood boost.
18. Write it down
If you’re too angry or anxious to talk about it, grab a journal and write out your thoughts. Don’t worry about complete sentences or punctuation — just write. Writing helps you get negative thoughts out of your head.
19. Squeeze a stress ball
When you’re feeling stress come on, try interacting with a stress-relief toy. Options include:
- stress ball
- magnetic balls
- sculpting clay
- Rubik’s cube
- fidget spinner
20. Try aromatherapy
Aromatherapy, or the use of essential oils, may help alleviate stress and anxiety and boost mood. Those commonly used in aromatherapy include:
- tea tree
Add a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser, or mix it with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and apply to your skin for quick relief.
21. Seek social support
Venting to a trusted friend, family member, or coworker can do wonders. Even if you don’t have time for a full play-by-play phone call, a quick text exchange can help you let it all out and help you feel heard.
Bonus points if you engage with a funny friend who can help you laugh for added stress relief.
22. Spend time with a pet
Interacting with your favorite furry friend can decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lower blood pressure. Quality time with a pet can also help you feel less alone and boost your overall mood.
Why It's Different from Anxiety & How to Feel Better
Everyone experiences nervousness at one time or another. It feels like a combination of anxiety, dread, and excitement all at once. Your palms may get sweaty, your heart rate may increase, and you may feel that fluttery nervous stomach feeling.
Anything that causes apprehension or fear can lead to feelings of nervousness. They can be brought on by good experiences and negative ones, such as a first date, a job interview, or attending a funeral.
Nervousness is a common feeling brought on by your body’s stress response. This involves series of hormonal and physiological responses that help prepare you to handle a perceived or imagined threat.
Your body prepares to fight or flee a threat by boosting adrenaline production. Almost instantly, your heart begins to beat faster, your blood pressure rises, and your breathing quickens, increasing your alertness and energy.
This response can result in feelings of nervousness and anxiety.
Nervousness is a natural response to a stressful event. It’s temporary and resolves once the stress has passed. It can be controlled, even if you’re someone who is more prone to nervous feelings.
While nervousness is a common symptom of anxiety disorders, they’re not the same thing.
Anxiety disorders are psychiatric disorders that develop from a number of complex factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, and life events. Anxiety disorders are long-lasting and uncontrollable without treatment.
People with an anxiety disorder often experience severe feelings of nervousness or worry. These feelings can come on frequently and without an obvious stressor.
People may also experience a number of pronounced physical and mental symptoms that impact their ability to function.
symptoms of anxiety disorders
- odd sensations in your body
- body aches and pain
- shaking or trembling
- trouble concentrating
- rapid heart beat
- chest tightness
- stomach aches
Nervousness is a normal reaction to certain situations. With these tips and a little practice, you can learn how to keep your nerves from getting the better of you.
Don’t be afraid of nervousness
In an uncomfortable situation, remind yourself that nervousness is normal, and it can even be helpful.
Most of us feel this way when presented with new challenges and opportunities. Ultimately, these experiences help us grow.
Nervousness is your body’s way of preparing you for what’s coming, which is usually something that’s outside your comfort zone. Letting go of your fear and accepting that it’s a completely natural experience can help keep your nerves in check.
You can’t always predict or plan for everything that life throws your way. However, there are some work and social situations that you can prepare for in advance. These include:
- practicing for a scheduled work presentation or meeting
- having a friend or loved one accompany you to an event or appointment
- allowing extra time to get ready for work, dates, or other social events
Get into a positive headspace
A lack of confidence or worrying that you’ll mess up are often to blame for nervousness. When you begin to doubt your abilities, find ways to get yourself into a more positive frame of mind.
To do this, use positive self-talk or envision your desired outcome. Putting on an uplifting song or movie can also work wonders.
Talk to someone
Call your mom, your best friend, or anyone else you trust. Sharing your feelings with someone you feel comfortable with helps put things in perspective. They can help you see the situation in a more rational light.
A 2014 study showed that sharing your feelings with someone else, especially someone who’s been through a similar situation, can reduce stress and make you feel more positive.
Try a relaxation technique
Learning to relax is important for overcoming nervousness and managing stress in general. Breathing exercises are just one way to practice relaxation.
Deep breathing works quickly, and it can be practiced at any time and any place you feel nervous. There are different types of breathing exercises that have been shown to work. These include the 4-7-8 breathing technique and diaphragmatic breathing.
ways to cope with stress
- listening to music
- spending time with a pet
Nervousness is a perfectly natural response to a new experience or a situation that’s outside of your comfort zone. While uncomfortable, the feeling is only temporary, and you’ll feel better once the cause of your nervousness is over.
You can work to overcome your nervousness with some simple relaxation exercises or preparing in advance for situations that can take you out of your comfort zone.
Healthy aggression: 5 ways to deal with anger
© Thought Catalog/Unsplash
Author Yulia Tsiruleva
June 19, 2019
Feeling angry is a normal human reaction. It is important to let it out, but in a way that is not destructive to you or to others. And here's how you can do it.
When we condemn ourselves for being angry, it doubles the annoyance and makes the situation worse. Experts advise to recognize unpleasant feelings and try to find the cause of aggression. Perhaps a colleague who didn’t notice you at the meeting felt bad, and a loved one was late for a date because he unexpectedly got stuck in traffic, and not because he neglected your time. If anger is the result of actions that really threaten your well-being, then being aware of this will help protect yourself. Psychologists have developed simple techniques to deal with negative feelings and learn how to behave better.
Advertising on RBC www.adv.rbc.ru
The easiest and fastest way to calm down is to even out your breathing. The brain does not know how to immediately disconnect from strong emotions, so you need to help it pause with the help of breathing exercises. Try to take a few deep breaths in and out, trying to breathe in your belly. Measured breathing allows you to get rid of unpleasant emotions and tune in to a calm, relaxed state.
Crying is a natural biological mechanism that allows you to throw out negative emotions and reduce stress. You can scream in the car or at home, loudly, at the top of your voice or into a pillow. Try to watch a sports match and cheer. Or scream to the music - the latest research shows that heavy metal, punk and hard rock are calming and help neutralize anger and bad moods. Be prepared for the fact that after a scream, the reaction may change to uncontrollable laughter.
For example, beat a pillow. Fists, legs, tennis racket - as you like. You can get yourself a special durable “whipping pillow” - old sofa cushions are well suited for this. If possible, spend five minutes exercising or dancing. A short, simple exercise helps to get rid of stress, calm down and improve mood.
Another useful way to deal with anger is to clean up. Use the energy of aggression to clean windows, take apart cabinets, or move furniture. If you want to destroy more than clean up, use a special service where you can beat dishes, misbehave and smash appliances and furniture to pieces.
We often avoid unpleasant conversations until the very end for fear of offending the interlocutor, making the situation worse, or in response to an important request to be rejected. But the accumulated negative emotions and unspoken desires do not go anywhere. In this state, a minor occasion can provoke an outburst of anger.
Try to talk directly to others about your condition. Close and beloved people, friends, colleagues may not realize that you lack their attention, you feel offended and forgotten.
When deciding to talk, try to avoid accusations and criticism. You may need to apply one of the previous methods first, or even try them all. The best way to use I-messages is to talk about your feelings in the first person. Then you can calmly explain what hurt or angered you. Ask the interlocutor to explain his position - probably together you can understand the situation and find a solution.
Psychologists believe that it is useful to express anger and resentment on paper or in a computer file - this is another way to throw out what has accumulated inside. Try writing a letter to someone who made you angry or offended. No need to focus on writing coherent, beautiful text: write whatever you think and feel. Then the file can be deleted, and the paper letter can be torn or burned. Or, if you want, edit the text and send it to the addressee.
How to quickly and reliably calm down an angry person
Gazeta.Ru has found out how to quickly calm down an angry person with the help of an effective psychological technique without losing your authority.
“An effective anger management strategy is based on the need to focus on the angry person. He should be given the opportunity to vent his anger and at the same time try to correct the state of affairs that led to an outburst of rage, says Jack Schafer, professor of psychology, former special agent, author of Turning on the charm according to the methods of the special services. “This approach breaks the vicious circle and allows you to resolve a critical situation without ruining the relationship. ”
Why is it time for you to work less
Do you know that you are a workaholic? Gazeta.Ru figured out how to get rid of the desire to do everything and finally...
June 09 13:49
It's true that if, in the course of settling a conflict, you manage to elevate your opponent in his own eyes, then you can not only calm him down, but even please him. And here's how you can do it.
1. Do not try to explain anything to an angry person: he is not capable of thinking sensibly.
Anger triggers the fight or flight response in the body, which physically and mentally prepares the person for conflict. At the moment of this reaction, the body reacts instinctively to the threat.
As the danger grows, a person's ability to think rationally completely disappears. Angry people behave the same way because anger is a reaction to a real or perceived threat. They speak and act without reasoning, and the degree of cognitive impairment depends on the intensity of the anger.
The more angry a person is, the less inclined he is to process information logically. In this state, people do not notice the obvious, because their minds are clouded.
2. Give him time.
It takes about 20 minutes for an angry person to calm down and regain the ability to think clearly. He will not accept any explanations, solutions and ways to resolve the conflict until he again masters his mind.
3. Offer a simple solution right away.
People always want to feel that they are in control. An angry person is looking for the lost meaning and order in the world. The inability to return to the usual track causes confusion, and confusion is expressed in anger.
Saying an explanation for such behavior or voicing the problem often helps to restore the previous picture of the world and cool down anger.
4. If the simple solution doesn't work, formulate a "compassion statement".
When an angry person hears that you understand him, at first it causes him surprise and confusion. If sympathy is expressed unexpectedly, it may even arouse suspicion. But if you reinforce your words, then it becomes difficult for a person not to appreciate the participation of the opponent. Empathy quickly leads to trust.
5. Assess the emotional state of the interlocutor.
How to make a career if you are an introvert
Gazeta.Ru found out how to understand that you are an introvert after all, and then gain authority and...
October 30 17:28
It will be very helpful to express sympathy without being too false. Be empathic and learn to discern the nuances: anger can consist of different emotions (resentment, rage, sadness, wounded pride, etc.). You can use this to direct the person to the solution you need.
Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal responses. Watch for the slightest changes in facial expressions.
Listen for voice modulations and the use of certain words expressing emotions.
6. Let the angry person let off steam.
Most likely, it will not be possible to blow off steam at once. Remember that the first discharge is usually the strongest. It allows a person to relieve tension, get rid of most of the anger and enter into a dialogue. Subsequent times are less intense, especially if no wood is thrown into the furnace of anger.
After each discharge there is a natural pause that should be filled with a sympathetic statement.
An angry person will throw out more anger, although the intensity of the outbursts will decrease with each time. This must be done until the anger subsides completely. A sigh, a long exhalation, hunched shoulders and a lowered look indicate that the anger has dried up.
7. Make a guess.
Guessing directs an angry person's thinking towards conflict resolution. It must be formulated in such a way that the interlocutor could not deviate from the course of action imposed on him.
The ability to make assumptions requires the skill of active listening, since the assumption made directs the power of anger towards a conflict resolution acceptable to both parties.
Formulate the suggestion in such a way that it is difficult for the person to refuse the recommendation.
Here is how, for example, you can apply this technique in a work situation:
Why husbands piss women off so much
Gazeta.Ru found out why men hate it when women demand something from them, and found out how it all...
April 28 15:53
Manager: I expected your report to be ready this morning. Your behavior is unacceptable (anger) .
Subordinate: I couldn't finish the report because I didn't get the data from the sales department. They were promised to be sent within the hour (simple explanation) .
Chief: This is not an excuse. I had to go to the sales department and demand the data. You must understand how important it was for me to receive the report this morning. I have an appointment with a client this afternoon. I don't know what to do now (rejects proposed explanation) .
Slave: You are upset because the client is expecting a report this afternoon (sympathetic statement) .