Keeping a Lid on It: How to Control Your Anger

I’ve long been someone who lets anger build up inside of me. It sometimes strains my relationship with my husband, because I’ll ignore something until I can’t any more. If I have a lot of frustrations building up, I can keep everything (even things that have nothing to do with my husband) bottled up.

Then one day it explodes out of me. I don’t usually throw things or get violent; I tend to either yell or speak very sarcastically. Usually in response to something silly and trivial that wouldn’t normally cause problems.

Over the years, though, I’ve started employing techniques to help me deal with my anger in a more constructive way. Here is some of what works for me:

Express Anger Constructively

There are constructive ways to express anger. My husband, who has a Ph.D. in Psychology, has helped me especially with exploring my feelings and sharing them before I let things build up to the explosion point.

Instead of holding it all in, I take deep breaths, calm myself, and think through the issue. Then, when I’m ready to speak calmly, I share my thoughts and feelings. This has made a great change in the way things are in my relationship with my husband, as well as my relationship with my son.

My expressions of anger are calmer now, and they often come with thoughtfulness, since I try introspection first in order to discover the “why” behind my feelings. While holding your anger in can be dangerous to your health and your relationships, it doesn’t mean that you should let it get out of control.

Get Out Some of that Energy

Sometimes you need to get all that energy out. Exercise has long been recommended by health experts and others when it comes to controlling anger. Physical exertion helps you feel good, and that better mood can help you better frame your anger constructively so that you aren’t letting out the rage in a way that can hurt those closest to you.

I find that regular exercise helps me avoid feeling so angry in the first place. That regular exercise, coupled with meditation, helps keep my mind and body in better balance. I’m less irritable to begin with, and that helps me stay focused when I start feeling angry.

Other activities, such as journaling and participating in some form of art, have also been identified as ways to manage anger. Sometimes, if I can just step back and go play something on the piano or guitar, I feel much better, and I’m better able to articulate my feelings in a way that is more constructive than destructive. I used to be an avid journaler, but I find that the fact that I write so much online has largely quashed those instincts. So much of what I think and feel is expressed in the course of my work.

The important thing with controlling anger is that you find a way to manage it without hurting others, and causing damage to your own well being.

What do you do to control your anger?

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at MirandaMarquit.com. Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.