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Understanding and managing anger

Anger can be a difficult emotion to express and manage. But being angry is a necessary emotion that everyone experiences.

It's important to deal with anger in a healthy way that does not harm you or anyone else.

Reasons for anger

People get angry for many reasons, such as:

  • being treated unfairly
  • feeling unappreciated
  • being under a lot of pressure
  • coping with a traumatic event
  • experiencing body changes

Understanding anger

Feeling angry is not a bad thing. But what you do with your anger matters.

Anger can become unhealthy when you express it in a way that hurts others or yourself. Bottling it up and not expressing it can create problems. There are ways to deal with anger. Violence is never one of them.

Dealing with anger

Sometimes you can think or feel like your anger is out of control. This can make you feel helpless.

The way you vent your anger may not be helpful. But holding in your anger is unhealthy too. Letting out anger does not have to be something that is aggressive or involve outbursts. If you hold in emotion, it will find a way to come out somewhere.

You may not always be able to control what leads you to feel angry. But you can manage your anger.

Managing your anger

Anger can often feel uncontrollable.

But there are several things you can do to manage it, such as:

  • counting to 100
  • leaving the room
  • kicking a ball, punching a pillow or going for a run
  • playing some music
  • finding somewhere quiet to go
  • practicing mindfulness
  • writing down what you're feeling, if you keep getting angry
  • bringing your body temperature down - by holding an icepack to your forehead, having a cold shower or splashing cold water on your face

If you keep getting angry or find it difficult to control your anger, talk to someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member, GP or counsellor.

Getting violent never helps. It results in a situation where you could hurt yourself or someone else.

Getting support

Your GP can tell you about any local therapy groups.

You can also get advice and support from:

Organisations that provide mental health supports and services

Page last reviewed: 1 September 2022
Next review due: 1 September 2025