Anger is a normal feeling and can be a positive emotion when it helps you work through issues or problems, whether that’s at work or at home.

Anger control is important for helping you avoid saying or doing something you may regret. Before anger escalates, you can use specific strategies for controlling anger.

Here are some tips to help to control anger.

1.Take a breather.

Your breathing becomes shallower and speeds up as you grow angry. Reverse that trend (and your anger) by taking slow, deep breaths from your nose and exhaling out of your mouth for several moments.

2.Mentally escape.

Slip into a quiet room, close your eyes, and practice visualizing yourself in a relaxing scene. Focus on details in the imaginary scene: What color is the water? How tall are the mountains? What do the chirping birds sound like? This practice can help you find calm amidst anger.

3.Stop talking!

When you’re steamed, you may be tempted to let the angry words fly, but you’re more likely to do harm than good. Pretend your lips are glued shut, just like you did as a kid. This moment without speaking will give you time to collect your thoughts.

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4.Go walk around!

Girl walking in country road in the autumn fog

Exercise can help calm your nerves and reduce anger. Go for a walk, ride your bike, or hit a few golf balls. Anything that gets your limbs pumping is good for your mind and body.

5.Repeat a mantra.

Find a word or phrase that helps you calm down and refocus. Repeat that word again and again to yourself when you’re upset. “Relax,” “Take it easy, and “You’ll be OK” are all good examples.

6.Play some tunes.

Let the music carry you away from your feelings. Put in earbuds or slip out to your car. Crank up your favorite music and hum, bop, or sashay your anger away.

7.Take a timeout!

Give yourself a break. Sit away from others. In this quiet time, you can process events and return your emotions to neutral. You may even find this time away from others is so helpful you want to schedule it into your daily routine.

8.Write in your journal.

What you can’t say, perhaps you can write. Jot down what you’re feeling and how you want to respond. Processing it through the written word can help you calm down and reassess the events leading up to your feelings.

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9.Change your routine

If your slow commute to work makes you angry before you’ve even had coffee, find a new route. Consider options that may take longer but leave you less upset in the end.

10.Talk to a friend.

Don’t stew in the events that made you angry. Help yourself process what happened by talking with a trusted, supportive friend who can possibly provide a new perspective.

11.Laugh!

Nothing upends a bad mood like a good one. Diffuse your anger by looking for ways to laugh, whether that’s playing with your kids, watching stand-up, or scrolling memes.

12.Practice gratitude.

Take a moment to focus on what’s right when everything feels wrong. Realizing how many good things you have in your life can help you neutralize anger and turn around the situation.

13.Express your anger!

It’s OK to say how you feel, as long as you handle it in the right way. Ask a trusted friend to help you be accountable to a calm response. Outbursts solve no problems, but mature dialogue can help reduce your stress and ease your anger. It may also prevent future problems.

14.Find a creative channel.

Turn your anger into a tangible production. Consider painting, gardening, or writing poetry when you’re upset. Emotions are powerful muses for creative individuals. Use yours to reduce anger.

15.Practice empathy

Try to walk in the other person’s shoes and see the situation from their perspective. When you tell the story or relive the events as they saw it, you may gain a new understanding and become less angry.

16.Imagine forgiving them

Finding the courage to forgive someone who has wronged you takes a lot of emotional skill. If you can’t go that far, you can at least pretend that you’re forgiving them, and you’ll feel your anger slip away.

17.Picture a stop sign.

Young Woman giving hand stop sign

Prevent an outburst by rehearsing what you’re going to say or how you’re going to approach the problem in the future. This rehearsal period gives you time to role-play several possible solutions, too.

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