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22 Secrets to Stop Being So Angry, Calm Your Mind & Stop Hurting Yourself

Learning how to stop being angry is a process that takes time and effort. However, it’s something that will free you from the toxic clutches of fury. 

how to stop being angry

We have all been angry at some time in our lives, yet some people tend to be a bit angrier as a general personality trait. Some people let go and forgive, while others can’t. If you ever wonder how to stop being angry, chances are you have some serious hurt you can’t seem to shake.

Anger is one of the most useless and destructive emotions that you can harbor. But, almost like love, there are times when you simply can’t control it. A basic human emotion, although hard to stop, there are ways to make it stop.

If you have unresolved anger you can’t seem to let go of, then there is a good chance that it is about more than just anger. [Read: 48 real secrets to change your life and find the right path when you’re lost]

What is the root of your anger?

How often do you become angry? Is it a relatively rare thing, common but normal, or is it extremely common? If you find yourself becoming angry very easily, over things that aren’t very important, you need to start questioning why.

Is there an underlying issue that needs to be resolved? [Read: Why am I so emotional? Emotional stability and 27 secrets to balance life]

A lot of the time, problems that are going on in the background can easily cause anger to rise to the fore very easily, usually over things that are totally unconnected. Spend some time soul-searching to figure out what is sitting on your nerves and resolve whatever has you so riled up.

In that case, it’s not so much about learning how to calm down when you’re angry, but more about why your anger is triggered so easily. [Read: Really quick stress busters to recharge your mind instantly]

How common are anger problems?

Everyone gets angry from time to time, but anger problems are more than that. If you find that you get angry extremely easily for very little reason, or you find it hard to control your anger, you need to reach out for help.

Anger problems are more common than you might think. It is thought that around 7.8% of the US population has trouble controlling their anger. That might not sound like a lot, but when you consider the size of the US, 7.8% of people is pretty sizable.

What makes people angry?

Anything and everything can make someone angry and a lot of the time, it’s a personal trigger that causes fury to flare. That’s why it’s so important to get down to the root cause before you can learn how to stop being angry in the first place.

It could be a specific someone that causes you to be angry, such as seeing a situation or hearing about a subject. Perhaps it’s a memory or one subject that never seems to be resolved.

It could be anything, but the effects can be damaging. [Read: How to hone and increase your positive emotions in a negative world]

How to stop being angry

When someone angers you, it is usually because you are hurt by what someone says or does. The thing is, only you can let go of the hurt. You choose to carry it around like a rock on your back. And, most likely, you are the only one who hurts.

1. Forgive

There are times when we say that we forgive. But deep down, we don’t. What we do is put those things in our arsenal and harbor the feelings.

If you want to know how to stop being angry, truly forgive and forget. That old phrase “I will forgive you but never forget” isn’t gospel. Forget whatever hurt you or you will always hold onto resentment.

Choose to forgive and never think about it or revisit it again. You might just find your anger at unrelated things melting away. [Read: How to forgive someone who hurt you & release the negativity inside]

2. Try some empathy

If you are angry because someone hurt you, try being your own devil’s advocate. Sometimes we ascribe intention to someone when they didn’t have it or think something was done maliciously when it wasn’t at all.

If you try to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and figure out why they might have said what they said or even consider that they didn’t mean for things to go the way that they did, it is pretty easy to stop being angry. [Read: Reasons why empathy matters]

3. Pity the person who hurt you

This might sound confusing, but try feeling sorry for the asshole who hurt you. If someone did something to hurt you, and they just aren’t a nice person, pity the fact that they are so unhappy or insecure that they feel better by making someone else feel worse.

Pity their poor asses because they don’t have the kindness in their heart that you possess. [Read: 30 mean ways your boyfriend could hurt you emotionally and how to react]

4. Recognize that it isn’t hurting anyone but you

When you harbor angry feelings, it literally hurts you physically. Clenching your jaw, tightening your muscles while you sleep, or just carrying it around; it takes its toll on your health.

And, guess what? The person you are mad at probably doesn’t even know. If they haven’t apologized, they definitely don’t care. So, if you keep on being angry, you let them hurt you over and again.

You lose, while they walk away scott-free. Don’t give them the satisfaction. [Read: How to be present – The guide to finding your zone of calm perfection]

5. Understand anger is a waste of energy

Anger is a very powerful emotion. It literally sucks the life out of you. If you waste all your time being angry, ruminating over a situation, or being stuck in your own stew, think about how you can better use that energy for something good.

Just think about it, you could put all the time you spend on being angry into your loved ones, your hobbies, or fulfilling your goals. Aren’t they much better uses of your time?

6. Take some deep breaths

For some people, anger comes on frequently and severely. If left unchecked, it ends in consequences you can’t control.

Scientific research proves when angry, breathing deeply helps your body go from the sympathetic *flight or fight response* to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is a calm and relaxed state. If you have long-term anger issues, when they pop up, do some deep breathing.

You will find that a lot of the anger dissipates immediately. [Read: Finding peace – how to calm your mind and make peace a state of mind]

7. Try some hypnotherapy

For some people with anger issues, hypnosis is the road to calming down and letting go. Thanks to your smartphone, you don’t have to make an appointment with a therapist like you used to.

Simply download an anti-anger hypnosis program, put your earbuds in, and let your subconscious fight it out with your conscious state. Almost always, the subconscious wins.

8. Confront the person you’re angry with and let it out

Sometimes we hold onto anger because we feel as if we weren’t heard or we never got to confront the person that hurt us. Instead, they walked away never facing the choir.

If you have residual anger because you never got to say what you wanted to, let it out. Write someone a letter or confront them face-to-face to say what you need to say.

Once it is out and aired, chances are great you won’t harbor it anymore. Who knows, you might even get an apology. If not, at least you got the final word and made them accountable. [Read: How to deal with bullies – grownup ways to confront mean people]

9. Adopt the attitude that it is their loss

If someone hurt you and you are angry about it, walk away. You can choose not to have them in your life anymore, and we strongly recommend it. Often, we let the same people hurt us again and again because we feel an obligation to be nice.

The only obligation you have is to yourself, so if you can’t get over the anger, walk away and realize it is their loss. They couldn’t stop the behaviors so destructive to you, but you can stop them from destroying you.

10. Let go of revenge

When we are angry, we think of all sorts of ways to get back at the person we are angry with. If you want to stop being angry, stop thinking about ways to hurt them. Sitting and stewing isn’t going to make the hurt go away, it is just going to keep it front and center.

When the thought of what they did comes to mind, shoo it away. [Read: He cheated on you? How to get over a guy without seeking revenge]

11. Instruct yourself to calm the hell down

First, acknowledge that you’re angry, then dig deep and find your inner serenity. Tell yourself in a gentle and calming way: “calm down,” “take a step back,” or “easy, easy”. You’ll find a phrase that hits the spot for you and instantly helps you to pour cold water on your raging mood.

It might not work every time. But the more you do it, the easier you’ll find your own personal trigger word, and the situation will become easier to handle too. [Read: How to calm yourself down – instant hacks that work like a charm]

12. Walk away for a time out

It can be hard to do this. When you’re angry, you’re normally looking for a fight. But confrontation won’t help anything, so make sure that you take yourself away from the situation. You don’t have to explain where you’re going, just walk out.

If you can, go outside and take a few lungfuls of fresh air. Mother Nature has your back! Go for a walk, go for a run if you can, and don’t return to the scene until you’ve calmed yourself and you start to see things more clearly.

13. Visualize yourself somewhere more chilled out

Think of somewhere cool, calm, and chilled out, and picture it in your mind in as much detail as you can. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and imagine you’re there.

Imagine the cool wind on your face, the sun on your skin, the sounds around you, and the inner peace growing within you.

Stay there for as long as you need to until you feel your anger flowing away. [Read: Calm your mind – how to get the inside voices out of your head]

14. Give yourself a cold shock

We’ve already mentioned that you need to walk away, but heading somewhere you can access cold water and giving yourself a good splash on the face will also be helpful. If you don’t want to ruin your makeup, splash it on your neck or on your inner wrists.

This will shock you out of the anger zone and help you see things a little more clearly. Cold water on your feet can also help.

15. Start counting

When you take your mind away from the thing which has caused you to feel angry, the distraction helps you to calm down. Take yourself away and start counting.

Focus on something in the near distance that isn’t moving, e.g. a tree or a wall. You can say it aloud or you can count in your mind. Then, count up to 100 if you need to.

Once you’ve calmed down, start counting and give yourself a few minutes to breathe and feel centered. [Read: How to calm down – 15 instant hacks to put the crazy away]

16. Have an anti-anger mantra

Positive mantras are useful for helping to reframe your mind, but they’re also a good distraction technique too.

Learning how to calm down when you’re angry is as much about distraction as it is about the issue that caused you to be angry in the first place.

So, create your own anti-anger mantra and when you feel like your rage is rising, head outside and repeat it over and over until you start to calm down. Try something like “anger is not useful” or “I will not let my anger control me.” [Read: Mantras to live by – 21 positive mantras that will transform your life]

17. Call someone who is happy to listen to you

Have a go-to anger buddy! When you feel like your anger is about to rise, head outside, grab your phone, and call them. Rant away. Then you’ll find that whatever was causing you to feel angry suddenly doesn’t have as much of a hold on you.

Getting everything out can help you to calm down quickly. Of course, make sure that they’re free to listen before you suddenly launch into a rant!

18. Think before you speak

The worst thing about anger is that it can make you say and do things that you wouldn’t normally do. Some of those things can be hurtful. If someone hurt you, that doesn’t give you the right to hurt them back.

Take a deep breath and control what you say. It won’t be easy, but with practice, you’ll get there. It’s the single best way to learn how to stop being angry. [Read: How to stop fighting in a relationship and 16 steps to really talk]

19. Once you’re calm, express your concerns

By all means, tell the person who hurt you what they did and how it made you feel, but do it when you’re calm and collected. Wait a while and when you feel like you can control your emotions, ask to speak to them somewhere quiet and neutral.

Of course, avoid blame language and make sure that you explain things clearly. It’s better to say, “I feel …” than “you always …”

20. Don’t hold a grudge

Holding a grudge will only hurt you, not them. What’s the point? Just let it go and move on.

Grudges don’t do anything for anyone. [Read: 25 ways to let go of resentment, stop feeling bitter, and start living]

21. Use humor to release tension

Sometimes, humor is the best way to handle difficult emotions. That doesn’t mean you’re masking it or pushing it down, but humor is far less damaging than anger.

Take a moment to see the lighter side of the situation and laugh. Make a comment to make everyone else giggle. You’ll soon see how ridiculous it is to feel so angry.

22. Get some exercise

Exercise is one of the best ways to feel better about yourself instantly. Moving your body releases endorphins which make you feel good about yourself. When that happens, it’s pretty hard for anger to stick around for long.

In fact, exercise is one of the best ways to learn how to stop being angry and it’s super-healthy at the same time. [Read: Benefits of exercise on your mind, body, and libido]

When to seek help

Of course, becoming very angry very easily isn’t a healthy thing. If this is a situation you regularly encounter, you might want to consider anger management and develop tools to use and manage your strong emotions more easily.

Simply sticking with a problem such as this and assuming that it’s normal for you raises the possibility that you’re going to say or do something to a loved one that you don’t mean.

You can take words back but you can’t take back the hurt they cause. It’s far better to avoid rage-filled outbursts in the first place and manage the root cause of the issue.

[Read: Stand up for yourself – why it’s hard & steps to get what you want and deserve]

The only person hurt by your feelings of hurt and anger is you. So, let it go and learn how to stop being angry. What is done is done, so be done with it.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...