How to Calm Down From Anger: 9 Helpful Tips

Published on: 29 Aug 2023
Clinically Reviewed by Karmen Smith LCSW, DD 
How to Calm Down From Anger

Having the right tools to know how to calm down from anger can be essential for maintaining mental health and fostering healthy relationships. Although it’s a natural human emotion, many types of anger can be destructive when you don’t know how to manage it effectively.  

When you learn how to stay calm when angry with the following methods, you can express yourself effectively without letting your anger get the best of you.   

Why Do I Get Mad So Easily?

Ever wondered, why am I so angry all the time? Getting mad is a natural emotion and it can happen for any number of reasons. After all, anger is an appropriate response to certain experiences. For example, you might be angry about injustice or betrayal, a fight you’ve had with a partner or friend, a misunderstanding, or when you’re disappointed. These are all normal reasons to have an angry reaction. Sometimes, though, we realize we’re mad about things that may not be that big of a deal in life’s grand scheme. 

“Everyone experiences anger. It is a typical response to a negative stimulus. The main idea is not to avoid it but to have the tools to calm down and avoid hurting ourselves or others.”

Talkspace therapist Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S

Whether you get mad often or it’s a rare occurrence, knowing how to calm down when angry can be a valuable skill to have in your arsenal. Learn nine easy, effective ways to calm down when angry emotions are getting the best of you. 

9 Practical Techniques to Calm Down From Anger

Try using the following tips and techniques if you want to know how to keep calm when angry.

1. Use breathing exercises to control your anger

Research shows that diaphragmatic breathing triggers a relaxation response in the body which can be beneficial if you’re angry. Taking long, slow, deep breaths can help calm you down and reset your brain to get you out of the fight or flight response. 

There are several powerful breathing exercises that are easy to use regardless of where you are. Try one of these breathing techniques the next time you want to calm down when you’re angry. 

  • 4-7-8 breathing: Keeping your mouth closed, breathe through your nose, and count to 4. Hold for 7 seconds and then slowly exhale through the mouth, counting to 8. Repeat until you feel your body release the anger.
  • Box breathing: Box breathing is a technique so effective it’s used by the Navy SEALs to remain calm in high-stress scenarios. To box breathe, exhale slowly, releasing all the air from your lungs. Count to 4 and inhale through your nose. Hold a deep breath for 4 seconds, then exhale for another count of 4. Repeat several times. 

2. The power of visualization in calming down

Visualization is a powerful way to calm down and reset your thoughts so you can let go of your anger. You can combine visualization with deep breathing for an even more effective result. 

Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a calm and peaceful place, completely relaxed and focused. Focus on the sights, smells, textures, and sounds of your imagined location. Go to a place that makes you happy and picture yourself there until you can feel that you’re calming down and your anger is dissipating.

3. The role of physical exercise in managing anger

Physical exercise is a great (and proven) way to manage anger and relieve tension. Frequent physical exertion can keep you feeling tranquil and resolve irritation while enhancing your overall psychological well-being.  

Good exercises for anger management include:

  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Biking
  • Walking
  • Boxing
  • Hiking

4. The importance of taking a timeout

The next time you’re feeling angry, take a break to slow your impulsive reactions and regain control over the intense emotions you might be feeling. The “walk-away” theory works, giving you time and space to cool off before you return to a volatile situation or conversation. 

It’s the easiest of the methods, too. You simply, and literally, just walk away from whatever’s angering you. Use the time to regroup and implement other techniques you’ve learned here, like deep breathing techniques or visualization. 

5. How to challenge your thoughts and shift perspective

Challenging unhealthy thought patterns can help you shift your perspective and change your emotional reaction to an event, person, or circumstance. To do it, use the following tips:

  • Identify negative thoughts: Don’t let angry feelings take over. Recognize when you have negative or unhealthy thought patterns.
  • Analyze the evidence: Before you explode, consider whether there’s any factual basis for your thoughts or if you’re having irrational beliefs.
  • Create alternative explanations: Try to come up with other possible reasons for the source of your anger. For example, someone who upsets you might not have been intentionally acting in a way that was to hurt you.
  • Evaluate consequences: Think about how acting on your anger will affect yourself and others around you. Consider the potential repercussions of your response to determine if it will help resolve the conflict or worsen things.

6. Expressing your concerns calmly and effectively

Before responding with frustration, think about how to release anger in a healthy way that’s calm and effective. If you find this challenging, try using the strategies below. 

  • Breathe deeply: Before speaking up, take a few deep breaths to recenter your thoughts and stay calm and composed.
  • Avoid sarcasm: Remember that sarcasm can worsen any tense situation, so try to use fact-based claims and statements.
  • Use “I” statements: Express your feelings with “I” statements instead of using accusatory language or blaming others.
  • Be specific: Clearly explain what has made you angry without exaggerating or generalizing the issue.
  • Practice active listening: Give the other person an opportunity to share their perspective while maintaining eye contact and showing empathy towards their feelings.

7. Identifying possible solutions to the source of anger

Focusing on solutions can help you let go of your rage or at least become instrumental in your ability to reign it in. There are several techniques you can use to do this.

  • Communicate openly: Interact calmly and openly with the person or situation causing your anger.
  • Practice problem-solving skills: Once you identify the issue, brainstorm potential solutions.
  • Create boundaries: Establish healthy boundaries to protect yourself, whether it be family boundaries or friendship boundaries.
  • Avoid triggers: Recognize and minimize exposure to situations or people that provoke anger.
  • Cultivate empathy: Try understanding the other person’s perspective to resolve frustration or resentment.

8. The benefits of walking away  

We’ve already discussed taking a timeout, but sometimes you need to do more than just take a breather. Building on the idea of setting boundaries, it’s important to know when it might be time to walk all-the-way away. Sometimes, relationships or situations are unhealthy for you. If you’re in a toxic relationship that’s causing you to be consistently angry, you might need to consider getting out.  

9. Use pressure points

Specific pressure points in the body are associated with tension. The next time you’re feeling angry, try putting pressure on one of the known points that might help. Try using gentle pressure on any of the following spots:

  • On the foot between the first and second toes, about 1” above the web of the toes
  • Between your eyebrows at the top of your nose bridge
  • Inner wrist crease toward the little finger side 
  • Inside of the leg, just above the ankle

Long-term Strategies for Anger Management

Implementing long-term and consistent strategies for anger management can help you change your mindset and increase your sense of calm so you don’t react in angry ways. Try regularly doing the following to keep a positive attitude so your anger doesn’t take over:

How to develop a healthier response to anger

If you want to learn how to stay calm when angry, it can help to focus on your natural response to upsetting situations. It will take work, but you can reprogram your brain so that instead of reacting with aggression, criticism, or sarcasm, you learn to calmly express yourself in ways other than anger. Identifying triggers so you can avoid them or manage your reactions is key. 

“Talking to a behavioral professional, practicing meditation or mindfulness, and learning to recognize your triggers can help you develop a healthier response to anger.”

Talkspace therapist Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S

Seeking professional help for anger management

If you have anger management issues and are struggling to get them under control on your own, it might be time to seek professional help. Therapy for anger management can be a great way to learn how to remain calm when angry, especially if your intense emotions are starting to affect relationships with others.

Manage Your Anger with Talkspace

The good news is you don’t have to live in a perpetual state of anger. You can take proactive steps to overcome your anger response patterns and build healthy, mutually-rewarding relationships where joy and peace — not anger — are the foundations. Getting professional support from an online therapy provider like Talkspace can be a great first step. 

Reach out to Talkspace today to learn how to stay calm when angry emotions take over. Talkspace makes the process easy, convenient, and affordable, with therapy from the comfort of your home. 


  1. Ma X, Yue Z-Q, Gong Z-Q, et al. The effect of diaphragmatic breathing on attention, negative affect and stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in Psychology. 2017;8. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874 . Accessed June 3, 2023. 
  2. Malhotra P. Exercise and its Impact on Anger Management. Acta Scientific Medical Sciences. 2019;3(4):132-137. June 3, 2023.

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

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