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Feeling Angry

Anger is an emotion that tells us when something may be wrong. We may feel angry when something is beyond our control or feels unfair, when we can’t reach a goal, or when someone is hurt or threatened. We can also feel angry when we are under too much stress. More serious problems, like getting hurt or seeing someone else get hurt, may cause strong feelings like rage. Sometimes we feel angry for no reason.

Anger may be a problem for you when it’s:

  • Much stronger than you’d expect based on the situation
  • Very frequent, to the point that you can’t enjoy things anymore
  • Caused by something that happened a long time ago
  • Making you act violently towards yourself, someone else, or someone’s property
  • Interfering with your ability to do your job
  • Hurting your relationships with loved ones
  • Affecting your physical health

What can I do about it?

Anger is a normal reaction to some situations. Anger can also be helpful when it matches the situation and motivates people to take action. However, anger that’s dealt with in unhealthy ways can create problems and affect your well-being. Fortunately, there are some things you can do with your anger.

These strategies won’t solve the problem. Instead, they can help put you back in control so you can find a productive way to deal with the problem. They may also be useful if you find yourself saying or doing things in anger that you regret later. 


  • Leave the situation, if possible 
  • Count to 10 
  • Repeat calming phrases such as, “Take it easy” or, “Will this matter in six months?” 
  • Breathe deeply. It may seem simple, but taking deep breaths can help calm your mind, slow your heart, and even lower blood pressure 
  • Try to shift your attention to something more pleasant or relaxing.  
When you are calmer, these are strategies to help you look at your feelings around a particular situation.  
  • Acknowledge you are angry. Angry feelings don’t go away if you bottle them up and avoid dealing with them. 
  • Consider whether your reaction matches the situation. You can also ask someone you trust for their perspective – they may help you look at the problem in a more balanced way. 
  • Look at your thoughts. Sometimes the way you think can fuel anger – for example, assuming another person is intentionally trying to hurt or annoy you, in a situation when that may not be true. 
  • Identify the source of your anger. If the actions or words of another person are hurting you, try to deal with them directly in a peaceful and productive way. 
  • Look for humour in the situation–sometimes it’s easy to take minor problems too seriously. 
These strategies take more time and effort, but they can help you cope with anger as it comes up in many different situations. The goal is to change the way you react to anger, so it doesn’t cause problems in the first place. 
  • Learn what triggers your anger. Certain emotions, such as feeling controlled, ashamed, or guilty, can also trigger anger for some people. 
  • Identify your early warning signs so you can take action before your anger turns into rage. 
  • Talk to someone you trust who may be able to see things more clearly than you do.  
  • If your anger is caused by something beyond your control, learn how others have dealt with similar problems and try their strategies. 
  • Try going for a walk, playing your favourite sport, or cleaning the house. 
  • Make sure to eat well and get enough sleep. 
  • Learn mindfulness practices like meditation. 
  • Remember you cannot control how other people behave. 

Anger and irritability can sometimes be signs of depression or anxiety. If anger continues to cause problems or you notice anger occurs with other symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor or mental health professional.