Defusing anger

Anger can be a problem when the response is excessive and hurtful or damaging to you and those around you. This tool will help you select strategies to better control your anger so you can stay focused and make the best decisions in difficult situations.

It’s best to try out your preferred strategies when you’re feeling calm so that you know what to do to defuse your anger before, during or after a challenging situation.

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Adjust your physical reactions to defuse anger

These strategies can help you adjust your physical reactions when you are angry. Select at least one that you plan to use to help defuse your anger before, during or after a challenging situation.
 

Take a few slow, controlled breaths, focussing on breathing from your stomach rather than your chest. Continue breathing like this until you feel more in control.

 

Note: controlled breathing is safe for most people. However, if you start feeling short of breath, dizzy or more nervous than when you started, adjust your breathing to a more comfortable pace. Alternatively, stop using the tool and go back to breathing normally.

Exercises

  1. slowly make fists with each hand
  2. tense your fists
  3. hold for 10 seconds
  4. relax, slowly releasing the tension

Repeat this 3 to 5 times.

Then:

  1. slowly raise both arms in front of you so they are level with your chest
  2. slowly press your hands together
  3. try not to hunch your shoulders or lock your elbows
  4. hold the tension for 10 seconds
  5. relax, slowly releasing the tension

Repeat this 3 to 5 times.

Run on the spot with high knees for 1 minute or do some squats, push-ups or sit-ups.

Or try something less intense like taking a brisk walk around the block.