The best tips for overcoming anger include examining feelings and intentions, communicating more effectively and temporarily stepping away from arguments to gain perspective. Recognizing that happiness feels better than anger is an important first step in dealing with anger and rage. Closely observing personal reasons for hanging onto anger is helpful for understanding the underlying feelings. Taking breaks during heated discussions helps to regain composure. Incorporating strategies to release anger, such as physical exercise and meditation, can be helpful when dealing with anger.
Remembering that happiness is more pleasurable and healthier than anger is one of the best ways to consciously overcome anger. Persistent anger has been linked to cardiovascular issues, insomnia and digestive disorders. Choosing to face the issues that are causing anger as a way of achieving greater happiness and health is a motivating first step in the process. Some life events might be uncontrollable, such as natural disasters, job loss or the demise of a romantic relationship. Consciously releasing the need to control life and letting go of certain expectations typically assists in overcoming anger.
Understanding personal resistance to overcoming anger is an important part of the process and can be done alone or with a therapist. People often become angry because of feelings of powerlessness or misinterpretations of other people's intentions. A spouse's tardy arrival, for example, might be interpreted by the partner as a sign of disrespect or lack of love. Stepping back and examining the intentions behind his or her late arrival might lend useful insights. The spouse might have been stuck in traffic, lost his or her keys or might generally suffer from a habit of tardiness, with no intent to cause anger or show disrespect.
One common technique for overcoming anger is taking a brief break in the midst of a heated discussion. If a conflict has escalated to the point of becoming unproductive or hostile, taking a break allows for a shift in perspective. This strategy typically is most effective if the party who is walking away first announces his or her brief departure. Even if the other party does not want to take a break, stepping away respectfully will give everyone who is involved a chance to cool off. Returning to the discussion with a calm demeanor often allows logic to prevail over irrational reactions or conclusions.
Consciously replacing unproductive, angry behaviors with constructive alternatives also is helpful for overcoming anger. Instead of yelling or swearing, for example, a person might choose to listen to another person's perspective to increase understanding and empathy. Engaging in physical exercise, such as walking, sports or dancing, also can be helpful for releasing anger. Meditation that includes relaxation, deep breathing and visualization typically assists with gaining greater clarity about underlying feelings such as fear or powerlessness.