Managing Anger: Guidelines for Controlling Your Emotions

Managing anger is an important aspect of maintaining healthy relationships and promoting overall well-being. By recognizing the signs of anger, identifying the underlying causes, and utilizing evidence-based strategies such as relaxation techniques, assertive communication, and therapy, individuals can learn to control their emotions and reduce the negative impact of anger on their lives.

Fortunately, there are many strategies and techniques that can help us manage our anger and control our emotions. In this article, you will explore five guidelines for managing anger and regaining control over our emotions.

What is Anger?

Anger is an emotion that we all experience from time to time. It can be a useful and necessary emotion, helping us to express our feelings and communicate our needs. However, when anger becomes out of control, it can lead to destructive behavior and damage our relationships with others.

Anger is a complex emotion that involves a variety of neural pathways and physiological responses. At its core, anger is thought to be related to the brain’s “fight or flight” response, which is activated in response to perceived threats or challenges. The amygdala, a small almond-shaped structure in the brain’s limbic system, is thought to play a central role in the experience of anger. Anger is a complex emotional state that can range in intensity from mild annoyance to intense fury and rage [1]. During angry recollections, the amygdala fired. At the same time, a part of the orbital frontal cortex, just above the eyes, also engaged, putting control on your emotions [2].

Recognize the Signs of Anger:

The first step in managing anger is to recognize the signs that you are becoming angry. Some of the physical signs of anger include an increased heart rate, tensed muscles, and sweating. You may also notice that your thoughts become more negative, and your speech becomes harsher.

By recognizing these signs, you can take steps to manage your anger before it becomes out of control. For example, you may take a break or step away from the situation that is making you angry to calm down.

Identify the Cause of Your Anger:

The next step is to identify the cause of your anger. What is it that is making you angry? Is it a specific situation or event? Or is it something more general, like feeling overwhelmed or stressed?

Once you have identified the cause of your anger, you can begin to address it. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed, you may need to take a break and prioritize your tasks. If it is a specific situation that is making you angry, you may need to communicate your needs or set boundaries with others.

Practice Relaxation Techniques:

Relaxation techniques can be a powerful tool for managing anger. These techniques can help you to calm down and reduce the physical symptoms of anger.

Some relaxation techniques include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. These techniques can be practiced anywhere and at any time, making them an effective way to manage anger in the moment.

Use Assertive Communication:

Assertive communication is an important skill for managing anger. When we communicate assertively, we express our needs and feelings in a clear and respectful way, without attacking or blaming others.

Assertive communication can help to reduce conflict and improve relationships with others. It can also help to prevent anger from building up and becoming out of control.

Seek Support:

If you are struggling to manage your anger, it may be helpful to seek support from a mental health professional. A therapist or counselor can help you to identify the underlying causes of your anger and develop strategies for managing it.

They may also teach you skills for managing stress and improving your communication with others. With the right support, you can learn to control your emotions and build healthier relationships with others.

Current Research:

Anger is a complex emotion that can have negative consequences if not managed properly. Fortunately, there are a number of evidence-based strategies that can help individuals control their anger and prevent it from escalating into aggressive behavior.

One important step in managing anger is recognizing the physiological and cognitive signs of anger. According to a study by Lerner and colleagues (2015), increased heart rate, tense muscles, and negative thoughts are common indicators of anger. By identifying these signs, individuals can take proactive steps to manage their anger before it spirals out of control.

Another key component of managing anger is understanding the root cause of the emotion. According to a study by Kassinove and Tafrate (2002), anger can be triggered by a wide range of factors, including personal frustrations, feelings of unfair treatment, and perceived threats to one’s well-being. By identifying the specific cause of their anger, individuals can take steps to address the root issue and prevent future episodes of anger.

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation have been shown to be effective in reducing feelings of anger and promoting emotional regulation (Kopp and Zimmermann, 2019). Similarly, using assertive communication techniques can help individuals express their needs and feelings in a clear and respectful way, reducing the likelihood of interpersonal conflict (Gross and Guerrero, 2000).

Finally, seeking support from a mental health professional can be an important part of managing anger. A study by Deffenbacher and colleagues (2016) found that cognitive-behavioral therapy, in particular, can be an effective treatment for individuals struggling with anger management issues.

Anger and High Blood Pressure

There is evidence to suggest that anger can contribute to high blood pressure. When we experience anger, our body releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, repeated episodes of anger and stress can lead to chronically elevated blood pressure, which is a risk factor for a range of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke.

Studies have found that individuals who experience frequent episodes of anger are at increased risk for hypertension and other cardiovascular problems (Chida and Steptoe, 2009). In addition, people who are prone to anger and hostility are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, drinking, and overeating, which can further increase their risk of developing high blood pressure and other health problems.

It is important to note, however, that not everyone who experiences anger will develop high blood pressure, and there are many factors that contribute to the development of hypertension. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress-reduction techniques like meditation and relaxation, can help to manage anger and reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and other health problems.


In conclusion, anger is a complex emotion that involves a variety of neural pathways and physiological responses. While the amygdala is thought to play a central role in the experience of anger, other regions of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex and insula are also involved.

Anger can contribute to high blood pressure through the release of stress hormones and repeated episodes of stress and tension. People who experience frequent anger and hostility may be at increased risk for hypertension and other cardiovascular problems, but a healthy lifestyle can help to manage anger and reduce the risk of developing these health issues.

However, you can learn to control your emotions and build healthier relationships with others.


  1. Deffenbacher, J. L., Oetting, E. R., Lynch, R. S., Morris, C. D. (2016). The control of anger through cognitive-behavioral therapy. Springer.
  2. Gross, M. A., & Guerrero, L. K. (2000). Managing anger and frustration in interpersonal relationships. In The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice (pp. 325-347). Jossey-Bass.
  3. Kassinove, H., & Tafrate, R. C. (2002). The treatment of anger and aggression. American Psychological Association.
  4. Kopp, S., & Zimmermann, P. (2019). Relaxation techniques. In Evidence-Based Psychotherapy (pp. 101-120). Springer.
  5. Lerner, J. S., Dahl, R. E., Hariri, A. R., & Taylor, S. E. (2015). Facial expressions of emotion reveal neuroendocrine and cardiovascular stress responses. Biological Psychiatry, 77(4), 285-292.
  6. Chida, Y., & Steptoe, A. (2009). The association of anger and hostility with future coronary heart disease: A meta-analytic review of prospective evidence. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 53(11), 936-946.