Feeling angry

We all get angry. It’s a normal, natural response to feeling hurt or threatened by situations, other people, and sometimes even ourselves. Anger isn’t always bad. It can motivate us to solve problems, make changes and improve our lives. While we can’t always predict or control our emotional reactions, we can manage our response.

Breathe

A reactive state can make it tough to make sound decisions. The best thing to do is to breathe, and if possible, step away from the cause of our anger. That’s how we gain perspective and start to find solutions.

 

 

Reflect

There are two things we should never do in a moment of anger: lash out at the source of that anger or hold it in without examining it. Our emotions often tell us something important, so take the time to ask a few important questions.

Is the anger you’re feeling really about the “thing” that triggered it or is there something bigger going on with our state of mind or other issues in our lives?  Understanding the root of our anger can help us figure out how to best cope with it.

We all have bad days, and there’s always the chance that the people who contributed to our anger are actually going through something themselves. Often, being supportive and understanding works better than lashing out.

Acting on anger in the moment rarely leads to a good outcome, but sometimes it’s hard to see that when we’re dealing with intense feelings. Think about a past reaction that led to negative consequences and how can you avoid that outcome now. Or remember a time when you dealt with anger constructively, leading to a positive outcome. Can that approach help you deal with current feelings?

We often have no control over what makes us angry. But regardless of the source of our anger, it’s important to develop ways of coping. Other times, we need to make positive changes in our lives and routines to lessen or prevent situations that contribute to our anger. Learn about coping skills here.

If you’re feeling angry more frequently, or reactions to that anger are impacting your quality of life, it’s important to reach out for help. Anger can be a symptom of mental health conditions like depression or anxiety disorders that are best managed with the support of a mental health professional. Learn more about these conditions here.

Learn

Thanks to research, we now know a lot about anger, what causes it, how it impacts us physically and emotionally, and how we can manage it.

Learning about anger can help us better understand its role in our own lives.

Videos to get started

Connect

Talking about anger helps. You can start the conversation with a friend or family member, access one of the resources below or browse the full directory here.

When contacting a resource below, any information you provide will be collected and used by that resource, subject to its end user terms and conditions and privacy policy. Please contact the applicable resource if you would like more information.
Resource Type Contact
Crisis Text Line

Have a free, confidential chat with a trained counselor. Available 24/7.

Text Line Text ACTION to 741-741
Lifeline

Call for a free, confidential conversation with a trained counselor. Available 24/7.

Call Line 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Warmline Directory

A Warmline is a free peer-run hotline that offers callers emotional support, staffed by volunteers with lived experience. 

Website Find a Warmline
Inclusive Therapists

Inclusive Therapists offers a safer, simpler way to find a culturally responsive, social justice-oriented therapist.

Website Visit website
ADAA Therapist Search

A tool to help find local mental health services, including teletherapy options. 

Website Visit website
BetterHelp

A paid online portal that provides access to mental health services, including online counseling, phone, and text communication. 

Website Visit website
Talkspace

A paid online text therapy platform that provides 24/7 access to licensed therapists who cover a broad range of mental health services. 

Website Visit website

Need help now?

If feelings of anger interfere with your quality of life and last for several weeks, reach out to a mental health professional for support.