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Anger, Hostility, and Violent Behavior - Home Treatment

If you are angry, hostile, or violent, it is important to find help. You can learn ways to control your feelings and actions.

There are some things you can do to try to control any feelings of anger or hostility and avoid violence.

  • Think before you act. Take time to stop and cool down when you feel yourself becoming angry. Count to 10, or practice some other form of mental relaxation.
  • Recognize feelings that often lead to angry outbursts. Anger and hostility may be a symptom of unhappy feelings or depression about your job, your relationship, or other aspects of your personal life.
  • Come up with a reasonable explanation of why you are angry. If a person triggers your anger, suggest to yourself that perhaps the person is having a bad day.
  • Avoid situations that trigger your anger, such as doing errands at less-busy times if standing in line bothers you.
  • Express anger in a healthy way:
    • Go for a short walk or jog.
    • Draw, paint, or listen to music to release the anger.
    • Write in a daily journal.
    • Use "I" statements, not "you" statements, to discuss your anger. Say "I don't feel valued when my needs are not being met" instead of "You make me mad when you are so inconsiderate."
  • Take care of yourself.
    • Exercise regularly.
    • Eat a balanced diet. Do not skip meals.
    • Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
    • Limit your use of alcohol, and do not use illegal drugs.
    • Practice a relaxation technique such as yoga, meditation, or tai chi.
  • Explore other resources that may be available through your job or your community.
    • Contact your human resources department at work to see whether you have services available through an employee assistance program.
    • Contact your local hospital, mental health facility, or health department to see what types of programs or support groups are available in your area.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor to evaluate your feelings if your anger, hostility, or violent behavior becomes more frequent or severe.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 05, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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