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Men's Health

Anger Control for Men

Why we get angry — And why uncontrolled anger is a serious health threat
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Controlling your anger continued...

Chill out, man: Tips for cooling down

Since feeling angry is in part a physical process, you won’t be able to just talk yourself out of it logically. Instead, you need to calm yourself down physically. With these techniques, you can lower your heart rate and blood pressure as well as control your anger.

  • Take a deep breath. Breathe in and out deeply from your diaphragm, which is under your chest bone. After a minute or so, you should feel some tension ebb away. The advantage to breathing exercises is that you can do them anywhere, says Spielberger. Once you’re good at them, you can even do them in the middle of a marital spat or a staff meeting.
  • Take a break. If you feel your anger getting out of control, get a change of scenery. If possible, leave the room or go for a walk.
  • Focus on something else. Count to 10. Try imagining yourself in a calm place. Or repeat a soothing word to yourself.
  • Get some exercise. Building physical activity into your schedule can be a great stress reliever.

More serious problems with anger need to be treated. Yeah, the phrase “anger management” can sound pretty feeble and goofy. It’s often seen (and used) as a punishment, a humiliation to be endured — like doing community service picking up litter on the freeway — rather than anything you’d ever want to seek out on your own.

But if you think uncontrolled anger is interfering with your life, get help before it’s court mandated. Learn how to turn your rage into something useful. Because taming your uncontrolled anger won’t only benefit the people around you — it will make your life better and healthier too.

Like any other human emotion, it’s how you use — not abuse — anger that matters.

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Reviewed on July 01, 2007

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