How to Deal with Anger: Causes of Anger & Coping Strategies

How to deal with anger in a healthy way, What are causes of anger, How to deal with anger in the workplace, How to deal with anger at home


Do you often find yourself feeling angry? You’re not alone. Experiencing anger is a normal and natural part of life, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy to manage. Unchecked anger can have serious consequences and negatively impact your physical, mental, and emotional health. However, understanding the causes of anger outbursts, as well as effective coping strategies, will help you take control of your anger in a healthy way. Keep reading to discover the root cause of anger and healthy ways to deal with anger at home and in the workplace.

What are Causes of Anger?

Before diving into how to deal with anger in a healthy way, it’s essential to understand the root cause of anger. Anger is a secondary emotion in that it’s typically a response to another feeling you’re experiencing: fear, worry, sadness, anxiety, etc.

For example, as a parent, you might feel worried if your child isn’t home by their curfew. You call and text them without a response. You’re worried something bad may have happened to them. When they finally pull into the driveway, you come storming out of the house, angry. But your anger is really a response to the worry you felt by not hearing from your child.  

So, what are causes of anger? Physiological triggers, environmental factors, stressors from work or school, interpersonal relationships, and unresolved issues can all ignite your anger response. The root cause of anger is whatever you’re feeling at the time you react with an outburst. When equipped with knowledge about yourself and the types of situations that trigger your anger, you can become empowered to handle those intense feelings in a healthier way. 

How to deal with anger in a healthy way, What are causes of anger, How to deal with anger in the workplace, How to deal with anger at home


How to Deal with Anger in a Healthy Way

Understanding the causes of anger outbursts is the first step toward managing them. The next step is finding healthy ways to deal with anger. Family frustrations, work stress, and internal conflicts can cause anger and frustration. Here are the best coping strategies for navigating these situations.

Strategies for How to Deal with Anger in the Workplace

Whether you love your job or not, there will be times you experience anger in the workplace. Perhaps you’re stressed about an upcoming project or annoyed with a co-worker. Whatever primary emotion you’re feeling, anger may be your response. When that happens, try these strategies for how to deal with anger in the workplace

  • Take deep breaths and count to 10 slowly. This will help you to slow your heart rate and allow your body to relax. 
  • Write down your feelings and frustrations. Getting all your thoughts on paper without hurting someone’s feelings or venting to other co-workers is essential. You don’t want to say or do something you can’t take back. 
  • Take your 10 and go for a walk. Sometimes you need to separate yourself from the situation to regain perspective and decide how to respond (other than in anger).
  • Get up from your desk for a change of scenery. If you can’t go outside, at least get a change of scenery by leaving your desk or wherever the frustrating circumstance is taking place.
  • Reflect on what triggered your anger. Once you take some deep breaths, write down your feelings, and take a walk, you can reflect on what triggered your anger response. What emotions were you feeling that led to you wanting to respond in anger? Reflecting on what occurred leading up to the event and having open conversations with coworkers about how best everyone can work together are essential to managing anger within the office environment.

Strategies for How to Deal with Anger at Home

Whether you live with roommates, a significant other, your parents, or your kids, experiencing anger at home is common. Perhaps you’re annoyed with your spouse for asking you to help with dinner after a long day at work. Or maybe you’re feeling disrespected because your roommates never pick up after themselves. When these things happen, you may be triggered to respond in anger. Try these strategies for how to deal with anger at home instead.  

  • Take a time-out. Before you express your needs or concerns, put yourself in time-out. Go to your room and let yourself calm down, so you can choose a better response than anger.
  • Use “I” statements. When we’re angry with someone, it’s easy to put all the blame on them: “You never do the dishes.” “You don’t respect how hard I work all day.” While that may be how you feel, dealing with anger means reframing how you speak to people in your home. Try using “I” statements. “I feel like I’m constantly doing the dishes and picking up after everyone.” “I feel disrespected when I come home from work and am instantly asked to do a chore.” Not only will using “I” statements help you reframe your anger, but it will improve communication with your friends and family at home too.
  • Prioritize exercise. When it comes to how to deal with anger at home, some of the best strategies are things you can do outside the home. For example, if you constantly get angry with your kids when you get home from work, try going to the gym before you head home. Exercising can help reduce feelings of anger and frustration in the moment–and regular exercise can help relieve feelings of anger altogether. 
  • Try meditation. This can help reduce feelings of anger and can even be a group activity–something you do with the people who trigger your anger in the first place. By intentionally focusing on relaxation and calming breathwork, you can become aware of triggers and constructive ways to de-escalate. When we give ourselves permission to pause, pause again, and just breathe deeply, it creates an opportunity to calmly investigate our feelings before taking action or responding to difficult emotions. Doing so helps promote respect and understanding within family relationships, leading everyone away from negative communication patterns and toward peaceful coexistence.

Strategies for How to Deal with Anger Toward Yourself

If you’re feeling angry with yourself, remember there are underlying emotions causing you to feel that way. Do you feel disappointed in yourself? Sad about your lack of meaningful friendships? Stressed about your financial situation? Try these strategies for how to deal with anger and frustration toward yourself.

  • Allow yourself to feel angry. You’re human. Humans experience anger. It is normal, so you don’t need to try to suppress it. Allow yourself to feel it so it loses its power over you.
  • Identify the causes of anger. The best way to deal with anger is to understand why you feel that way. Then you can work to solve the underlying issues that trigger your anger response. 
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, visualizing peaceful scenes, or yoga are all very effective and healthy ways to deal with anger.  
  • Do activities that bring you joy. While you don’t want to suppress your anger, sometimes redirecting your focus can help you process your feelings in a more constructive way. Learning how to respond instead of react when feeling triggered with strong emotions ultimately leads to gaining control over how we handle anger towards ourselves.

Try Strategies for Reducing Anger Today

By understanding the causes of anger outbursts and striving for better ways of dealing with them, you can become more mindful, emotionally aware, and in control of how you respond to those triggers. It’s important to take time for yourself and create a healthy outlet for your anger through practices such as writing it down, expressing yourself actively, or taking a breather until you’re able to think clearly. And while this may feel manageable now, remember that nobody can face these struggles alone–sometimes seeking help from an expert therapist is a great way to find tangible solutions and build strategies for managing difficult emotions. Try one of these coping strategies and healthy ways to deal with anger today to understand, release, and process your anger in a productive way.