Fifteen Quick Anger Busters

taking charge of anger

  1. Count colors. Instead of counting to ten, try counting colors. See if you can find at least twelve different colors.
  2. Growl. Find somewhere to be alone. Growl like a bear. Make it a long, loud growl.
  3. Have a piece of gum. Always keep sugarless gum handy. Chew away your anger.
  4. Thought stopping. When you start to get angry, yell at yourself, “Stop!”
  5. Go west by sailing east. When you are angry at someone, don’t take the most direct route towards him. Take the long way. Walk around the block, go to your room and back, or go to the restroom for a cool down, then approach him.
  6. Create a therapeutic ritual. When you are stressed and anger is on the way, use a ritual such as pulling on your right ear three times, open and close your fist five times, or whistle a tune.
  7. Make a vow of silence. Promise yourself to be quiet until the anger passes.
  8. Chant a personal mantra. Repeat a favorite saying several times. For instance, “Tomorrow will be a better day,” or “I know I’m a good person.”
  9. Forgive others. When you forgive others for their mistakes, you eventually feel better.
  10. Write in your Gratitude journal. When things aren’t going well, write something positive in a journal. Think of things for which you are grateful.
  11. Look in the mirror. You will not like the looks of your “angry face.”
  12. Are you 100% sure? Always ask yourself this question before reacting.
  13. Try ‘tube breathing.’ Make a tube shape with your tongue, breathe deeply through mouth, hold for five seconds, and exhale through nose. Do this three times.
  14. Where’s that photo? Keep a photo of someone you love and respect, such as a grandparent. When you are upset, look at the photo and ask, “What would he/ she want me to do?”
  15. Pressure point. Take your thumb and middle finger and squeeze together tightly for five to ten seconds. Do this before saying or doing anything else.

These strategies came from the book 141 Creative Strategies for Teaching Adolescents with Anger Problems.

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