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40 Ways to Let Go of Anger Right Now

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” ~Buddha

Anger is merciless.

It leaves you feeling torn up inside.

Your head pounds. Your jaw locks. And your muscles scream. Every inch reels in pain with the electric shock that shoots through you.

You can’t eat, or sleep, or function like a rational human being.

You’ve good reason to be afraid of unleashing that screaming monster of rage lurking inside you. You’ll likely lose control, lash out, and retaliate.

Even though you have been wronged, you’ll end up feeling guilty, ashamed, even horrified by your reaction. That’s one more regret your peace of mind wouldn’t stand.

But sometimes the person you’re enraged with is yourself. That’s a doubly painful blow of anger and self-disgust.

Being angry is exhausting . . . and yet you’ve found the energy to keep it alive for months, even years.

I have too. Oh sure.

I devoted the first half of my life to being angry, silently seething, and ever resentful. I’d periodically explode in rage and then be consumed with shame for losing control and screaming words I could never retract.

I lived on nerves that felt like they were constantly fried with 40,000 volts. That was a hideous way to be.

And for the longest time, that burning fury that raged inside me seemed totally justified. All that bitter resentment, well, “what else should I feel?” my thoughts screamed. No chance to be a kid, no carefree years, blissfully unaware of some of the bad things that could happen in life. They were right there, every day. They stole my childhood.

Growing up in an unpredictable, unhappy environment was the pits. I hated it, hated not being able to escape, and hated everyone involved because they were old enough to know better. They denied me my childhood.

My anger was borne out of having had no control of those events; my resentment grew out of a sense of loss. Oh boy, bitterness is so corrosive.

All that anger, all that resentment had to go for me to have any chance of happiness.

So with a newfound rationality, I learned to listen to my angry thoughts. I heard the pain and sadness wrapped in every one. I recognized the self-harm my anger was inflicting. I realized I’d been the one keeping alive those events and people that had hurt me, and I alone had the power to decide their time was over.

And that feels incredible.

I very much want that for you too. To be free. To let go of all that resentment, anger, and rage.

How? With one small anger-conquering action at a time.

40 Ways to Let Go of Anger

1. Look at your rulebook.

If you never explained your rules to the person who angered you, how can you be upset that they broke them? Maybe their rules are different.

2. Use aromatherapy to create a calm environment.

Candles and diffusers alleviate stress and anxiety. Or try a couple of calming drops of essential lavender oil on your pillow.

3. Buy a recordable alarm clock.

Wake up to a soothing self-recorded message. Alternatively, use an app.

4. Recognize that others say and do harsh things out of jealousy.

Change your anger to compassion because they are obviously struggling with their own negative emotions.

5. Personalize a keep-calm mug.

Choose some anger-defeating text for your mug. Use it at work or home.

6. Let your anger fizzle out with a bath-bomb.

Relax in a warm bath as you watch the bath-bomb and your anger fizzle away.

7. Quiet your anger.

If you’re likely to fall into a rage when speaking up, say nothing at all. “Silence is sometimes the best answer.” ~Dalai Lama

8. Visualize your anger as a drop of water.

Close your eyes and see your mind as a crystal-blue ocean of calm. See your anger as a single drop of water falling into your calm ocean, barely causing a ripple before being absorbed.

9. Create a universe of peace in your bedroom.

Make a night sky with luminous stars and planets. Lie on your bed with the lights off, and pick a star to project your anger onto. Now re-focus to see the whole galaxy with your anger as a tiny dot among a universe of peace.

10. Put your anger to bed.

Anxiety and irritability are instigated by lack of sleep. More sleep can be as effective as conscious meditation. “Sleep is the best meditation.” ~Dalai Lama

11. Take responsibility for your anger.

Someone can influence your anger response, but only you control it.

12. See your anger as a boiling kettle.

Flick the switch to off as if you were turning off your anger. Let your temper cool down like the kettle.

13. Look at who you’ve become.

See how letting go will allow you to be true to yourself and finally at peace.

14. Paint an angry mouth on an hourglass egg timer.

Now paint a happy mouth on the other half. Turn your angry mouth upside down and watch the happy mouth fill.

15. Understand that you are only hurting yourself.

“Holding onto anger is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ~Unknown

16. Recognize their inner angst.

This is the real reason they acted like they did. Heal your anger by setting out to help them feel better about themselves.

17. Blow up a dozen balloons.

Write an angry thought on each one and step on them until they pop, leaving only the shredded remnants of your deflated anger.

18. See your anger as a runaway horse.

Imagine it trying to break out of your “mind paddock.” Rein it in.

19. Use wise words to halt angry words.

In confrontational situations, remember: “Speak in anger and you will have made the best speech you will regret.” ~Dr. Laurence J. Peter

20. Wear a calming color.

Avoid confrontational colors like red and black. Instead wear calming blue or soothing green.

21. Have a calming message engraved on a ring.

Avoid anger by playing with your ring and thinking of those soothing words.

22. Use a mirror for self-reflection.

Look in the mirror and let your anger out. “The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.” ~Unknown

23. Shred a physical representation of your anger.

Take those hurtful letters, print off those emails, or write out your angry thoughts. Push the pages through a shredder, and reduce your anger to tatters.

24. Record yourself describing your anger.

Capture your angry thoughts on your phone or computer. Listen back to this as if it were a good friend telling you theirs. Offer yourself the empathetic advice you would give a friend.

25. Repeat a happy mantra.

Regain control of your emotions by repeating, “I’m a happy person who does not see the benefit of staying angry.”

26. Choose a positive, healthy outlet.

Use feel-good endorphins to dispel anger by going for a run or singing loudly and dancing energetically.

27. Express your anger to a friend.

A supportive environment can be hugely beneficial in getting your emotions out safely.

28. Use a self-hypnosis video.

Hypnosis can help you get your anger under control. Alternatively, try a registered hypnotherapist.

29. Shift your perspective.

If you cannot change the events that have made you angry, change your perspective for the sake of your peace of mind.

30. Take a soothing shower.

Wash away your anger with calming ylang ylang or chamomile shower gel.

31. Personify your anger.

Imagine it as a fiery-tempered troll in your path. Push it away.

32. Remind yourself that you have a choice.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.” ~Viktor E. Frankl. Decide that your response will not be anger.

33. Keep this quote on you at all times:

“He who angers you, conquers you.” ~Elizabeth Kenny. Repeat it to yourself when you feel anger rising, or pull it out and read if possible.

34. Take a step back.

In a confrontational situation, physically take a step back.

35. Be honest with yourself.

What are you achieving by holding on to anger? Is it a case of injured pride that you would really love to swap for forgiveness?

36. Picture angry thoughts as bitter, poisonous seeds.

Stop these from taking root in your mind. Instead, raise a happy, forgiving “mind garden” by populating your thoughts with anger-defeating quotes.

 37. Plant a garden of compassion.

Take the idea above a step further with a flower border or window box. For your own well-being, plant a flower for anyone who has angered you to signify your wish to forgive them.

38. Weed out your anger.

When you tend your Garden of Compassion, picture each weed you root out as further uprooting your anger.

39. Seek help to defeat your anger.

If you feel stuck in a cycle of resentment and anger, consider taking a course.

40. Laugh at your anger.

“People are too serious. All the time, too serious.” ~Dalai Lama. Anger is sometimes just injured self-pride. It’s not easy, but try not taking yourself so seriously.

Beat Your Inner Anger Monster for Good

Being angry has stolen your happiness for too long.

It’s eaten you up from the inside and shattered your peace of mind.

It’s even affected your health.

But worse still, it’s allowed the person or events that caused your anger to have power over you.

Just imagine getting through a whole day without losing your temper.

Imagine that seething resentment disappearing, leaving you feeling liberated of all those toxic thoughts.

Imagine being able to react with forgiveness instead of rage and being able to respond by letting go rather than clinging on to old hurts and wrongs.

By taking small, simple actions, you can take great leaps in beating your anger monster for good.

Try to be open-minded in letting these ideas speak to you. Pick the ones that shout loudest.

Put yourself back in charge of your emotions, your life, and your happiness.

Happy woman image via Shutterstock

About Laura Tong

Laura Tong is a regular contributor on The Huffington Post and other top blogs. Grab her free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict). Laura also hosts the Re-write The Rules In Your Life interview series where she shares awesome happiness and positivity tips from experts around the world. Click here to listen free to the latest episodes.

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  • This is a great post! Anger is my first reaction to bad news, and only then I feel hurt. But I let go of anger really fast – it is the hurting I cannot let go of. Thanks for these tips, still.

  • for sure didnt know about some of these, probably can be quite helpful for the future to remember!

  • qeurich

    Nailed it in one – as in number 1!

    And you’ve got a good Buddhism mindset going with #36. There are whole lessons on bijas (seeds) and only watering the ones that support living in a wholesome way.

    Great job with the list!

  • Great article Laura! Loved all the tips and I’ll for sure remember this quote: “He who angers you, conquers you.” 🙂

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks for commenting Schnauzevoll. Glad some of these strategies appeal to you. I’d try just one or two at a time and keep the ones that work best for you.Depending on what has made me angry, I often use the boiling kettle, the forgiving mind garden and compassion for others through where their words or actions have really stemmed from.

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks querich. I totally agree. If we’re able to see that others have different ideas, rules, values etc etc, anger making situations will pop into our lives so much less often. And speaking up to let others know your rules, now that’s going to take it down even further. I use the seed idea in several areas of life such as positive thoughts, actions that will move me on to where I want to be and also compassion, including self-compassion. It’s such a great way to visualize great things coming from tiny thoughts and actions.

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks Maria. So pleased that some of these strategies resonated with you. That’s such a great quote because it’s one that’s so simple to remember and say quietly, or aloud, whatever the situation.

  • Rob K

    This is a fantastic list! My 2 favorites are to breathe consciously and to write it out. Those both produce calming effects in me.

  • Ann Davis

    This is a great list. I do #24. I have several videos. 🙂

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks Rob. You’re spot on with these two strategies – delighted you’ve found some that work well for you. Writing out your thoughts and then destroying the paper in a way that feels good to you can be very cathartic.

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks Ann. It’s excellent that you’ve found such a powerful strategy works for you. I’m always amazed at how different I look and sound when playing back video or audio, it really is like watching or listening to someone else – I find this really helps with being able to look more objectively at the situation.

  • Awesome post Laura! It’s different for me as anger is transformed into a lonely sadness very fast but I’ve had 1 major anger outburst at the construction workers who were totally messing up their job in my house and who were totally disrespectful to me. I ‘solved’ it by going out of my mind, screaming, cursing and being totally outraged…on the phone…in the middle of the supermarket… I remember hanging up and not being able to stop laughing because it had been so ridiculous but liberating at the same time 🙂

  • Nicki Lee

    Great suggestions, Laura! I’ve been working on visualization (it does not come naturally to me), and #8 looks especially promising.

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks for your kind words Linda. And great to hear you found a way to get your anger out that left you feeling way better. Suppressing angry thoughts is extremely unhealthy mentally and physically, it’s awlays better to express your feelings than not. Hopefully some of these strategies might also appeal to you for another occasion when you might not fancy the same ‘solution’. Enjoy.

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks Nicki. Good luck with practicing your visualization technique. An actual visual aid can be super helpful, especially if it’s a new area for you. Physically letting a drop of water fall into a still bath or pond can also help start you off with an image to work from. Any of these strategies can be adapted if there is something that resonates more with you. Happy visualizing.

  • Nicki Lee

    That’s an awesome idea. I will give it a try. Thanks, Laura!

  • Lynn H

    Hi Laura, thanks for sharing a wealth of ideas for letting go of anger. I admire the simplicity of them, which would seem to be especially valuable for something as volatile as anger.

    Well done!

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks Lynn. I often find it’s the simplest ideas that work best for me, probably because the simpler they are, the better I can focus on the point of the strategy. The idea of including a long list of strategies is two fold: some will appeal more than others and also some work better in different situations such as when anger presents as rage, fury, silent seething or resentment. Thanks for joining this discussion.

  • Thanks for this Laura. I was one of those people who had a hard time expressing anger. Angry emotions were “bad” and were not to be expressed. Instead, they were denied and/or buried. Over time I learned, like you, that the emotion of anger was there to show me something. And it was always about pain that needed to be healed.
    Your great post reminds me of a book that helped me a lot. You know how most books have a short shelf life? Well, this one keeps getting reprinted, even after 30 years. It’s by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. and it’s titled “The Dance of Anger.” This seemed like a good opportunity to share a resource that, like your post, might make a real difference.
    Thanks again for your wisdom.

  • Great suggestions Laura and Mark. I like the garden of compassion idea, and I’ve also gained a lot in terms of managing all kinds of emotions from self-hypnosis.

    Another idea I like to use to put anger and other negative emotions into perspective is imagining how important the issue will be in 6 months, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years’ time. Very rarely does anything make it past the 6 month mark, let alone the others, and so it helps me to remind myself that what matters in the ‘heat’ of the moment, is unlikely to be something that I’ll even remember in a few years’ time. Thanks for sharing.

  • Wonderful post, Laura and Mark! Love the quote by Buddha! What a wonderfully creative and diverse list! I’ll have to keep a few favorite ones in mind to use.

  • LaTrice Dowe

    Laura. I want to thank you for sharing your story and providing creative ways to control your anger. It’s very difficult to move forward with animosity and resentment, especially when someone did you wrong. Even if there was no apology given, their actions adds more fuel to the fire.

    I like to be upfront and honest with my feelings. If I know that someone did me wrong, I’ll confront them. I’m not fond of confrontation, but they need to know how their actions affected me in a negative way. My goal is to live a drama-free life, so I can live and be happy.

    Life’s too short.

  • Joanne Meredith

    I loved reading this. It was so true to what I am currently feeling at this moment in time and I have really taken on board some great advice from you – thank you for sharing

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks Cherryl. I’m delighted this post resonated with you.

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks Linda for sharing your experience and a great book that helped you out, that’s such a great contribution to this discussion.

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks Latrice. We totally share a life goal – to live a drama free life. And well done you for speaking up about your feelings, that isn’t always easy and takes courage. Enjoy living happy 🙂

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks for joining this discussion Joanne. I’m absolutely delighted that some of the strategies appealed to you. I wish you every success in letting go of your anger and moving into a happier place.

  • Laura J Tong

    Thanks Ellen for adding another great strategy that will really help others in letting go of their anger. Putting a painful event or conversation into perspective is a sure way to let go of the pain it caused. A brilliant contribution Ellen, thank you.

  • Secret

    LOVE IT =)

  • Mithila Vaidya

    loved point no. 1

  • Sarah

    The quote is actually, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” ~Buddha

  • Jessica

    I needed to see this list and I’m glad I did. After many, many years of being angry all the time, I thought my life was doomed to always be this way. #8 was especially effective. After trying it I could feel all negativity dissipate. Thank you, truly. <3

  • Lillian

    I laugh at myself in the mirror and turning your bedroom into outer space

  • Rose

    A very inspirational and helpful article. I could almost feel the anger fading from my body. Thank you Laura

  • Rose

    A very inspirational and helpful article. I could almost feel the anger fade away and I found a reason to be happy again and let go of the past. Thank you Laura.