Manage Anger for a Healthier Life

By Mae Davies / September 2, 2014
Manage Anger for a Healthier Life

So here’s your daily routine – you come to work, check your emails, and read an email that raises your eyebrows and definitely your high blood pressure. You stand up and attempt to forget about it, but you meet a co-worker whose mood exactly matches yours and you’re both off to a long day of ranting and name-calling sessions. Imagine this setup 5 times a week for 2 years. While it is normal to get angry, people do not realize the adverse effects of constantly giving in to anger and expressing it inappropriately. When the part of the brain that deals with emotions gets triggered, it sends signals to the body that releases stress hormones, causing people to react differently. Some choose to express their anger by yelling, slamming doors, hurling something across the room, or just by suppressing their anger and walking out to avoid confrontations. The effects of anger on people depend on how they feed it and how they manage it. When it gets out of control, it can lead to a lot of problems affecting work, relationships, health, and just the overall quality of your life. Some of the short- and long-term health effects when you do not manage anger include:

  • Headache 
  • Skin problems such as acne, eczema, etc. 
  • Heart ailments 
  • Depression 
  • Insomnia manage anger

How do you manage anger?


Thomas Jefferson once said, “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” Studies show that counting distracts you from acting on your first impulse, which is most of the time destructive. It defuses your temper and allows you to be calmer so you can think about your next step. While you’re at it, try breathing in and out to calm your nerves.

Look and Listen

It is always wise to look at what happened and contemplate what caused you to get angry. Anything negative said during an outburst cannot be taken back and you might find yourself regretting it afterward. Listen to what you are about to say, and never start talking until you have thought about how that will affect you and the other person.


Remember that you HAVE to express your anger or frustration. Keeping it bottled up inside you will not and will never help you emotionally and physically. Respond to the situation by being assertive rather than aggressive. Being aggressive in your responses will not get you anywhere. People will respond better to assertive behavior because they can sense honesty and appropriateness in your actions.

Walk away

Yes. After everything has been said and done, walk away and never dwell on your anger. People who harbor grudges end up lonely, ugly, and sick. Anger isn’t bad. You just need to master the art of managing it and making sure it doesn’t live in you.

So what are you waiting for? Get that pimple out of your forehead and get rid of that annoying headache you get every single day and learn how to manage anger.

About the author

Mae Davies

BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.