Anger management exercises (Top 5)

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what are anger management exercises?”.  We will discuss the various exercises that are used for anger management. We will also elaborate on each anger management  exercise in detail . 

What are anger management exercises?

Anger management exercises  help us to learn to tame our anger responses and not let our reactivity out  of anger disturb our routine relations and daily life skills. Since anger is a strong negative emotion, when left unchecked, it can hamper our daily routine and negatively affect our productivity. We often experience isolation, health problems and abuse due to anger feelings.

Under extreme distress and traumatic experiences, we often tend to use anger to express our various negative feelings. We react with anger when we are irritable, we react with anger when we are frustrated, we react with anger when we are agitated, we react with anger when we are guilty, we react with anger when we feel regret and we often react with anger when we are sad. 

Thus anger is a negative and unpleasant way of expressing our underlying negative feelings. Many times, there are other negative and unpleasant feelings that lurk behind our anger feelings. For example we often get angry at the person we miss while talking to them on the phone.

Anger management exercises help us to overcome our routine life anger responses. However, if you feel that your anger is being uncontrollable and is affecting your life badly, it is advisable to contact a therapist and seek professional help.

Anger management exercises are ways to control our responses and manage our behaviors during anger provoking incidents. A number of most frequently used anger exercises are as below : 

  • Learn breathing
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Visualize yourself calm
  • Recognize your trigger
  • Stop and listen
  • Get moving
  • Know your body
  • Manage your thoughts
  • Talk to a friend
  • Focus on pleasurable activities
  • Seek professional support

Learn breathing

Breathing is a good exercise to manage your anger. While we are angry, our breathing gets shallow and we tend to breathe quickly. Breathing exercise for anger management enables us to get back on the breathing rhythm. We are able to breathe in a slow and relaxed manner due to breathing exercises.

Breathing involves inhaling through the nostrils and exhaling through the mouth. Often the breathing exercises include holding the breath in for a minimum of  3 to 4 seconds. 

Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is a type of relaxation activity that allows us to get rid of muscle tension in our body that we experience as a result of stress due to anger.Progressive muscle relaxation is an exercise that is recommended to decrease the strain in muscles. One by one all the muscles of the body are contracted and relaxed inorder to calm them down.

Visualize yourself calm

Visualizing yourself calm down at a peaceful place is another exercise recommended for anger management. Visualization at your favourite place like a beach, a resort or another city might help you to believe yourself to be in a safe place. Hence the anger decreases and you start feeling pleasure in life.

Recognize your trigger

Knowing what triggers your anger is a key to managing your anger. Knowing your triggers is an exercise that helps us to be self aware of our anger feelings and manage our behavior and reaction in response to the events that trigger our anger responses.

Thus recognizing and identifying our triggers can help us manage our anger without inducing negativity into the situation.

Stop and listen

It is human nature that we tend to jump to conclusions and draw negative results that are much negative while being in an argument with someone. During arguments, we often listen to reply and defend our position. Thus we are usually on the edge of feeling and behaving in a more aggressive way.

If we start practicing being attentive to the other person in an argument and listening to the other person in order to understand the scenario, the chances are that we will be less negative and less aggressive.

Thinking once before saying anything can help us to prevent our responses out of anger and be more mindful.

Get moving

Getting moving is an exercise to manage anger. Moving and being physically active helps us to channelize our negative energy and be in the present moment. It is a good way to release positive energy and keep yourself distracted from our negative feelings. 

Exercising, doing aerobics, yoga or cardio is also a great way to get moving and venting out anger feelings.

Know your body

Know your body in order to know your physiological body signs related to anger. In this way you will be alarmed only by noticing the changing condition of your body that you are feeling angry and thus you need to be on guard.

Anger accompanies many highlighted signs in our body including changes in heart rate, changes in blood pressure and changes in body temperature.

Manage your thoughts

Anger is often much related to our negative schemas, cognitive distortions and negative thinking. In order to manage anger, thought management is an exercise that focuses on thinking positively and being more optimistic in life. 

Instead of focusing on our fear, phobias, apprehensions and irrational thoughts, we need to focus more on rational thoughts and pleasant feelings. As a result, the positive thoughts will produce more positive feelings in our body.

Talk to a friend

Talking to a friend is a way of venting out your anger feelings. In this way we can constructively share the reasons behind our anger and feel alright without acting upon our reactivity and impulses. 

Social support and socialization are suggested as anger management exercises because in this way we vent out our inner build of anger and frustration and feel that we are being heard by someone.

Focus on pleasurable activities

Doing activities that please us and the things that we like is recommended in anger management. Through this anger management exercise, we tend to shift our focus from being angry and irritable to seeking pleasure and feeling good about ourselves.

For some of us, cooking feels pleasurable while for others just eating is all what matters. Listening to music, journaling, dancing, swimming and sleeping are some of the pleasurable exercises to manage anger.

Seek professional support

Seeking professional support is often required if it is not possible for an individual to manage his anger responses in a constructive way. It often happens that we start to face the negative consequences of anger in the form of disturbed relations in life and decreased productivity.

Hence seeking professional support from a therapist or a counselor is recommended to address the inner conflicts and underlying trauma that makes it difficult to manage anger otherwise.


The current blogspot was based on the question “what are anger management exercises ?”. We discussed the various anger management exercises. We also elaborated on each anger management exercise in order to understand its effectiveness.

Frequently asked questions : anger management exercises