How to stop yelling when you’re angry
Contributor(s): Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a licensed psychotherapist in Wisconsin, specializing in addictions and mental health. She provides therapy for people struggling with addictions, mental health issues, and the effects of trauma, both in health care settings and in private practice settings. She received her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marquette University in 2011.
Number of sources used in this article: 8. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.
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Do you tend to express your thoughts and feelings by yelling when you are angry? If so, you’ve probably already noticed that this habit destroys your relationships with those around you, but it doesn’t help you get your way or feel better about yourself. Change your communication habits when you’re angry by learning how to let your feelings out properly, for starters. Then get back to the point and express your needs calmly and rationally. Once you’ve dealt with an attack of anger, start looking for ways to better handle your anger in the long run.
Stop mid-sentence if you notice you’re yelling. As soon as you hear yourself raising your voice, stop. Don’t even finish your sentence.
- If you learn to stop yourself before you start yelling, or when you have already started, it will help prevent hurtful words that you will regret and that can jeopardize your relationship.
Breathe deeply to calm your anger. Deep breathing promotes a relaxation response, so that after a few breaths you will feel more calm and in control of the situation.
Inhale through your nose for a few seconds, hold your breath, and then exhale through your mouth for a few seconds.
- You can count out loud or to yourself, as you like.
Take a breath of fresh air. Leave the room for a few minutes and walk around the area. Being outdoors will help you calm down and clear your thoughts, and you can deal with your anger in a more appropriate way.
How to calm down outside: Tell the person you’re talking to that you need to go outside for a few minutes. Say something like, “I need to calm down, and I can’t do that here. I’m going to go outside for a little walk.” It may seem a little rude, but the most important thing is to get out of the room before you say something you regret. You can apologize when you get back. Take a walk. Set a brisk pace to blow off steam. Concentrate on the movement of your feet and heartbeats, and breathe deeply. The movements will calm your body and eventually your mind, too. Make yourself take note of three things in your environment. It’s probably the last thing you want to do when you’re angry, but it’s still worth making yourself look at the clouds, the leaves in the trees, or the passing cars. By distracting yourself even for a moment, you ruin the dynamic of your anger.
Do some stretching to loosen up the tension. Use your time-out to relax your muscles. Stretch each muscle group by taking deep breaths. If you are familiar with yoga, you can do some asanas to release tension in the body.  X Source of Information
Stretching to relax: Twist your body from side to side. Keep your arms in a comfortable position with your elbows bent. Swing your body toward one leg, leaving your hips immobile, then slowly turn to the other side to relax your entire body. Lean toward your toes. Lean forward, relaxing your back, and reach your toes with your fingers. Keep your head and neck loosely down and relaxed. It’s okay if you can’t touch your toes – just reach where you can. This pose will help you let go of your anger. Open your hips. Spread your legs wider than your shoulders and bend at the knees. Place your palms directly above your knees and straighten one arm. Tilt your body to the other side to feel a stretch in your hip and groin. Hold for 10 seconds and then change sides. Often muscle tension is concentrated in the thighs, so stretching exercises like these will help you get rid of it.
Think before you speak. If you tend to yell when you’re angry, you’re probably an “emotional conversationalist.” Which means that you tend to speak or act based on feelings and instincts rather than rational thought about the situation.
Thinking a little about what you want to say first will help you gauge your own reaction and communicate more calmly.
Apologize for yelling. Show your goodwill toward your interlocutor and apologize. Explain to him or her that you realize you shouldn’t have yelled and would like to discuss the matter in a more civilized manner in the future.  X Source of Information
How to apologize: Take a deep breath. It is incredibly difficult to stop yourself in a fit of anger and express your regrets. Close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath, and regain control of your emotions. Start with a calm word. Begin your apology by saying something like “Okay” or “Okay.” This signals to your interlocutor that you are changing your tone and will also help you calm down. Be honest and sincere. Tell your interlocutor that you are very sorry you started yelling and that you have anger control issues. Ask to start the conversation again and try to express your thoughts better.
- Whispering has a dual purpose: it helps to keep your voice at the right volume, and also ensures that the person you are talking to listens to your words and can understand what you are saying.
Such words only inflame conflict, because
- “I-messages” allow you to take responsibility for your own feelings instead of blaming everything on your interlocutor.
- It may take you a while to reach this point, but don’t give up. If you realize you’re already screaming or it’s about to happen, remind yourself of your rule and try to calm down.
Learn to notice the signals of anger. Pay attention to the sensations in your body. This will help you identify when you begin to get angry so you can take the necessary steps to deal with your condition.  X Trusted Source American Psychological Association Go to Source
How to become receptive to your own anger: Recognize the physical signs of anger. Observe your behavior for a week and write down how you feel when you become angry. For example, your heartbeat may increase, your face may turn red, or you may sweat more. Take stock of how you feel during the day. Periodically take notes of how you feel, so that you can understand how you feel and react at any given moment. You can even use a special mobile app to do this, or measure your state on an “anger scale” that you can easily find online. Immediately catch the signs of anger and deal with it quickly. When you realize you’re starting to get angry, make a conscious effort to acknowledge and calm your feelings before they spiral out of control.
Resolve problems immediately, don’t let them pile up. If you’re the type of person who tends to pile up problems until they pour over the edge in the form of screaming, change tactics.
- For example, instead of getting mad at your husband if he has not done his chores for the third time in a week, discuss the issue immediately on the day of the first incident.
- Try to do at least one relaxation exercise every day for 10-15 minutes.
- Eat three meals a day, prioritizing healthy and nutritious foods.
- Get enough sleep (sleep 7-9 hours every night).
- Take at least some time to relax and do things you enjoy.
Talk to someone you trust. Perhaps all you need to relieve tension or figure out appropriate ways to deal with anger or problems is a partner, relative or friend who is willing to listen. Instead of harboring your anger within yourself, turn to people who can give you support. If you don’t have someone you can trust around you, consider talking about the reasons for your anger with a psychologist.  X Source of Information
How to open up Sit in a quiet, safe place. Ask a close friend or relative to be with you when you are both in a quiet place. Choose a quiet place where no one will bother you. This could be, for example, your room or a quiet park. Be honest. Tell the person you are talking to about your anger and how you feel when you yell. You can discuss the steps you are taking to overcome the habit and the difficulties you are facing. A loved one will be able to give you some advice or just listen. It’s okay to ask for help. If you talk to someone about how you feel, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to ask them for advice – you may just need someone to talk to. But if you do want some advice, don’t hesitate to ask. The person will respect you for asking for help, and will probably give some helpful advice.
How to tame the anger and not to snap at loved ones
It is almost impossible to protect yourself from stressful situations. But learning to manage emotions and relieve stress without harming others is quite real. We tell you how to stop snapping at those closest to you
Anger is an innate self-defense mechanism. That is why it is so difficult to control. And if we consider that stressful situations happen to us almost every day, even the most balanced people periodically lose their temper, giving vent to the accumulated aggression. In this case, most often the family members fall into the hot hand. Here are a few proven ways that will help maintain health, nerves and relationships with loved ones.
Count to ten
If you feel irritated or angry, take several deep breaths. According to Harvard professor Andrew Weil, proper breathing is the key to self-healing. When a person is angry, they breathe frequently and shallowly, or they hold their breath altogether. If we begin to breathe measuredly and deeply, tension recedes. The most common way is to slowly count to ten while concentrating on your breathing. Try to make the exhalations longer than the inhalations. So you will not only lower the level of adrenaline, but also distract from what is disturbing you. In addition, this technique is very effective in the fight against insomnia.
Find a way to distract yourself
Shifting your attention away from the object of aggression is paramount, according to psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema of the University of Michigan. Going over unpleasant situations in our heads makes us nervous and provokes another attack of anger. Research by Professor Brad Bushman of Ohio University confirms this: if a person remembers something hurtful, he or she reacts more acutely to even the most minor annoyance. Thus, Bushman’s students’ essays were criticized by a “fake” student. Then some were asked to beat the punching bag and think about the offender, while others were asked to concentrate on their own movements. The test takers from the first group turned out to be more aggressive and vindictive.
Take a little time out.
When highly emotionally aroused, people tend to evaluate a situation inadequately. If you feel you are raising your voice, take a time out. This will help you avoid saying things you’ll regret later. Think about what you want to convey to the person you’re talking to, and most importantly, how to do it without throwing a tantrum. The best solution would be a 20-minute walk alone. It will allow you to distract and give anger an outlet without hurting yourself or others. Try to walk at a brisk pace and pay attention to everything that is going on around you. Instead of walking, you can dance, go to a workout or do some stretching. When you come back, you can calmly continue the conversation.
If you have already started to say hurtful words, find the strength to stop and not to continue. This will save not only nerves but also relationships with loved ones. Return your temper in different ways. Before you throw out negative emotions, pause and look carefully at the person whom you want to offend. Chances are, in front of you is someone who needs your support and love. Think about it and try to look at your reaction from the outside. It is also helpful to go to the mirror and look at yourself during another outburst of anger. Memorize what you look like and think back every time you want to snap into a scream.
Understand the reason for your anger
Artificially maintaining a good mood and suppressing your worries is bad for your health, according to psychologists. And, on the contrary, displaying emotions reduces stress levels and increases immunity. This conclusion was made by Professor Giora Keinan of Tel Aviv University. It is very important to learn to accept your feelings and express them correctly. Experts in emotionally focused therapy say that anger is often a secondary emotion that masks fear, anxiety, shame or guilt. Listen to yourself. If you’re afraid of something, you can intentionally shake your whole body by relaxing your muscles. If you feel resentment, cry. If you’re annoyed, scream into a pillow or play heavy metal.
Study the “triggers” and stages of your anger: what situations most often provoke anger? It is also useful to pay attention to the physical reactions that precede an attack of rage. These may include clenching of the jaw, rapid heartbeat, changes in skin color, increased sweating, throbbing in the temples, a slight tingling in the neck or shoulders. Observe these sensations carefully: when do they occur and how do they go away? This knowledge will help you stay focused and calm in any situation. If you feel that you are beginning to “boil over,” use the techniques described above. Over time, the right reactions to anger will become automatic.
Share with loved ones
Another way to get your emotions under control is to seek support from loved ones. Overcoming obstacles alone is much more difficult. Tell them about your bouts of irritability, and that you are trying to work on yourself. Explain that you regret the breakdowns, and realize how important it is to learn to solve problems in a more civilized way. This way you’ll make it clear that your loved ones’ feelings and relationships are very important to you. Most likely, they will not only listen carefully and try to understand, but also give some useful recommendations. You can also ask family members to praise you every time you managed to contain negative emotions.
Come up with a stop word.
Find a way to remind yourself that it’s time to stop. For example, come up with a stop word with your loved ones. If one of you says it, both of you are trying to end the argument. This will not solve the disagreement, but will avoid pointless insults and move on to a constructive discussion when you are calm. It’s also helpful to make a memo to yourself with a couple of sobering phrases. You can write, “Is it more important for me to voice my displeasure or save the relationship?” Always keep the record handy and reread it to reduce the emotional heat at the right moment. Being able to stop an argument seems like a weakness to some people, although it is a sign of strength.
Make a diary of emotions
What can not be expressed aloud, you can write on paper. This not only helps get rid of destructive feelings and look at the problem from a different angle, but also a great way to develop emotional intelligence. Try for a month to keep an “anger diary”. Write down there all the cases of angry outbursts, their reasons and the emotions you have experienced. Do not be shy in expressions. Soon you will notice that you became better at distinguishing your states and feelings. And most importantly – you will be able to deliberately avoid those situations that most often cause attacks of anger. By the way, such a diary does not have to be kept on paper. You can use one of the mobile applications.
Reconsider your daily routine
A common cause of breakdowns is chronic stress. Maybe you don’t get enough sleep, don’t move enough, don’t eat right, or don’t know how to switch from work to rest. Take your anger as a signal that something needs to change. Try to take time each day to stay physically and emotionally healthy. You can think of a pleasant soothing hobby, spend time with people you love more often, learn meditation or yoga. Most likely, after a good rest, the problem won’t seem so significant anymore. If you can’t cope with attacks of aggression alone, we advise you to seek help from a psychotherapist.