The 5 Best Ways to Deal With Anger

Did you know angry people are three times more likely than calmer ones to have a heart attack? Protect your health with these five tips on how to keep your cool.

View as Slideshow

First: What's going on in the angry brain?

First: What's going on in the angry brain?
When we get mad, our brain's more rational prefrontal lobes shut down, and its reflexive back areas take over. Hormonal and cardiovascular responses kick in. We pump out cholesterol and a group of chemicals called catecholamines, which encourage fatty deposits to pile up in the heart and carotid arteries. It’s no surprise, then, that angry people are three times more likely to have a heart attack than those less prone to fury. The fight-or-flight response can prompt your nervous system to cut blood flow to your stomach and divert it to your muscles, impacting digestion secretions. Stress can also increase stomach acids. And anger causes a surge in the stress hormone cortisol, which bumps up oil production and leads to acne and other skin problems. During prolonged and frequent eruptions of rage, parts of the nervous system become highly activated, which can affect our immune systems over time. So, how can we avoid all this?

1. Retrain your brain.

1. Retrain your brain.
Cognitive restructuring, or “thought stopping,” involves challenging your take on anger-inducing scenarios and reevaluating irrational beliefs.

2. Book an appointment.

2. Book an appointment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you learn to spot anger triggers and to control reactions.

Content continues below ad

3. Breathe deep.

3. Breathe deep.
Bliss out with breathing exercises—they help slow your heart rate and keep your mind focused on something other than the source of your stress.

4. Sweat it out.

4. Sweat it out.
Exercise provides an outlet for aggression and stimulates feel-good brain chemicals.

5. Medicate.

5. Medicate.
If anger is a symptom of a bigger problem such as depression, prescription drugs could be a solution. Check with your doctor.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy