How to Control Anger (Without Substances)

anger management for men

Men often rely on drugs and alcohol to suppress complex emotions instead of confronting them. As you continue muting your feelings, a worsening addiction can allow anger to build up over time until it boils over. Over time, you may become angry toward yourself for allowing the cycle of addiction to worsen, but still blame people around you for your problems.  

Substance abuse is a leading cause of domestic violence. Under the influence, you may have been aggressive toward your loved ones, physically lashing out at them or plotting to harm them. After undermining your relationships and numbing your emotions, you’ll need to find healthy outlets for coping with your anger once you are in recovery.  

Why Do So Many Men Have Anger Issues?

Anger is a normal – and sometimes appropriate – emotion. However, you should not carry so much rage and hostility that it can become overwhelming and erupt without warning.

Anger issues in men may arise due to adverse childhood experiences, trauma and underdeveloped communications skills. In a society that encourages men to repress their feelings, anger can become a defense mechanism to protect against deeply held vulnerabilities. Even if you are uncomfortable expressing yourself in any other way, anger might make you feel stronger and more powerful.  

Suppressed emotions can lead to various issues in your life. They may adversely affect your physical and mental health by causing toxic stress. Over time, your inability to deal with your feelings can undermine your relationships with your family, friends and colleagues.

Healthy Ways to Release Anger

By practicing these appropriate ways to manage and defuse anger, you can avoid stress-induced illnesses and become more pleasant to be around.

1. Learn to Walk Away

If you feel like you’re on the verge of an angry outburst, learn to step away from the situation. If you give yourself a moment to reflect and calm down, you may find a cooler head prevails.

2. Take Deep Breaths

Controlled breathing is an easy-to-learn technique you can practice anywhere, anytime. When you get stressed or panicky, your breath will become shallow, and your chest might hurt. Deep breathing helps stimulate relaxation and resets your nervous system’s response to tension. By breathing into your abdomen, you can slow your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure. Try combining your breathing exercises with yoga or meditation for additional relaxation.

3. Exercise

Exercise is the healthiest outlet for anger, with a host of benefits for your physical and mental well-being. Even a short walk around your neighborhood can release endorphins – neurotransmitters that relieve pain and create a sense of well-being.

4. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is an all-natural way to manage anger, stress and anxiety. To do this, slowly tense and relax each muscle group, starting with your toes and working your way up to your head and neck. As you do so, you should find a sense of profound peace and calm taking over.

5. Work With a Therapist

If you’ve tried other ways to cope with anger and still don’t feel any better, that’s OK. Plenty of trained professionals help people manage anger by developing real-life workable solutions, so don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek counseling. A therapist can be a neutral sounding board to validate your feelings without judgment.

Seeking Support to Manage Anger

While you can’t eliminate anger, you can change how you deal with difficult emotions. Suppressing your feelings is unhealthy and is never the answer.

At PACE Recovery Center, we believe a positive attitude changes everything. We have tailored our residential and outpatient treatment to the nuances of the common substance use and mental health issues facing young adult men. Trust our premier Orange County facility to provide the healing you need. Contact us today to learn more.