Ask Sayeda: How can anger be controlled?

Published: May 26, 2013

I suggest that you reflect on what the issue is, and explore some ways of forgiving the people involved.

Hi Sayeda,

I really need your help. I have a problem with anger. I can’t seem to control it. If someone says something that offends me, I just blurt out whatever comes to my mind.

I end up saying things I don’t mean and raise my voice and act like a fool but only realise things after I’ve calmed down. I really hate it and want to change, can you offer some advice?

Thanks, Mad Cow.


Hello Mad Cow,

You’ve chosen an interesting name for yourself! First of all, remember that whatever name you use, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So, if you think of yourself as a “mad cow” you will behave like one. Change that!

Use a name that encourages you to feel peaceful and that will begin to change things for you. Next, think about what pushes your buttons. If a particular subject makes you upset, then make a request to avoid the discussion.

Train yourself to spot the trouble before it happens and graciously step out of the situation. The other option is to create a code word that you, your close friends and family know. Each time you find yourself getting upset, use the code word so that other people know that they need to give you some space.

Last but definitely not the least, do give some thought to what is making you so angry.

Anger is usually a secondary emotion in the sense that it is covering up some deep hurt or pain. Is there something that is unresolved from your past?

Did something happen that left you with a sense of grief or disappointment. If so, then that will definitely need to be addressed if you wish to release the anger over the long term.

I suggest that you reflect on what the issue is, and explore some ways of forgiving the people involved (including yourself if needed), so that you can put things in the past where they belong. Good luck!

Have a question for Sayeda? Drop us an email explaining your problem on [email protected] and read her response next week! All submissions will be edited for clarity and brevity.

Read more by Sayeda here

Sayeda Habib

Sayeda Habib

Sayeda Habib is a life coach who empowers her clients to create a fulfilling, happier life. To find out more on coaching, or to work with Sayeda, log on to or email [email protected]

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Tausif

    Well I have the same problem & No offense but it wasn’t helpful for me at least. Thanks!Recommend

  • Pravin

    I am sharing a meditative yogic method here.

    A surge of anger(or any intense emotion), it is generally coupled with lots of related thoughts of blaming other people involved or thoughts defending your position, etc.
    When the surge of anger rises, you should stop all kinds of defenses, blaming and naming and keep experiencing the raw emotion completely. You will notice that the surge is slowly fading away. If you practice it regularly, you will start noticing that the amount of surge is lessened and the time of the fading is also quicker.
    This happens because our behavior becomes more responsive and less reactive towards the anger.Recommend

  • Aaqib

    Well, I believe anger is controlled, when you increase your patience level. Recommend

  • Insaan

    Anger is created by one’s thoughts. Thoughts can be countered with rational thoughts. When people get focused on anger, their mental ability to deal with problem is reduced. Repetitive thoughts keep feeding the anger.

    One does not have to get angry in reaction to what ever the other person does. How becoming angry helps one deal with a problem? How can one benefit by becoming angry?
    It is a learned behavior which becomes a habit. Depending on experience one can explode with anger in few seconds.

    If some could give me a very bad situation that made them angry, I could help him see the situation in a different way. Recommend

  • Syed

    Prophet (PBUH) said something like…., If you are angry change your position, sit down if you standing, lay down if you are sitting

    Listen to detailed commentary on anger management here..

  • Mikaail

    I’m sorry but the author’s solution is pretty cosmetic. Code words? What nonsense. Having anger management issues myself, what really worked for me was to stay silent and not respond to something that made me angry. For instance, if you do get into an argument with someone or something p you off, just keep reminding yourself that you have to remain silent for a couple of minutes and not respond to something that ticked you off. Just take a few deep breaths, wait for a minute, and start over. What that does, in short term, is keep your reactive responses in check and staying quiet for a minute or two and starting over calms you down in the process. The long term effect though is that it increases your ability to be aware of your reactions and ‘control’ them, which is what you would, hopefully, achieve in the end.Recommend

  • Dr.X

    Anger is a very natural emotion. Everyone feels angry. So I shall give you an example how to control your anger. I know this very energetic but angry guy, so he invests all his energies in the athletic sports.He is like coping with his anger by investing his energies in sports/gym/swimming. He jog and go to the gym..and then he is too tired to feel any anger at all.

    Secondly, you need to find the root cause. I agree with the author. There is an underlying depression or mood disorder or adjustment disorder(some major life event like divorce, death in the family etc etc) which may be responsible for your condition. I suggest that if you are not properly able to control your anger. See a psychiatrist. He will help you with the anger.

    Third, Anger may be due to medical illness especially Hypertension or problems with thyroid or adrenal glands. Go to the physician and a good physician will help you with ruling out these medical disease.

    I hope this post helps some of you ! :) Recommend

  • Insaan

    Mikaail: “For instance, if you do get into an argument with someone or something p you off, just keep reminding yourself that you have to remain silent for a couple of minutes and not respond to something that ticked you off. ”

    You decide what ticks you off or what p you off.
    It is difficult but not impossible to stop yourself from getting p off or ticked off.Recommend

  • Stranger

    Hmm good idea. I have 7 years of twins and a full time job. I am prone to mood swings especially while getting the kids ready or making them study during weekends . I like the point where she says – spot the trouble coming . Yes we do find some situations keep occuring so lets conquer them. Am going to try these points ASAP.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Dr.X: Anger is a very natural emotion. Everyone feels angry.

    Every one feels angry, some people may feel angry for few minutes others may feel angry 24 hrs of day. Excessive anger is abnormal.

    I know a girl who runs for miles exercises very often, is angry with almost every one she meets. More like angry all the time.

    Root cause of anger is how one sees and reacts to situations/people. Depression does not make every one angry. Anger may be a part of mood disorder.

    Ninety nine percent of people with anger problem don’t have thyroid or adrenal problems. People with thyroid and adrenal problems have other symptoms and can be diagnosed with blood tests. Recommend

  • Peace lover

    It is not so easy to tell yourself to calm down when you’re on the verge of exploding.

    A more practical option will be to “delay” your reaction. Keep telling yourself to “wait” just a little more, while the feeling of anger abates.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Peace lover: It is not so easy to tell yourself to calm down when you’re on the verge of exploding.

    Well pouring gasoline on fire and throwing some water will not work. If you stop pouring gasoline then throwing water may help. I mean you need to stop feeding anger and tell yourself to calm. Need to explore what makes one angry and explode. It is not other people, it is angry persons imagination working over time.Recommend

  • tommyking

    Long road traveled for me as far as my anger is concerned. I am fully aware of most techniques and methods…i have tried them all. I will admit that if it was not for some of these methods I would be in serious trouble. One thing that had kept me at bay is online forum dedicated to anger or just venting. I find this better than live groups because i feel that when i did attend them…i felt judged by my appearance rathet than the content of my anger issues. At this point i neefed to cresye my own medium with a good social online outlet.Recommend