Anger in moderation is a healthy emotion. However, excessive anger is another matter entirely. As with anything in excess, anger can take damage relationships, physical health, mental stability, and overall well-being. There are few emotions, when experienced in excess, that affect the body quite like anger. Numerous experts believe that anger causes an unhealthy spike in blood pressure that is then sustained until the person calms themselves.

Many professionals agree that the first way to learn to moderate anger is by counting. Starting from any number greater than 10 is recommended. The rhythmic process helps soothe the mind while the distraction can help calm the body, lowering heart rate and allowing the overwhelming emotion to subside. Combine this with deep breathing. The body’s response to intense anger is to lower oxygen intake, resulting in rapid, shallow breaths. By breathing deeply and slowly, the body is given time to readjust to a more temperate attitude.

Physical exertion is another way someone can learn to control their anger. Take a walk, use the time wisely to quiet the mind and release the muscle tension that anger leads to. Even just a quick stretch or rolling the neck and shoulders can release tension. Anger bunches muscles and tendons in preparation for the fight or flight response. Ridding oneself of the muscle tension can help the body relax and the mind ease. There’s even the option to just intonate the mantra of “relax” to help speed the process of releasing tension and getting back to a calmer mind-frame.

Sometimes the situation can call for differing stances. Anger should not be held onto or tamped down, so learning to express it in a healthy way is essential. If one can have a heated discussion without an all-out argument, then the expression of the emotion is a better option than developing unrequited, pent-up rage. However, that does not mean that one should say things in anger that aren’t meant. So if the situation is too much, staying quiet instead of pouring forth an outburst filled with hatred and vitriol would be preferable.

Learning to moderate excessive anger in healthy ways helps to heal the mind and body. All of these techniques can be combined to help lead a happy, grateful, more fulfilled life.