Character Chats

Calming Techniques for Anger Management

What are some calming techniques that we can use to help manage our anger?

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social-emotional learning program called True Character.

I’m Master H, owner and chief instructor here at the studio. I have two master’s degrees in special education. I have taught in the classroom from kindergarten all the way up through eighth grade and that experience has helped us create a program that works for all of our students here at the studio from our youngest who are 3 to our oldest who is 83.

So learning about these social skills, learning about these emotions, really helps us develop the whole student.

And this month, we’re talking about anger management and what are those calming techniques that we can use to help better control that anger.


Last week we talked about what anger felt like.

Churning in our stomach, clenched fists, feeling super hot, maybe we go super silent, maybe we start yelling and screaming.

It just depends on your personality and I would argue, even the situation.

I have found myself in some situations where I feel the need to talk louder than the person and I have found myself in other situations where the more angry I got, the quieter I became.

So it really depended on the situation, and once we can recognize those feelings, we want to develop a bunch of different calming techniques that we can use.

Strategy #1: Counting

Now some of us might use a simple one like counting backwards from ten, nine, eight, and each time they say a number, they’re going to relax more muscles.

That could be a calming technique that we use. It’s a very specific one, it requires you to be present and in the moment and not think about the emotion so much as think about the actual physical idea of relaxing your muscles entirely until you are calm.

So we could count backwards. That’s one calming technique we could use.

Strategy #2: Breathing

Another one could be breathing. Just being completely present and then we’re going to breathe in and out and we’re only going to focus on that breath coming in and that breath coming out.

Maybe some of us like to put some hand movements with it and as we breathe in, we’re going to open up our hands and as we breathe out we’re going to close our hands.

It gives us a little bit more reason to be centered if we add that physical movement.

But again, finding that very specific thing that we can focus on instead of being angry can help us calm down and then look at the situation in a better way.

Strategy #3: Talk to Yourself

Another idea that we could do is maybe talking to ourselves.

You’re okay, you’re just fine, what’s currently making you upset? Let’s think about this.

What are some positive things that you could say to help calm yourself down?

You’re amazing, you’re a rock star, you’ve got this, you’re doing great, don’t let them bother you, just keep moving along.

Any one of those kinds of phrases or breathe. Calm down. It’s all right. Those kinds of talking to yourselves are good.

Another thing would be to think good thoughts. So instead of saying those words out loud, think them in your head so that you are now thinking those positive thoughts, putting that energy into how you are feeling.

Strategy #4: Time-Out

And then my last two here are two of my favorite ones.

One, give yourself a timeout.

Now a lot of kids when they’re younger, they don’t like timeouts. They don’t see the beauty in them.

But the idea of walking away, giving yourself a break, giving yourself a timeout, giving yourself a moment away from the situation that’s making you angry, can be helpful, especially as adults when dealing with other adults, like I need a minute, I’ll be right back, and then you can regather yourself, think about what you’re feeling, think about what you’re going to say to address the situation, and you’ve given yourself a moment, you’ve thought before you’ve acted.

Strategy #5: Singing

The other one, my most favorite one is singing.

We all have our favorite songs. We all have our favorite music that we’ll turn on in the car that brings us some joy, brings us some excitement, brings us some calming, meditative moments.

We have songs that go with certain memories that we have, songs that go with certain moments in our lifetime, and so if you can have that playlist, have those songs that are like your go-to I feel good when I hear this song, that can help you manage your anger too.

Sometimes it’s as simple as finding a calming song to help calm you down.

Sometimes it’s finding the loudest, angriest song and singing it at the top of your lungs and letting all of that energy out so that now you’ve expended it and now you feel calmer and now you feel like you can address what has upset you.


So as we go through the month of anger management, it does go along with our impulse control from last month.

Stopping and thinking, how do we deal with that anger? What strategies can I put in place so I can positively react when I am feeling that negative emotion?

Because we want to grow our positive relationships and we want to find healthy ways to advocate for ourselves and finding those ways, deciding which ones work best for us, is how we control our anger.

Thanks and I’ll see you on the mat.


True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here.