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Anger Tip Sheet

A brain injury can can lead to irritability, agitation, lowered tolerance and impulsivity, which can increase the likelihood of angry outbursts. Anger is a common emotional response after a brain injury.

What Anger Can Look Like

  • Increased heart rate, sweating, muscle tightness, or a raised voice
  • There is usually an 'on-off' quality to the anger – an explosive angry outburst one minute, but calm again shortly after
  • Difficulties managing/acknowledging anger
  • Blaming others for provoking anger


  • Become aware of personal thoughts, behaviors and physical states associated with anger
  • Utilize basic anger management skills such as deep breathing, counting backwards from 10, or mindfulness techniques to aid in relaxation
  • Use free smartphone apps such as Calm, Breathe2Relax, or Breathe for relaxation exercises
  • Physical activity such as exercise or yoga can be self-calming
  • Recognize triggers for anger/reflect on how your body felt

Possible Triggers

  • Loosing your patience
  • Feeling as if your opinions/efforts aren't appreciated
  • Injustice
  • Memories of traumatic events
  • Worrying about personal problems


While feeling anger is unavoidable, it is still possible to manage.