I use to be that person who was always defensive and would get angry. I would sit and cry out my anger, and then one day I looked in the mirror and saw all this frustration, my face red as a beet, and my eyes swollen from crying. Is this what I want to do when I am angry? Feel horrible inside and out? This was hurting me and the ones I loved.
If you are in a heated discussion, slow down. Listen carefully to what the other person is saying and take your time before answering, instead of saying the first thing that comes into your head. Think carefully about what you want to say. It's natural to get defensive when you're criticized, but don't fight back. Instead, listen to what's beneath the words. Dealing with anger is much easier when you know what you’re “REALLY” angry about. Sometimes people may feel generally irritable because of stress, sleep deprivation, and other factors; more often, there’s a more specific reason for the anger. Once you are more aware of your sources of anger, you can take steps to deal with it. Here are some simple things I have learned and tried.
Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm. Breathing from your chest won't relax you, so picture your breath coming up from your gut. Sometimes this is all it takes to break out of anger and gain clarity on the issue.
Focus your anger, get clear what you are angry about and who you are angry at. Talk to yourself, "I am angry at him/her because he/she ..." Don't let your anger expand onto innocent bystanders, especially those trying to help calm you down. Don't refocus your anger onto everything that, has happened in the past.
Slowly repeat calming words or phrases, such as "relax" or "take it easy." Keep repeating it to yourself while breathing deeply.
Use imagery. Visualize a relaxing experience from your memory or your imagination.
Forgive: Angry and happy don't mix so flush out the angry. Forgive everyone for everything in order to give anger and resentment a chance to fade. Forgive and you can become happy. Forgiving is not a saying, "it's ok what the other person did" but you are looking to be at peace with yourslef.
Try non-strenuous, slow exercises. Yoga and similar activities can relax your muscles and calm you down. Going for a walk can also be calming.