Sometimes playing video games can make you feel angry and frustrated. Your anger might be due to the content of the game, not being able to get past a difficult level, or other players. Anger issues take time to overcome, but there are some simple strategies that you can use to calm yourself down when you are feeling angry because of video games.
Method One of Three:
Calming Down in the MomentEdit
1Put down your controller. You don’t want to break your video game controller in a fit of anger, so the best thing to do when you first notice you are feeling angry is to gently put your controller down. You may want to shut down your game system as well to remove the video game images and sounds from your environment.
2Recognize physical symptoms of anger. You might show signs of anger in your body, even before you realize that you are feeling angry. Pay attention to how you are feeling physically. You might be headed toward an angry outburst if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Tense muscles and clenched jaw
- Headache or stomachache
- Increased heart rate
- Sudden sweating or shaking
- A dizzy feeling
3Give yourself a break from the game. If you have become angry, you should take a break from playing the game. Distract yourself from the aspect(s) of the game that made you angry by doing something else for a little while. Taking time to cool down may allow you to return to the game with fresh eyes, and you may find yourself more successful upon returning to the game later. The next time you need a distraction from your frustration you can:
- Call up a friend (or meet with one in person!)
- Make yourself a meal or snack
- Clean your room, the kitchen, or the bathroom
5Get physical exercise. Exercise is another great way to help improve your mood. Getting physical exercise can make you feel happier in as little as five minutes. What you do for exercise does not matter. Just make sure that you raise your heart rate and your body should release some endorphins to make you feel better.
6Take deep breaths. Becoming angry can elevate your heart rate, cause you to shake, and make all of your muscles tense. You can counteract these effects with deep breathing. You can also use deep breathing along with meditation to help control your emotions. But using deep breathing techniques alone can offer benefits that are similar to meditation as well.
- To practice deep breathing, count to three as you inhale. Then, hold the breath in your lungs for three more seconds. Then, count to three again as you exhale. Try to focus only on the numbers as you do this.
- Be sure that each breath in fully fills your lungs, causing your chest and belly to expand. Exhale fully each time, and pause between the exhale and the next inhale.
- Keep breathing until you feel that you have regained control.
Method Two of Three:
Addressing the Cause of AngerEdit
1Remember why you play video games. You probably play video games just because you enjoy playing. But if playing video games is causing you to have recurring anger, then you might not be enjoying yourself as much as you used to.
- If you experience chronic anger as a result of the games you’re playing, think about taking on a new hobby to replace gaming for a while.
- If you are not having fun, it’s not worth continuing your “relationship” with certain games.
2Play a less violent video game. Playing (or even watching) violent video games may lead you to feel to increased feelings of anger and aggression, especially if you already have some anger issues. If you feel angry after playing or watching violent games, try switching to games that are not as violent.
3Consider that you may be frustrated by a lack of success. Not being able to get past a difficult level or obstacle in a game might also cause you to feel angry. Think about why you tend to get angry when you play and whether or not failing a level or getting killed in the game is what sets off you anger.
- To deal with this type of anger, try playing a game that you have already mastered for a while and enjoy your success. Or, if you have the option to choose the difficulty in a game, try selecting a lower difficulty level to help prevent yourself from getting angry.
4Block or avoid another player who is making you angry. If someone is trolling or harassing you on a MMO (massively multiplayer online) game, block or report the other player. It’s not worth engaging with someone who is just trying to get a rise out of you. Be sure that you are aware of the game’s community or user guidelines before reporting a player so that you are sure that they are acting inappropriately based on the MMO’s expectations.
5Realize if outside factors are influencing your emotions. Sometimes you might feel anger (towards people or inanimate objects) when you are dealing with difficult problems in your life. If you find yourself getting angry about a video game (particularly if it is unusual for you to become angry), try to determine if other aspects of your life may be bothering you.
- For example, if you have just lost your job or gotten in trouble at school, you may feel frustrated and out of control of your life. Failing to master a new level of a video game on top of the other experiences may lead you to blow up about the video game, even though it is not the primary cause of your feelings of powerlessness.
6Put a game away if it constantly frustrates you. This may not be what you want to hear, but if there is a particular game that causes you chronic anger—whether it is from violence in the game, an inability to master new levels, or even an annoying character—you may want to hide the game from yourself for a while or even consider trading it in a for a different game. It’s okay to put away a game for the sake of your emotional well-being.Advertisement
Method Three of Three:
Identifying a More Serious ProblemEdit
1Diagnose a video game addiction. Video game addiction (internet gaming disorder) is not a formal diagnosis, but it is starting to get more attention. If video games or your reactions to them are beginning to seep into your everyday life, you may be experiencing a video game addiction. Addressing an addiction is important to maintain a healthy emotional life. You may have a video game addiction if you:
- become angry, violent, or depressed when you do not spend time playing video games
- play in secret and lie to others about how much time you spend playing video games
- notice that video games have taken over your interest in other hobbies, schoolwork, or your job
- consider playing video games more important than spending time with other people in real life
2Stay in control of your emotions. You should be in control of your emotions; they should not control you. If you feel like your anger in response to video games has taken on a life of its own and you are no longer in control of it, then you should seek help with anger management. You may want to see a therapist or take an anger management course. It’s likely that your anger is not only in response to video games and is present (or will become present) in other areas of your life as well.
3Ask for help if your anger turns violent. You should seek help for anger management if your feelings of anger are causing you to feel violent towards others. You may want to seek help in the following situations:
- You think about harming yourself or others
- You use physical violence (such as hitting) towards people or objects
- The problem is chronic, happening over and over again
- Anger towards the game seeps into other areas of your life
- You have a record of violent or aggressive behaviors at work or towards a loved one
- You feel unfulfilled in your life
I get angry very easily when I play. When I try to be calm it's usually too late because I have already reacted. What can I do?Answered by Jessica B. Casey
- You need to become aware of the first signs of your anger such as muscle tension, flushing, or sweating. You could also experience other emotions prior to anger that can give you a first clue that you might become angry. Those emotions might include feeling frustrated or irritated. If you notice these precursor signs of anger that is your cue to take a break, press pause, and put down the controller to take five minutes to calm down.
I'm not violent or angry IRL, but when playing games, I go from happy-go-lucky to furious nearly instantaneously. How do I deal with it if there aren't any physical signs?Answered by Moonmodule1998
- To be honest, learning to control your anger takes time and practice. Use every instance of rage as an opportunity to practice self-control, self-reflect, and experiment with new anger management techniques. Going into gaming with the awareness that you WILL become angry also helps. Prepare for it and expect it, recognize it as something that needs to be dealt with in the long run, because it is. Don't be too hard on yourself when you fail, but choose to learn from it. With time it does get easier.
Whenever I play video games, I get mad easily and want to do things like throw my controller. What should I do about this?Answered by Samuel
- If you're beginning to feel destructive, either take a break or release your anger in a safe manner. You can start punching a pillow or mattress, or turn off your microphone if it wasn't already off to scream your lungs out to relieve anger without consequences. If you're starting to feel frustrated, but don't feel like throwing your controller across the room just yet, take a break before you boil with too much rage, no matter how much you want to keep playing.
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Reader Success Stories
AR"This is some pretty good information. I do mostly play E for everyone games (and sometimes E10+), and for some reason, I get mad at them! To me, I think it's pathetic. So I'll try to do this, "play games for 10 minutes, take a break for another 10 minutes." and repeat everyday. By the way, I'm viewing this through my Wii U."..." more
RP"Wow! I was soooooo behind on my IT work but this helped a bloody lot! I flip out over video game-related aggression frequently because they remind me of my inadequacies and my need for exercise."..." more
JS"I play lots of Overwatch and the same thing happens every time— I die and don't even get a chance to move, but this helped me from throwing a new PS4 controller under my car tire."..." more
CA"I have had this problem for a while now. Every time I play Team Fortress, I yell and bang my desk every time something stupid kills me."..." more