Alternatives to Anger helps adults, parents, and caregivers understand and manage anger and stress, and develop the communication and problem solving skills needed for healthy relationships.

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Discover strategies to help you deal with stress and anger at home and at work

There many ways we can nurture our social and emotional health— forming and maintaining satisfying and healthful relationships, taking another's perspective, resolving interpersonal conflict, feeling capable and whole, expressing emotions, navigating stress, and having supportive relationships. RELAX: Alternatives to Anger is an MSU Extension program that consists of four lessons to help participants increase knowledge and skills in dealing with anger and stress. Lesson topics include learning anger triggers, finding ways to calm down, problem solving through conflict and forgiveness. 

Conflict can and does occur at personal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural levels. Experiencing conflict may or may not reach the level of trauma, which can be described as a profoundly distressing experience. Further, trauma can sometimes add to or intensify anger emotions. RELAX: Alternatives to Anger provides people with information and skills to handle everyday conflict in ways that lead to better health and healthier relationships. RELAX: Alternatives to Anger can be a resource for some to begin working on healing.

The concepts of RELAX include:

Recognize your anger signals.

Empathize by seeing the other person’s point of view.

Listen and really hear what the other person is saying.

Accept that the other person’s anger is not about you.

“X”- out the past and keep it in the present. 

"I’ve noticed a change in myself, but I’ve also realized how other people affect me."-- Participant in RELAX: Alternatives to Anger

In 2020,


RELAX series were delivered virtually to a total of 2,721 participants.


of participants reported that, after taking RELAX, they were highly confident that they could recognize and identify their own anger triggers.


of participants reported that, after taking RELAX, they were highly confident that they would be able to use positive communication skills.