Anger management

Everyone gets angry sometimes, but dealing with anger isn’t always easy. It’s important to first work out why you get angry and what your warning signs are. There are tips to help you manage your anger, but if you're finding it hard there are things you can do to get help.

This could be for you if:

  • You get angry often, or know someone who does
  • You want to know how to deal with your anger
  • You want help dealing with anger
  • You want to be less angry

Why are you angry?

The first step to anger management is figuring out what’s making you angry in the first place.  Anger is usually a reaction to something else you’re feeling, like:
  • Embarrassment
  • Hurt
  • Sad
  • Jealous
  • Stressed
Check out a more detailed rundown on why people get angry.

What are your warning signs?

The next step to anger management is to recognise the warning signs that you experience when you’re about to get angry. If you understand your triggers and your warning signs, you’ll be better prepared to stop yourself from getting really worked up or lashing out. Some warning signs could include:

  • Pounding heart
  • Gritting your teeth
  • Sweating
  • Tight chest
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Raising your voice
  • Temporarily losing your sense of humour
  • Pacing

Anger management

Anger management doesn’t mean ignoring what you’re feeling and waiting for the feelings to pass. Dealing with anger appropriately ensures that it doesn't get bottled up which is really important for your health and the health of those around you. Holding on to anger can be really dangerous, because it could come out in ways you're not expecting. 

Tips for anger management include:

  • Count to 100. The actual counting doesn't help, but thinking about something other than what's angering your for 100 seconds can help you avoid blowing a fuse.

  • Leave and come back. Sometimes you'll be too angry to deal with something in a productive or helpful way. If this happens,leave and come back when you're calmer and can approach the situation differently.

  • Do something physical. Exercise is one way to get your anger out. Go for a run, or a walk around the block. Alternatively, distract yourself with video games or tunes if you're at boiling point. Go back and deal with what's bothering you when you're not quite as angry.

  • Talk to someone. You could offload to a counsellor, friend, family member, psychologist or other mental health worker. Counsellors are especially good because they're trained to deal with this stuff, and don't have a stake in the situation that's making your angry. If you want to talk to someone now, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

  • Relax. Learn relaxation techniques, go to a quiet, calm, place like a park, and let your anger disappear. Then come back and deal with the causes of your anger once you're calmer.

  • Deal with the trigger. If you know what it is that’s making you angry, is there something you can do to deal with that directly? For example, if you’re angry because your housemate has left their stuff all over the house, can you talk to them about it? Make sure you approach the conversation when you’re feeling calm enough to make it a productive one. 

Help with anger management

If you're getting angry often, or for no reason, and you’re finding it hard to control, you might need to get extra support. If your anger comes out in violent ways, or you’re physically lashing out, you should talk to someone you can trust who can help you. Talking to a doctor, counsellor, psychologist, nurse or other health worker is a good place to start. Find a health professional near you. It can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Try ReachOut NextStep to learn about the support options available for you.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 09 May, 2016
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  • j95    (485 days ago)

    This is great, I wish I had seen it sooner to be honest, I know a few people who might need some help with this sort of thing and i'll be sharing it with them :)