First up, anger isn’t a ‘bad’ emotion. It can actually help you to be honest or to stand up for something you believe in. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling angry. What matters is how you cope with and express your anger.
If you learn how to deal with your anger, you’ll look less like this…
and more like this…
We’re not guaranteeing you won’t still be in a bad mood, but you’ll be less likely to act in a way you might regret.
Here are our tips for dealing with anger.
1. Recognise the warning signs
If you can recognise when you’re starting to feel angry, you’ll be in a good place to try some of our tips before you get really worked up or lash out. You can then try a few of the strategies below. Some warning signs are:
- pounding heart
- gritting your teeth
- tight chest
- raising your voice
- being snappy or defensive
- temporarily losing your sense of humour
- getting a ‘flash’ of a bad mood
- being overly critical of someone
- feeling argumentative.
2. Work out why you’re angry
There’s lots of reasons why you might be angry. It’s a normal or understandable response in some situations, such as when you or someone else is being treated unfairly. If you’re not sure why you’ve just snapped at someone, though, think back through your day and try to pinpoint what set you off.
Some other reasons why you might be feeling angry include:
- you’re under a lot of pressure
- you’re experiencing bodily or hormonal changes that cause mood swings
- you’re frustrated with how your life is going.
If you work on first recognising and then dealing with your anger, it won’t have such a damaging effect on your relationships, body, mind and emotions.
3. Write it down
Sometimes, writing stuff down can help you work out why you’re feeling angry and how you might be able to deal with it. It’ll also help you to put things in perspective.
4. Count to 100
This one seems pretty basic, but it works. Thinking about something other than what’s making you upset for 100 seconds can help you avoid blowing a fuse. It gives you a chance to gather yourself and your thoughts before you do anything else.
5. Press pause
When you feel angry about something, it’s almost impossible to deal with the situation in a productive or helpful way. If you feel yourself losing your cool, just walk away from the situation for a while. You’ll deal with it better when everyone, yourself included, is feeling calmer.
6. Move your body
Exercise is an awesome way to let off steam. You could take a walk around the block, go for a run, or do something really high-energy like boxing.
7. Talk to someone
Talking to someone you trust about how you’re feeling can take a weight off your shoulders as well as your mind. That could be a trusted adult, friend or family member. You could even give the ReachOut forums a go, and talk with other young people who get how you’re feeling.
If your anger is getting out of control, consider seeing a mental health professional. Watch our video to find out why talking helps.
8. Take time to relax
If you know what helps you to relax, you’ll find it really useful whenever you’re feeling angry. Take some time out to do something you enjoy, whether that’s walking in the park, reading a book or listening to music. You could also try an app like ReachOut Breathe or Headspace to help you relax.
What can I do now?
- Try different forms of exercise, which can really help you to burn off your frustration.
- Set aside time every day for some relaxation exercises.
- Find out what your chill style is.