Topics in this section:
- Recognise your anger
- Ways to deal with anger
- Know the reasons for your anger
- Consequences of anger
- Getting help for anger
Anger itself is not a “bad” or “wrong” emotion to have. It is a perfectly normal and natural emotion. It’s important anger has an outlet so that it doesn’t just bottle up inside us. The outlet we choose can sometimes have negative consequences, for ourselves and others.
Knowing what it feels like when you start to get angry can be hard. For some people anger comes on out of nowhere and they just snap. For others, anger builds slowly.
Anger can feel like…
- Breathing increasing
- Flushed face
- Energy rush
- Not thinking clearly
If you have had a really bad day or you’re tired and grumpy, try to take it easy and be aware that you might be more likely to get angry. Don’t have intense discussions, don’t pick fights or begin arguing with others. Just try calm yourself down and chill first.
• Count to 10. Before your explosive response, take deep breaths and count. Slow down your automatic response and put a break in between your emotion and your reaction.
• Think before you act. Think about what your options are and what the consequences might be for each of those options. Is going off at your mum really the best option right now?
• Time out. Remove yourself from the situation and go to somewhere safe that is calmer and quieter to take 5, just breathe and calm down. This does not include your car. Do not drive when you’re angry. That’s just putting other people and yourself at risk.
• Use humour. Try picturing something funny when you begin to feel yourself get angrier.
• Distract yourself. Do something to keep your mind busy. Watch a Youtube clip, play a game, listen to music. It doesn’t help to sit and dwell.
• Get moving. Move your body physically to let out your pent up frustration. Box the pillow, try to push the wall down with both hands, going for a fast run or bike ride, or doing heaps of push-ups.
• Express. Whether its writing, drawing, dancing, or just talking to someone about how you feel – expressing your anger positively really helps.
• Chill out. Do something you enjoy that will relax you. This could be playing sport, games, or music, reading, getting into the outdoors.
After you get angry, think back about what made you angry. Are you stressed about other stuff in your life? Are you taking it out on others? Is there something you haven’t talked about or a grudge you’ve been holding? Part of dealing with anger is to deal with what is going on underneath. Learning strategies to deal with all the stuff under the anger will help big time.
What if you’ve tried to control your anger and nothing seems to work?
It might be worth talking to someone about how you feel. Counsellors can give you some tips for learning how to deal with what causes the anger as well as the anger itself. Check out our "Getting Help" section under Your Mind for more info.