Dr. Yvette Stupart is a clinical counselor and educator. She gives insights on how to experience emotional health and relational well-being.
It’s Time to Control Your Anger
As a teenager, a lot of things are going on in your life as you strive to find your identity and transition into adulthood. There are times when you will feel angry. This is a normal emotion.
What is important is that you learn to manage your anger; that is, deal with negative feelings in a healthy manner. A common cause of anger is frustration, but you must find ways to express your frustration in an appropriate, and self-enhancing way.
Frequent outbursts of anger can cause problems in your relationships with your peers, teachers, and family. Instead of allowing your anger to get out of control, try to become more self-aware, and keep in touch with your feelings. Then you will begin to see that you sometimes use your anger to cover up more painful emotions in your life that you need to deal with.
As you become aware of these feelings, take steps to deal with them before they result in unacceptable behaviors such as aggressive outbursts, verbally abusive language, or disrespectful behaviors toward authority figures like your parents and teachers. Here are nine tips to help you handle your anger, by controlling and redirecting it into constructive activities.
Strategies to Control Anger
1. Admit Your Anger
The first step to managing your anger is to admit that you are angry. As you acknowledge that you are angry, you are better able to identify the cause, and then you can deal with your angry feelings.
2. Take Steps to Deal With Anger
It is so easy to get caught up in a conflict situation that fuels your anger. But instead of reacting to explosive situations, you can practice ways of cooling off, for example, deep breathing exercises, counting to 10, or just moving away from the situation. This gives you time to calm down, act in a responsible way, and move to solve the problem.
3. Understand the Causes and Triggers
It is likely that many of the times you get angry, frustration is one of the core causes. Such frustrations could come from many sources. For example, you could be frustrated, if you are being bullied at school, you might feel that your parents don’t understand you, or you don’t feel good about yourself.
4. Keep a Journal
One way to identify and track your frustrations and angry feelings is to keep a journal. Record your feelings and the situations that cause anger, in your journal. This could help you to develop your self-awareness which gives you a better understanding of your emotions, such as feelings of rejection. Then get help to deal with these emotions.
Licensed Professional Counselor, Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, in The Anger Workbook for Teens describes useful activities that could help to guide your journaling. These activities could in the long run help you to handle frustrating situations more effectively.
5. Seek the Support of Others
When you struggle with your feelings of anger, it is important that you talk through your feelings. Share your feelings with someone you trust and the actively listens to you, and you are likely to feel better. You could talk to your parents, a trusted friend, or your school counselor.
6. Exercise Empathy
When you are angry, it is very hard to listen to what the other person is saying. It is even more difficult to try to understand his or her point of view. Empathy is reaching out, and trying to understand the other person's perspective, even if you don't agree with it.
With practice, you can make the effort to understand other people’s perspective, and this could help you to better control your anger when you are involved in a conflict.
Important Points to Remember
- Anger is a normal emotion that usually results from frustration.
- Outbursts of anger have an adverse impact on your relationships.
- You need to find healthy ways to control yourself and express your needs.
- Self-awareness is important to control your anger—know what the triggers are, and recognize and admit that you are anger
- Take specific steps to control your anger.
- Promote effective communication patterns through improving your listening skills and empathy.
- Redirect your anger into more self-enhancing activities.
Read More From Healthproadvice
Strategies to Redirect Your Anger
Coupled with controlling your anger, you need to learn skills to handle and redirect your angry feelings in constructive ways to enhance your daily functioning.
1. Build Your Communication Skills
An essential ingredient to getting on with others and building relationships is good communication patterns. Practice being more assertive, as this helps you express your feelings and needs calmly and in a direct way. Avoid being defensive. Instead, use “I” statements to express your needs without sounding demanding or hostile.
2. Get Involved and Find Your Purpose
Understand that your life has a purpose, and start telling yourself that you are a person of worth and purpose. Start by changing negative self-talk to more helpful thought patterns. For example, you could start telling yourself, " My life has a great purpose, and I'm moving to achieve it, day by day."
Get involved in activities that are positive and uplifting, for example, extra-curricular activities at school or volunteering in your community. As you get involved, you will find your areas of strengths, talents, your passion, and positive outlets for your energy.
3. Engage in Physical Activities.
Research shows that physical activity is not only good for your health, but it can also improve your mood and get rid of tensions and anger. When you get involved in physical activities such as sports, and you use excess energy, and you will find that you are much calmer. You can also use relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, to cope with angry feelings.
Steps to Manage Your Anger
|Control Anger||Redirect Anger|
1. Admit that you are angry.
1. Build your communication skills.
2. Take steps to deal with your anger.
2. Find purpose for your life, get involved, and make a difference.
3. Identify the causes and trigggers of your anger.
3. Become more physically active.
Keep a journal to improve your self-awareness.
5. Get support and share your feelings.
6. Try to understand other peolpe's point of view.
People of all ages, including teens, sometimes find it difficult to control their anger. This could cause conflicts to escalate, and even lead to fights. These simple anger management techniques can help you to control or express your anger in appropriate ways.
Start with recognizing and admitting when you are angry, for you need to understand your own emotions. Then explore what is behind your anger, find healthy ways to get your needs met, and redirect your energies to achieve your goals and purpose in life.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Yvette Stupart PhD
Join in the conversation...
Anonymous on July 09, 2017:
I can't help but feel pissed of when I get punished for something I haven't done,I keep things bottled up in my mind ,pain ,hurt, sarcasm unfairness and unjust sensitive emotional blows ,then I just burst out sometime when I do I become very mean and hurtful
Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on July 12, 2013:
Thanks My Cute Baker. I agree that it would be really great if kids learn to understand their feelings, and how to control their anger from early . An important way for them to learn this is through the guidance and modeling of their parents.
Angelina from Canada on July 10, 2013:
The information/advice in your Hub is good for everyone, even younger children. In fact the younger children learn this, the less trouble they will have managing their anger.
Thank you for this useful Hub
Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on June 29, 2013:
Hi just-about, thanks for your comments. Yes, improving communication patterns is essential to anger management. Firstly, there is the need for awareness of the feelings of anger, and then being able to express our needs in a constructive way, for example, using "I" messages.
As adults, we need to do all we can to help children and teens to develop anger management skills, which includes being positive role models for them in the way we manage anger.
just-about on June 29, 2013:
I think that the excellent information here can apply to all age groups - but I think that your focus on the teenage years is spot-on. As you say, communication is vitally important in recognising, admitting and coping with anger. If communication skills are not well developed by the time a child becomes a teen then those years have the potential to be very fraught and can well leave permanent emotional and psychological scars.
Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on June 25, 2013:
Hi ChitrangadaSharan , thanks for your comments. I agree, we need to take steps to help our teens to effectively manage their anger. After all, we want to equip them with the skills they need for life.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 25, 2013:
This is a very useful hub and you have suggested some very practical tips.
Of all the age groups, in my teaching experience or as a mother, I think Teenage is the most crucial and most sensitive age group to tackle. And as a parent or as a teacher utmost care is to be taken to give proper direction and guidance to the teenage children, so that they are able to deal with their anger.
Wonderful hub and very well presented.
Voted up and shared!
Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on June 25, 2013:
Thanks peachpurple. I really think that learning to control anger comes with practice and takes effort. It means helping teens (and all of us) to recognize that this something that is desirable, and so there is need to be intentional and work at it.
Of course, managing anger, is not just about controlling our emotions, but also trying to understand the underlying causes of anger, and dealing with them.
Thanks again for your comments.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 25, 2013:
wonderful hub. Frankly speaking, i do find nowadays teens could not control their anger easily. They are bound to seek revenge or verbal abuse in order to appease their anger. Hopefully this hub ought to be read by all teens. Voted useful
Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on June 24, 2013:
Thanks MsDora. I felt there was a need to highlight the importance of managing anger. Dealing effectively with anger is essential for everybody. But with what's happening in our schools worldwide, I feel we need to do everything we can to guide, and help our young people to achieve their fullest potential.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 24, 2013:
Very comprehensive and wonderfully presented. I am so willing to share this; I know it can benefit the young as well as the old. Thank you very much. Voted Up!
Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on June 24, 2013:
Thanks Nancy. While anger is a normal emotion, it is so important that we ALL take steps to deal with it in a constructive manner. Specifically for teens, uncontrolled anger could impede their progress in achieving their goals in life.
Nancy Owens from USA on June 24, 2013:
I think this is great advice for people of any age when it comes to communication, and coping with emotion. My hat is off to you for writing such a great hub! Voted up and shared.