Everyone feels angry sometimes
Lots of things can make us angry. It can be a confusing feeling to understand and it can be hard to know exactly why you feel angry.
Anger is a really strong emotion and it can be hard to cope with. It can also lead to trouble! The trick is knowing how to be angry without ‘losing it’.
Anger can tell you about the things you want to change. It can help you to stand up for yourself.
Remember, if you feel angry, don't hurt yourself, others or damage property.
Anger or aggression – what’s the difference?
Anger is not the same as aggression. Anger is a feeling. Aggression is a behaviour, like hitting or shouting because you’re feeling angry.
People who feel angry can be aggressive.
Aggression can be used to hurt others or to break or damage things – it gets you into trouble, pushes people away and usually just makes things worse. Feeling angry is OK, but being aggressive towards others is not. There are good ways to express anger without hurting people or damaging things.
How can I manage my anger?
- Notice when you first start to feel angry
- Take time out and think it through
- Talk about it
- Do something to feel better
1. Notice when you first start to feel angry
Take some time out and think about your anger and what sets it off. Don’t ignore the first signs. Don’t let your feelings get out of control. There are things you can do to help you manage your anger.
How do I know I’m starting to feel angry?
People feel anger in different ways:
- Change in breathing
- Tensing muscles, clenching fists
- Wanting to break something or hit someone
- Funny feeling in your stomach
- Feeling like crying
- Wanting to be alone
- Wanting to yell at people
2. Take time out and think it through
People get angry for lots of different reasons:
- Something doesn’t go our way
- Having trouble with homework
- Our team loses at sport
- Other kids tease, or make fun of us
- We don’t like our parents’ rules
- We get the blame for something we didn’t do
It’s OK to feel really angry and not know why.
Sometimes you can feel angry because of other feelings. If someone has hurt you, do you feel so angry that you just want to hurt them back?
Stop and think about it:
- When did this feeling start?
- What was happening at that time?
- What do you think about what happened?
- How do you feel about what happened?
- How would you like things to be different?
- What do you want to happen now?
3. Talk about it.
Talking to someone you trust about your feelings can help you feel better. Talking helps you:
- Stop the feelings building up inside
- Come up with ideas to solve the problem, or make things better
- Learn from what happened, and then move on
You could talk to:
- One of your parents
- Someone else in your whānau who you trust
- A teacher
- A social worker or counsellor
- Call us at 0800 Whats Up – we’re here to help
4. Do something to feel better
There are things you can do that can help you feel better. Here are some ideas for you to try:
- Talk to a friend who cheers you up
- Write down your thoughts and feelings – you could keep it, or screw the paper up and throw it away
- Draw a picture of your anger
- Play a game
- Watch a funny video or a movie
- Listen to music
- Spend some time outdoors – do something fun!
Remember, it’s OK to feel angry, it’s what you do with your anger that makes the difference.