Anger

Anger is a natural feeling. It’s healthy and normal to get angry sometimes. But if you always feel angry or it starts to affect your life, then it might help to find out what’s making you feel this way. And if there’s something that’s making you angry, we can try to support you.

Why do I feel angry?

All emotions or feelings have good and bad points.

Anger is your body’s way of dealing with something happening to it, so feeling angry because you are being hurt or threatened is okay. But anger can make people aggressive and violent. Words and actions that hurt people are called abuse.

There is a difference between feeling angry (which is okay) and abusive behaviour (which is not okay). It’s fine to feel angry, but it’s not okay to hurt other people, yourself, or damage property.

There are lots of reasons why you might feel angry. Anger can be a result of one thing or it can be caused by lots of things.

Sometimes there might be no specific reason for feeling angry – you just feel it. It can be hard to know what to do if you feel angry for no reason, but try our tips on dealing with anger further down this page.

Top tips for dealing with anger:

  • count to 10. It can help give you time to think and calm down
  • breathe slowly and deeply. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Say the word 'relax' as you breathe out
  • control your tone of voice. Keep it slow and quiet
  • use a stress ball. Or carefully clench you hands into fists and then slowly release the tension. Repeat 2-3 times
  • think before you react. Does it matter enough to me to get so angry?
  • leave a situation. Call a 'time out'.

signs that show you're getting angry

Anger can take over your whole body and mind. It's a very basic emotion. And it’s a way that your body deals with feeling threatened.

Emotions and feelings like anger release a hormone in your body called adrenaline which causes a ‘fight or flight’ reaction. This means that you have the energy to run away from something or to turn and fight it.

Learning to deal with anger is part of growing up. And so is knowing how to cope with your body and your reactions.

When you feel angry:

  • your muscles tense up 
  • your heart beats faster 
  • you clench your fists 
  • you breathe heavily 
  • you find it hard to say how you feel because you can't think clearly.

It's important that anger can affect people in different ways.

HOW TO TELL IF SOMEONE ELSE IS ANGRY

It isn’t always easy to tell if someone is angry or not.

They might have physical signs such as acting or speaking aggressively or breathing heavily. Or the look on their face might show how they feel.

But some people may not show their anger this way.

Something might trigger an angry reaction. For example, if someone is having a bad day and feeling down or stressed, they may be more likely to get annoyed at something that wouldn’t normally bother them.

KNOWING WHEN ANGER IS A PROBLEM

It’s a good idea to try to try to find ways to cope with anger as soon as you realise it could be a problem.

This can help make sure you don’t deal with it in a way that damages your health or harms other people.

Sometimes when people don’t get help with their anger problem, they might end up trying to cope with it in other ways by self-harming, hurting other people, using alcohol or drugs or putting themselves into dangerous situations. 

Built-up anger can also affect your sleep or your eating. And it can sometimes lead to depression and anxiety.

It's important to get help if you ever feel like your anger is out of control, if you start to feel angry often, or if your anger is stopping you from being happy and enjoying life

Dealing with anger can be hard because being angry means that you might not be thinking clearly. It's helpful to think about the ways you have dealt with anger in the past and if these still work for you.

Your anger might feel like it's 'out of control' if you’re:

  • breaking or throwing things
  • hitting or physically hurting somebody else or yourself
  • shouting a lot at other people but you can't work out why
  • deliberately trying to make other people angry 
  • blaming other people for making you angry.

tips to help you calm down

Exercise
Doing physical activity can help you calm down and bring back some happy emotions again

Let your anger out in a safe way
If you feel like hitting something, you could punch a cushion or pillow. Or you could try scribbling on paper and screwing it up and throwing it away 

Distract yourself
Listen to some calming music
. Or think about something that you love, or a place that makes you feel happy and imagine being there

Tell someone
You could tell someone how you feel and talk about why you feel this way. And remember you can always 
talk to a trained counsellor about how you feel.