Help me out - feeling angry

Everybody gets angry

It’s a completely normal and natural reaction. Different things make different people angry – something that makes you angry, may not bother someone else and something that you’re fine about, may make someone else furious.
Anger in itself isn’t a bad emotion. What can be a problem however, is the way we deal with it. Keeping anger in and letting it fester, or letting it out in uncontrolled bursts of shouting, stomping or hitting, is likely to have a negative effect on us and other people.
So how can we stay calm and control anger?

What does anger feel like?

Anger is a strong emotion – it can make you want to scream or cry, or totally shut down and run away. If you’re really upset, it’s likely you won’t be able to think straight, you may feel hot, have a faster heartbeat or breathing.
There are also different types of anger – for some, anger comes as an explosion and you might over-react and scream and shout. Other times, anger can bubble under the surface, making you grumpy or moody.

Chavala talks about different types of anger

Why do we get angry?

  • If something unfair has happened. Someone may have unfairly blamed you when it wasn’t your fault or ignored your feelings.
  • Miscommunication. Sometimes you may have heard something in the way it wasn’t intended and taken offence (this happens the other way around too).
  • If you have been provoked or teased. It can be hard to stay calm when you know someone is deliberately trying to hurt your feelings.
  • You could have misplaced anger - when you react angrily to one situation, but you’re actually angry about something else. For example, you may feel angry about something that’s happened at school, but hold it in until you get home and then shout at your family for something trivial.
  • With everyday stress, such as looming exams or tests, or falling out with friends.
  • If something bad has happened, like an accident or death in your family, you may have strong feelings of frustration, anger and loss.

We all get angry, but learning to control and express it in a healthy way is important. Here are our tips for dealing with anger...

Tips for dealing with anger

  • Don’t bottle it up, talk to someone. Expressing your emotions with someone you trust can help you process them and make you feel better. After that you will be better able to deal with the person who made you angry.
  • Focusing on your breathing will help to distract your thoughts and calm your mind.
  • Take a deep breath, hold your breath for three seconds and then breathe out for three seconds and repeat.
  • If the anger is running hot don’t react to it straight away. Take time out and think things through. Go for a walk and think about how you feel – understanding why you feel the way you do can help. If you find this difficult to do on your own, then talk to someone.
  • Get rid of some energy. Get out and exercise – it will help release tension and make you feel better.

Finally, anger can be a positive thing. It’s useful for helping us understand when something is wrong, or when we’re being treated badly or unfairly. Anger can help us to say “no” to people when we need to.
It may take time and practice, but learning how to express your feelings of anger can be healthy and positive for you and for those around you.

Dr Aaron talks about dealing with angry feelings

For information about organisations which can offer more advice on a range of issues, check out the advice helplines page.

There's also loads more to watch in the Lifebabble guide to feeling good.

All Lifebabble
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