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Dealing with Anger

Written by Emma Burbidge Posted in Youth offending

Dealing with Anger

Dealing with anger can be a very difficult thing. Anger is a natural emotion, and it is perfectly normal for little annoyances to get too much for us or to let people ‘wind us up’. It can also be a natural response to being attacked, insulted, deceived or frustrated.

However, excessive anger could show that you have mental health problems. If your anger leads to harm to others, or others becoming afraid of you because of your anger, then you should contact a doctor or speak to someone close to you.

Sometimes it can be a good thing to express anger because otherwise these feelings may be suppressed or bottled up and lead to greater problems later on, perhaps with excessive anger further down the line, or ‘passive aggressive’ behaviour such as ignoring someone.

Responding to anger in a safe and constructive way is really good for your emotional, mental and physical health. If you cannot control your anger effectively then this can lead to:



  • Depression or anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Eating disorders
  • Compulsive behaviour e.g. Excessive cleaning, overworking
  • Self-harm

Sometimes we can feel anger boiling up inside and this may turn into rage, which can sometimes be so powerful that it can lead to destructive and violent behaviour.

This loss of control can be frightening and damaging, both for you and for any other people involved. For some people, this sense of rage can be quickly followed by a feeling of guilt, sadness, even depression. It can also damage friendships and relationships, and get you in trouble with the law.

A number of different things can cause someone to get angry. It could be that you feel threatened or assaulted, or that you are being discriminated against or treated unfairly. You could also feel powerless or frustrated, or just fed up. For example, it could be that your train or bus is delayed and this causes you anger or frustration.

Sometimes anger can be triggered by events in your past, and you have to look at what happened to you in your life to make you feel the way you do now.

Managing your anger

It is important to understand your anger and also some techniques for controlling it. This will help you limit the chances of your anger spurting out in a way that is damaging to you and others.

If it helps, go for a walk when your anger gets too much for you. Distance yourself from the person or situation which has caused you anger for a little while, until you are able to respond assertively. This will give the opportunity to think about your emotions.

First of all, think about what makes you angry? Why does this make you angry? How does this make you feel?

The physical signs of anger are:

  • An adrenaline rush in your body
  • Your heart may beat faster
  • You may find yourself breathing more quickly
  • You may find your body becoming tense
  • You may find your feet tapping or your fists clenching

Every time you feel something is annoying you, you could try writing down your feelings in a diary or spouting out your emotions to a friend you trust. This will give you the opportunity to respond positively and assertively when the time comes.

If you feel so angry that you can’t think, or you feel like you want to hit something, then you should take yourself away from the situation and find some way to calm down. Sometimes it really helps to have some alone time, take a deep breath, and really think about the situation without any interruption or outside influence.

Even listening to calming music or using a relaxation technique, such as yoga or meditation, can really help to calm you down and manage your stress levels.

Remember that if you get angry and aggressive, this can get in the way of communicating what you are angry about. People stop listening to you and instead focus on your anger. This could make others angry or defensive and create greater tensions between you and then, rather than solving the cause of the anger or settling any issues between you.

Take the time to listen to people and you will be on your way to responding assertively. Even changes to your diet and doing exercise can help control your anger by releasing endorphins to your brain. If your stress levels are adding to your feelings of anger, then find a way to relax.

If you still find your anger uncontrollable, then you may find Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to be a particularly practical approach to dealing with your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

About the Author

Emma Burbidge

Emma Burbidge

Emma Burbidge is the marketing assistant at TCHC. She helps to manage the website and promote the Youth Contract. She enjoys writing for the blog and sharing advice and tips with young people on a range of topics, from finding a job to battling with depression.

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