Ooops, better not lose my cool!
Teens-See How Can I Deal With My Anger? visit:
Your mom just told you there's no way she's letting you out of
the house until you clean your room - as if you were about 6
years old. What starts out as mild annoyance turns into red-hot
anger as you pick up the magazines and dishes from your floor.
How dare she? You're not a child! Before you know it, you've
kicked a big dent in your closet door and yelled at your little sister
(and now you're grounded for the whole weekend).
Well, this is one way to cope with anger. After all, you've expressed
yourself and you've calmed down. And now you'll have lots of time
to think about how it may not have been the best approach as
you sit around watching reruns with you sister on Saturday night.
Why'd you fly off the handle so quickly? In fact, some days you
wake up angry - what's the deal?
Some of it may be the changes your body's going through - all those
hormones you hear so much about can cause wild mood swings and
confused emotions. Some of it may be stress - people who're under
a lot of pressure tend to get angry more easily. And part of it may
be your personality - you may just be someone who has a short
fuse. Or maybe you're the type of person who gets more and more
mad until you finally blow up. But no matter what the cause, you're
sure to get angry sometimes. And that's OK. There's nothing wrong
with feeling mad.
What you want to learn is how to identify the fact that you're ticked
and deal with it effectively - that is, in ways that don't get you
One productive way to deal with your anger (one that works great with
parents in particular) is the "cool down" approach. Here it is in four
- When something gets you really steamed, try to stop,
calm down, and think before you do or say anything.
Once you're calm, try to say what the problem is and
how it makes you feel. ("Mom, I don't like it when you
hand out a punishment before you've even given me
the chance to do what you've asked. It makes me
feel like a little kid.")
Try to think of some solutions and what the consequences
of the solutions would be (one solution here would be not
cleaning your room - but if you thought about it, you'd
see where that would get you).
Explain your solution and try to put it into action. ("In the
future, would you please tell me what you'd like me to do
first and wait to see if I do it before you threaten punishment?")
This can turn out well for everyone - you focus your attention on stopping
your anger, you get to say how you feel, and hopefully, your mom won't
talk to you in that way that enrages you again. But if this approach sounds
a little too formal, there are other things you can do. Here's a list of
Listen to music (with your headphones on) and
dance with some anger-inspired energy.
Write it down - in any form, poetry or a journal for example.
Play a sport or work out.
Meditate or practice deep breathing.
Talk about your feelings with someone you trust. (Lots of
times there are other feelings such as fear or sadness
underlying anger. Talking about these feelings can help.)
You might even try going somewhere secluded and yelling at the top of your
lungs. What we don't recommend is screaming at the person you're mad at,
whining, sulking, or any kind of physical threat or attack. These things are
likely to escalate the situation - and maybe even hurt someone.
Tell your parents, a teacher, a counselor, or another adult you trust if you:
have a persistent feeling of anger over things that have
happened to you in the past
feel consistent rage at yourself
start feeling anger that lasts for days or makes you
want to hurt yourself or someone else