Anger is a feeling, not a behaviour
through your nose, feeling your stomach go out rather than just your
chest. Repeat five times to yourself "Cool down - keep calm" and
concentrate on the words and be aware of your body calming. You need to
practise this until you don't need the words but just the feeling of
that your thoughts may be wrong - that person is really annoying you but
you may be over-reacting and getting things out of all proportion.
Try to solve the problem in a different way. Why are you so angry? Do you
need to be? Is there another way to handle this? You will be the one left
to deal with what happens after your anger - your bad feelings about
yourself and other people's anger and disappointment.
When you are
angry, you can get the wrong end of the stick. Slow down and think
carefully about what you want to say. Listen carefully to what the other
person is saying. Write it down in a letter if you canít talk about it
without getting really angry.
Make sure you
give yourself time to think about why you get so angry and whether it was
worth it. Manage your stress and anger levels by:
Listening to music or watching TV that isn't
violent or emotional, just soaps or fun shows
Writing down what you feel. Teenagers always
feel stupid writing down their feelings but it's a really good way to
see your thoughts written down and you may surprise yourself with how
truthful you can be on paper. If you are worried about anyone finding
it, destroy the paper afterwards - it's the writing down that helps you
deal with it so you donít really need to keep it.
Take lots of exercise Ė a sport or something
physical that helps get your aggression out and not onto other people.
It may just be kicking a football around or running.
Talk about your feelings with someone you
trust. This could be a parent or a friend - it could even be your cat or
dog or old teddy bear - the important thing is to practise talking about
your feelings. Think of those bad feelings as dangerous - if you bring
them out into the daylight, they look insignificant and can be dealt
with but they get bigger and more unmanageable if they are hidden and
fed with more anger until they are huge.
Maybe you should change who you hang around
with? If your friends are angry frequently and/or make you angry,
consider making some new ones who may help your self-confidence and
Get off the roundabout
There are many
reasons why you feel angry and hostile and the worst of it is that the
more angry and aggressively you behave, the more you will hate yourself
and so it goes on and on, round and round, worse and worse until you even
frighten yourself and end up feeling that everyone hates you. How do you
Test how real
your ideas are. If your parents have split up, young people often feel
it's their fault, especially if they have been behaving badly before it
happens because they have been reacting to the atmosphere in the house. If
one parent has left, it's really hard to understand how they could have
done that if they really loved you. Maybe you feel you aren't good enough
to be loved otherwise, wouldn't they have stayed? Or maybe you feel it's
just so unfair and you weren't even asked or told about it, it just
happened - doesn't anyone understand how YOU feel?
probably taking it out on the other parent, the one left at home. But that
is scary too - perhaps they might leave you or stop loving you as well or
put you into care even? These fears are really frightening but the REALITY
is that parents almost never leave because they want to leave their
children. Marriages and relationships break up and the two people in them
want to live apart. They still love their children and the parent who
leaves is often terrified that the child will lose contact with them.
the children who suffer most because parents can forget to tell their
children that they love them and might not see the terrible pain that it
gives their children to lose one parent from the home. They'd understand
if that parent died, but usually, parents expect you to deal with divorce
or separation - but it's not that easy, is it? Maybe both parents are
saying bad things or thinking bad things about each other and expecting
you to get involved or worse, take sides.
Be a bit
kinder to yourself:
You ARE loveable. You ARE OK. You ARE allowed to be feel so much pain
inside that you don't know what on earth to do with it. You ARE allowed to
be furious with your parents for splitting up Ė that anger is part of the
process of coming to terms with it. You ARE allowed to be angry but you
owe it to yourself to deal with it so it doesnít hurt you and other
Get off the
TALK about it. GET your anger out in other ways. BE HONEST with yourself
and write down what you feel. FIND ways to deal with it so that it
eventually goes away
Allow yourself TIME OUT
If your anger
is getting out of control and the relaxation technique first mentioned
isn't working, take TIME OUT. Tell your parent that you are going
to use the TIME OUT technique and get them to agree that they will
allow it to happen as it's really important that you both agree to it and
respect it. When you say TIME OUT, calmly leave the house or
situation and walk yourself out of the rage or upset you feel. Give
yourself time to think and not just react - allow yourself time to cool
down. Adults do this all the time, either by leaving physically or in
their heads but parents often feel they need to keep you there, usually
because they're worried you'll hurt yourself or someone/something or
because they might feel you are getting away with it.
means, OK, I'm leaving so that I can get control, thinks things through,
be myself again, get some space between us etc. it's an amazingly good
technique. You can usually come back and talk things over more calmly or
it may be a way to give everyone space for a few hours. If you have an
angry parent, they might learn to use the technique as well. No
post-mortems though - otherwise the situation will get angry again rather
than be resolved.
So this is the
agreement for TIME OUT
Say TIME OUT
and leave the situation to allow both sides to cool down
When you come
back either agree to talk calmly or forget it
ie no accusing 'you always do this', 'I won't have you talking to me like
If you can't
talk, both sides agree to write down what they feel it.
it or it wonít be effective
Finally - LIKE YOURSELF!
Practise thinking good stuff about yourself
Even though you don't like yourself
sometimes, are you really that bad? Lots of people have gone through
what you are going through and they are fine now, they got through it.
If you don't really like yourself when you behave with anger and
aggression, then change the behaviour. It's the BEHAVIOUR that's bad,
Think something good about yourself and
members of your family every day - it sounds daft but it really works!