It’s healthy and natural to get angry sometimes. But there are ways to show it without hurting yourself or other people. If you’re struggling to control your behavior, we can support you. On this page Why am I angry? Dealing with your anger
Feeling less angry
Why am I angry?
Everybody gets angry sometimes. It can be because something’s happened, or you might feel angry without knowing why. Anger can help to motivate us to change things, but it can also get out of control. There’s a big difference between feeling angry and being abusive or aggressive. You might need help with your anger if you’re:
breaking or throwing things hitting or physically hurting somebody else or yourself
shouting a lot at other people
deliberately trying to make other people angry
getting angry all the time.
No matter what’s making you angry, there are ways to cope without hurting other people or yourself.
Top tips for dealing with anger
Count to 10. It can help to give you time to think and calm down.
Breathe slowly and deeply. In through your nose and out through your mouth.
Control your tone of voice. Keep it slow and quiet.
Use a stress ball. Or slowly make a fist and release your hands, over and over.
Think before you react. Wait an hour before you say or do anything.
Leave a situation. Walking away shows more strength than staying.
Dealing with your anger
Feeling angry doesn’t mean you have to be aggressive.
There are lots of ways to let your anger out.
Hit something soft Punch a pillow or screw up a piece of paper.
Do something else Do something completely different. Play a game, watch TV or count tiles on the wall. Anything that will keep your mind busy.
Burst bubble wrap Take your aggression out on a sheet of plastic.
Exercise Go for a run, play football or do yoga. Doing something that gets you out of breath can help you to calm down and feel happier.
Write down what you want to say Put everything down on paper or in an email, then destroy or delete it
Talk about it Tell someone you trust what’s made you angry to get another point of view.
Feeling less angry
When you’re feeling angry all the time it can have a big effect on you and the people around you. There are little things you can try every day to make it easier.
Think about the person you’re angry at
People can do lots of things that make us angry. But that doesn’t always mean they’ve done something wrong. When someone does something to make you angry, you might think:
they don’t like me
nobody cares about me
they think I’m stupid.
But that doesn’t mean it’s true. Sometimes it might even have nothing do to with you or something you’ve done. It can help to think of all the different reasons someone might be behaving or saying things that affect you. For example, someone might:
not realise that what they’re doing would upset you
be angry at something else
be feeling stressed at something else.
Next time someone makes you angry, try writing down all the reasons it might have happened. Make sure you include things that weren’t your fault.
Don’t focus on who’s right and wrong
You might get angry because you know that you’re in the right or that someone else is getting away with something. But when you start feeling like that, ask yourself the following questions.
What will happen if I get angry?
Is it worth it?
Will getting angry change things?
Most of the time, being aggressive or angry will make things more difficult, even when you’ve done nothing wrong. A lot of the time, calmly walking away from a situation can show that you’re mature far more than getting aggressive.
Learn to spot the signs you’re angry
When you’re getting angry, there are lots of things that will happen to your mind and body. You might:
feel your muscles tensing up
start breathing heavily
notice your heart beating faster
feel like you can’t think about anything except what’s happened
only be able to see the negatives about a situation or person
struggle to say how you feel or think clearly.
Spotting the signs that you’re starting to get angry can help you to know when things might be getting out of control. Try making a plan of things you can do when you start to feel angry.
Make a plan of anger dos and don’ts
Write down a list of all the things you do when you get angry. Then for each thing, write down how it affects you or someone else.
After you’ve written your list, make a new list of things you can do instead when you get angry. For example, instead of shouting you could speak calmly. Then write down how your new list would affect you or someone else.
Making a list like this isn’t always easy and you don’t need to do it all straight away. Asking someone to help you can make it much easier.
Whenever you start to feel angry, think about your list of things you could do instead.
Let other people help
It can be tough changing how you feel when you’re angry at a situation that you can’t change, or if you’re just angry all the time. But you don’t have to cope with things alone. Talking about what’s been happening can help you to:
get ideas about how to change things
think about different ways to cope
understand ways to feel less angry in the future.
The more you practice behaving differently when you get angry, the easier it can get. Remember that even if you can’t control your anger once you can still keep trying. There are lots of things you can do to help you keep trying.
Use your mood journal Write down what goes well and when you would have liked things to be different.
Give yourself time Things don’t change straight away, but the more you try the easier things can get.
Talk about things It can be tough coping alone, ask what other people think and speak to an adult you trust about how they could support you.
Start an anger diary
You might not always know what makes you angry. Or you might find it hard to understand why something has affected you so much.
An anger diary can help you to work out what kinds of things make you angry so that you can avoid them in the future. To write an anger diary:
each time something makes you angry, write down what was happening and how it made you feel in your mood journal
keep writing things down for a week or a month, then look through all of the different things that have happened
read what you’ve written and try to spot particular things that make you angry all the time It isn’t always easy to figure out exactly what makes you angry.