Anger is a normal, healthy emotion, but as long as you have control over it. When you see your anger take an upper hand, that is when you need to do something to keep yourself and others around you safe.
We have mentioned everything you need to know about losing your temper. How do you understand that you have this problem? What-to-do and what-not-to-do?
Do you have an anger management problem?
The best way to help yourself is to admit that there is a problem. You need to accept that your anger is getting out of control and you need to find ways to stop it from happening. Below are few questions you can ask yourself-
Do you find it difficult to remain calm when someone has an opinion which differs from yours?
Do your family and friends avoid conflict with you or are they scared of you?
Have you ever broken an object (glass, table, chair, ashtray) or punched a wall during an argument?
When angry have you ever raised your hand, slapped or hit anyone?
Do you get angry when you are interrupted or criticised?
Do you later spend a lot of time thinking up cutting replies you could and should have made when someone says or does something that upsets you even though you don’t usually say anything at the time?
Do you find it very hard to forgive someone who has done you wrong?
When you get angry, frustrated or hurt, do you comfort yourself by eating or using alcohol or other drugs?
Have you have trouble at work for losing your temper?
Do you get angry at yourself for losing control?
If most of the answer is “yes” then you do have a problem controlling your temper and you must do something about it.
Why do you have to control it?
Anger management issues at young age may give rise health problems later on. Your emotions are related to your physical health and vice versa. Anger causes certain changes in your body which may cause
high blood pressure
problems with digestion
chronic lower back pain
colds and flu
It does raise concerns about your mental health as well and manifest in the form of depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, relationship problems and suicidal thoughts.
Teenagers with anger issues often have fewer friends, behave in more negative ways and receive lower grades in school. Even though they get a lot of attention for their anger they still feel isolated and unhappy.
If you get violent you may notice that your family and/or friends are scared of you. They may not be able to talk to you freely and slowly you’ll see yourself being distanced from them. If you have a tendency to hit or throw things when you are angry, get help before you injure someone.
How can you tell that you are getting too angry?
Now think back. Think about those episodes of rage and anger. How did you feel? What was the situation that made you angry? Different people feel differently but few common feelings are
-your heart beat faster
-you breathe more quickly
-clenching your fist
-you feel like your body temperature rising and you may even sweat
This is how your body prepares you for the action.
There are certain situation that cause you to lose your temper. If you are aware of what upsets or annoys you, you can take control of it before it takes control of you. Keep in mind that your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all connected. Your thoughts affect your feelings, which then affect your behaviors. Your behavior can also affect your thoughts, which can affect how you feel. Since they are all related, making one change—to thoughts, feeling or behaviors—will make a big difference.
How to control your temper?
When you feel that you are getting angry and the physical reactions mentioned above are happening,
-take slow deep breaths, breathe out for longer than breathing in. It also helps to slow down your rapid breathing.
-count to 10, it gives you time to cool down and think more clearly
-repeat calming words such as “I’m in control”
-tighten your muscles and relax, notice the difference
-close your eyes and think of people, places or things that make you happy and it will calm you down.
-leave the scene, move away from anything that makes you angry. It will also give you time to “cool off” your angry feelings.
-relieve your physical tension. If you feel the need to hit something, use a mattress, if you feel like screaming, you could try screaming into a pillow.
For long term help…
Most people have trouble accept that there is a problem and they keep getting more and more violent each time. Once you have recognised the problem and identified the signs, you can help yourself or ask someone else to guide you.
Here are few tips:
Exercise- Running, walking, swimming, yoga and other meditation techniques help bring down your stress levels. These release “endorphins” which calms you down and makes you feel relaxed.
Look after yourself- Make time to relax regularly, and ensure that you get enough sleep. Drugs and alcohol can make anger problems worse by lowering inhibitions, which we need to stop us from acting unacceptably when we’re angry.
Get creative- Writing, making music, dancing or painting can release tension and help reduce feelings of anger.
Talk about it- Call or meet with someone you trust. This can be a friend, a relative, a teacher or anyone whom you know to be a thoughtful and good listener. You also can see a counselor to help you work on understanding your feelings and develop strategies to deal with them. Discussing your feelings with a friend can be useful, and can help you get a different perspective on the situation.
Change the way you look at things- Try to let go of any thoughts such as ‘It’s not fair,’ or ‘People like that shouldn’t be on the roads,’ as it can make anger worse. Thinking like this will keep you focused on whatever it is that’s making you angry. Let these thoughts go and it will be easier to calm down.
Don’t use phrases that include always (for example, “You always do that.”), never (“You never listen to me.”), should or shouldn’t (“You should do what I want,” or “You shouldn’t be on the roads.”), must or mustn’t (“I must be on time,” or “I mustn’t be late.”).
Rest- Anger often takes our energy away and makes us feel exhausted. Its fine to take a break, nap, or go to bed early. Sleep helps us focus so we can deal with our feelings better.
Use humour- Humour can play an essential part in helping reduce feelings of anger and maintain a healthy sense of perspective. For example, imagine you are having a really bad day where everything is going wrong. Rather than picturing yourself as a victim and getting more and more angry, try picturing yourself as a “figure of fun” say a South Park character, for example. Then, if things continue to go wrong, you may start to find them ridiculous rather than frustrating, and your mood may improve. Learning not to take yourself or your life too seriously can often help put things in the proper perspective.
Write about it- If you feel shy to talk about it with anyone, you can write about it “Anonymously” on and see what other people with similar problems have to say.
Being a teenager is not easy. You are going out to the world and learning new things which might be hard for others to understand. But anger need not be a way to express yourself. Uncontrolled anger triggers violence and you may be at risk of hurting your near and dear ones. Try the tips given above and enjoy your teen days.