Seeing Red? Learn to Manage Your Anger
Anger is a powerful emotion and can quickly get out of control. Think about what is making you upset in your life…Is it your parents, friends, school?? If you’re having difficulty pinpointing the issues, start keeping a journal to reflect on the happenings of your day. Rate your anger on a scale of 1 to 10 every day to keep track and determine if it is getting better or worse. When you are aware of the issues making your blood boil, then you can start dealing with them head on.
For example, lets say you and your mom are constantly arguing. What usually sparks the fights? Can you two sit down and try to have a calm discussion and come up with a compromise? Set some rules-if either of you feels your anger elevating, try taking a time out to walk away and calm down for a bit. Then finish the convo later. Think about how you are reacting to her and try something different. If you usually scream at her when she won’t let you go to your best friend’s house, try taking a calmer approach. Maybe she will appreciate your maturity and let you go next time.
Another important anger management skill is to be aware of your bodily reactions when you start to feel angry. Does your face get red, fists clench, or you feel knots in your stomach? These are your signals to STOP. Freeze and give yourself a few moments to cool off. Have you ever said or done something when you were fired up that you later regretted? We don’t always think rationally when we’re mad, so wait until you are calm before you make a decision. Prevention is key, so have a plan! Here are some ideas to help you in that heated moment…
1. Take a few deep breaths
2. Count backwards 10 to 1
3. Close your eyes and imagine a peaceful image
4. Use positive self-talks, such as “Stay calm”, “I’m in control”
5. Walk away
6. Vent to a trusted friend or adult
7. Listen to music
8. Play with your pet
9. Write in a journal
10. Exercise-go for a run, shoot some hoops, take out your anger on the ball, not a person
11. Punch your pillow or scream into it
12. Use a stressball
13. Draw or paint
Next time you notice yourself getting mad, execute your plan. Figure out what works for you. Easier said than done, right? It takes practice to learn how to manage your anger. Trust me though, with time, you will train yourself to THINK before you ACT. You will have a more peaceful home, might save yourself a few friendships and it will keep you out of detention..totally worth it.
Remember YOU are always in control of your feelings. Don’t allow someone else to take away your power and make you upset. *