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We all feel angry at times, anger is a completely normal and healthy emotion, and it is a common reaction when we feel insulted, wronged, hurt or treated unfairly. When we know how to control and manage anger it can play a positive role in our lives, it can help us to stand up for ourselves, to fight against injustices and recognise when there is a need to make a change in our lives.

Unfortunately, many people do not know how to control their anger. Instead they let their anger control them and violence is often the result.

Anger does not have to lead to violence.

Anger is only an emotion – how we act when we feel angry is up to us.

Some people allow their anger to control them and then lash out at other people. Here people will get hurt and relationships can break down.

We can learn ways to calm down and reducing both the emotional feeling and the physical reaction that may sometimes follow. Once you are feeling calmer you can take a step back and look at why you are feeling angry, is there a real reason for being so angry and if there is , is there a calmer more assertive way to deal with the situation whilst being respectful of other people.

When you are angry you may feel:

  • Your heart rate and blood pressure go up
  • Feel like you have a burst of adrenaline
  • Feel muscle tension
  • Changes in your breathing and heart beat
  • A knot in your stomach
  • Goosebumps
  • Be flushed in the face

People who are angry and aggressive need to take responsibility for their actions - blaming others is not helpful. However, looking at the past may help you understand your present behaviour, for example, if people around you set bad examples and resolve things aggressively, you may not learn to deal with anger constructively. Think about patterns and how you can change them.

You might like to try assertiveness training or counselling to help you change your behaviour.

If you work out what makes you angry and how you feel when you are angry, you can find ways to stop these things pushing you over the edge, maybe you could try some of the following:

  • Practice breathing deeply and slowly, try repeating a word or phase to yourself, such as “calm down”, “relax” or “there’s no reason to lose control”
  • Close your eyes and try to imagine that you are in a place or situation that makes you feel peaceful, calm and safe
  • Get some exercise. Try running, biking, walking or dancing to calm yourself down so you can think

If you learn to calm down you can rationally think about why you are angry and you can pay attention to the way you think when you are angry.

Try not to use phrases like ‘she never lets me do what I want’ or ‘he is always picking on me’

Remember, you can’t do anything about the things or the people that make you angry but you can control your reactions.

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