anger; stress; violence; relaxation; depression; eating; disorders; youth; young; people; cigarettes; smoking;
Everyone gets angry from time to time. But if anger turns to aggression, or gets out of hand, it can be damaging to your health, relationships and general happiness. Learn how to deal with and let go of anger in a constructive way.
You can't avoid feeling angry but you can make choices about how you are going to express your anger.
- Wait before responding in anger. Anger can cloud rational thoughts and you may say or do something you regret later.
- Try to work out why you are angry. Not only might this give you a different perspective but it may also help the physical symptoms of anger reduce.
- Think about how to fix the cause of your anger. Can a compromise be made? Is there another way to look at the situation?
If you are angry because of something that happened a long time ago, or you can't really work out why you are angry, you may find it useful to talk to a counsellor.
Anger is often a sign that you feel someone is doing something wrong. It is good to notice this, but you cannot affect how others act. You can only control how you act.
Using assertive language is very helpful in these situations. Check out the topics Assertiveness and Conflict and negotiation.
Tips for letting go of anger
- Exercise - check out our topic Exercise to get some ideas.
- Have a good cry or scream in your car, or at the waves on the beach - let your anger out all at once. This can help express feelings of fear, hurt or grief.
- Write a letter. List the things you're angry about.
- Letting go can also mean letting some feelings go. If your beliefs lead you to feel you are constantly being mistreated or threatened, then it may be a good idea to talk to a counsellor to see if some of your beliefs need to be changed or let go of it all together.
Research shows a connection between stress and anger. If you are stressed out, you are likely to get angry more easily. If you are angry most of the time, you are more likely to feel stressed and anxious. Try to find ways to relax. See our topic Stress and relaxation.
help to sort things out
If anger has become a problem in your life, you may want to visit a counsellor. They can help you explore personal issues that help you to stay angry most of the time. Sometimes life experiences can hold you back from moving on with your life.
anger in hurtful ways
When people are not aware of how they are feeling, they can sometimes let anger cause an unhealthy outburst. Anger then can harm you or other important people and things in your life.
If you frequently lose your temper, you may find it can:
- be hard to keep friends, partners, family or employment
- end up making both yourself and other people miserable
- hurt yourself or others (often loved ones)
- lead to loneliness and unhappiness
- lead to violence - this is illegal, you may be charged with assault, or other crimes. Have a look at the topic Violence.
with other people's anger
If you are with people who are angry and you think they may become violent, it is important to make sure that you are safe.
- This can mean leaving the situation or telling someone you trust and who can help you.
- You can't change the way someone else uses his or her anger. Your safety is most important.
- There are many crisis and domestic violence services that can give you advice and assistance. Have a look at the topic Relationship violence.
If children are being hurt, it is important to tell someone you trust and who might be able to help. See Child abuse.
There will be times when angry strangers confront you, possibly at work or even driving your car. Stay calm. If you are worried about your safety contact your local police.
- Crisis Care 131 611
- Child Abuse Report Line 131 478.
- The Youth Health Service
- Kids Helpline Ph 1800 55 1800
- Your local community health centre.
- Your local doctor.
- Your school, TAFE or university counsellor.
ReachOut, an Australian online youth mental health service
Better Health Channel
Domestic Violence & Incest Resource Centre, Victoria.
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Youth Healthline on 1300 13 17 19 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).