Troy L. Wheeler
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Advice for teens on controlling anger
Anger is a normal emotion, but it is important to keep your feelings in check to prevent a situation from escalating. Follow these seven tips for keeping your cool when it really matters:
1. Admit that you're angry: You can properly deal with your feelings once you are able to identify them.
2. Deal with it: Stop what you are doing, take some deep breaths, and count to 10.
3. Don't brush it off: Getting angry is normal. Ignoring your feelings will only make things worse in the long run.
4. Identify and understand the cause: Try to figure out the exact reason you are angry. Often people have an outburst about something when they are actually upset about something different altogether.
5. Walk away: This pro-active step allows you to have the power to change a situation.
6. Get a new perspective: Attempting to understand the other person's perspective in an argument might help you keep your temper down.
7. Vent to your family and friends: Explaining your feelings to those close to you might help you feel better about the situation.
Being angry for a long period of time will only cause you more pain. Try to find activities to take your mind off things and help you relax.
1. Find a cause: Throw yourself into something positive. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, tutor a student at school, or help out a non-profit group in your community.
2. Find a hobby: Learn something new! Paint, draw, play a musical instrument, cook, read up on a subject of interest.
3. Exercise: By taking some time for yourself and engaging in physical activity you will be able to gain some perspective on your life. It is a perfect way to use up excess energy and calm yourself down.
If there are times you feel angry, you can be sure there are times that others do too. Work with your school or community to create a mediation and conflict resolution program. See if your employer or local school will start to offer anger management classes so others can learn to keep their cool. Educate yourself on anger management and teach your kids, students, families, and friends how to recognize their anger and how to diffuse potentially violent situations.
Tips adapted from NCPC Brochure "Calling All Hotheads: Tips on Keeping Cool in an Angry World."(PDF)