Anger is a natural reaction and you can sometimes feel it when things go wrong, or if you're scared or stressed.

The important thing about anger is learning to manage it so that you don't hurt others, damage your relationships, or let it affect your mental and physical health. Learning how to spot the warning signs and stay calm will help you keep your anger under control.

It's helpful to remember:

  • Think of the bigger picture. Will this bother me in a year?
  • Try and say why you're angry and remember that time alone to calm down is okay.
  • Take some time to think about how your actions are affecting others and try to remember people are usually trying to help you. 
  • Apologise if you have harmed someone - and if you've hurt yourself, apologise to yourself. 
  • Figure out why you reacted like that so you can recognise it next time before it's too late.
  • Tell someone if they've made you angry or talk to someone else about it. 
  • Remind yourself that your emotions are valid. 

Our Experiences

By young people, for young people

"My anger can lead to me getting aggressive and shouting words I don’t mean. I deal with it by calling my boyfriend and crying. I think crying is the best method to stop getting angry and violent. Mainly, my mum makes me angry because she can seem unreasonable. My anger can cause stress and sleep problems which really effect me at school."

Maisie, Age 15

(Some names changed to protect people's identities)

All You Need to Know

Pause & breathe

This simple breathing exercise is a good way to regain control if you start to feel angry.

  • Find a comfortable position, sitting or standing
  • Close your eyes if it feels comfortable, and take a deep breath in through your nose, counting to four
  • Hold your breath for a moment, and then slowly exhale through your mouth, again counting to four
  • Repeat, focusing on how it feels as your breath enters and leaves your body - try to let go of any racing thoughts or negative emotions
  • Continue until you start to feel calm again.

Talk to someone

Talking about your feelings can help.

If someone is making you feel angry, it can also be helpful, when you’re feeling calmer, to tell them how they are making you feel; this might help change the situation.

Always reach out for support when dealing with anger-related issues. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or a counsellor about it. They might be able to give you some good ideas about how to cope with your anger.

Express your feelings

Anger can sometimes build up inside you - it can be a bit like a volcano, ready to explode.

If you can let the feelings out in a healthy way, it can help to ease the pressure.

Try talking to someone you trust and tell them about your frustrations, worries and disappointments. They might be able to make you feel better and just talking about it will help.

You can also express your feelings through creative activities, like writing, singing or drawing, or doing something physical such as playing sport or dancing.

All of these things will help you let your anger out in a safe and positive way.

Take breaks

If you feel your anger building up, learn to walk away. Go for a walk, listen to music or you could try relaxation methods like meditation or yoga.

Taking a break gives you a chance to calm down and puts some distance between you and what is making you feel angry, so that you are able to think more clearly. It is a healthy way to manage anger and can stop the feelings, in that moment, getting worse.

Reflect & learn

Think about when you last felt angry - what happened and why did it make you feel that way? When you reflect, or look back, like this, it can help you to understand your reaction and learn how to cope better with the feeling of anger.

Talk to friends, adults you trust or read books or articles about managing anger. If you are worried about your anger, speak to your GP - they might suggest workshops or therapy sessions to help you. You can also request support for yourself via this online form.

Thinking about your anger and learning how to manage it will give you the skills you need to keep your emotions under control.

When anger turns to aggression

Anger is a normal emotion, but it can be hard to control. Sometimes it can feel like the only way to express that anger is through aggression, for example lashing out at someone.

Anger and aggression are not the same thing. Anger can actually be a useful emotion if you learn to express it in a safe way - it helps us know when something is wrong or unfair. When it turns to aggression, it has the potential to hurt other people or yourself.

Sometimes, anger and aggression can turn to violence. Violence is unacceptable and it can be scary for everyone involved. Aggressive behaviour can make you feel frightened or worried. It can include being violent towards other people or shouting at them and making them feel intimidated.

If you feel yourself getting very angry, it can be helpful to walk away from a situation and give yourself some space to become calm. Try a simple breathing exercise - take a deep breath, hold for a few seconds and then breathe out. Repeat this five times.

If you are worried about your own behaviour or that of others close to you, talk to someone you trust about it. Put safety first and walk away to allow the situation to calm down. If walking away or leaving the room/house isn't helping, call the police. After all, if you feel threatened or scared, then you have the right to protect yourself. 

When you are feeling calm enough, talk to someone you trust about how it makes you feel when you become aggressive. Try to work out what triggers you to feel that way and how you might deal with it in the future.

If you are worried that you can't control your anger, you can request support online, at Kooth or by speaking to a friend, partner or adult that you trust.

Who Can Help?

You can talk to your parents or carers, or a trusted adult within your school or setting, or any trusted friend.

Kooth offers online counselling, advice and emotional well-being support 7 days a week until 10pm. 

MAP Norfolk can give free and confidential support, information and advice on issues such as housing, money and mental health. You can call 01603 766994 or email info@map.uk.net.

If you live in Norfolk:

If you're 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for anonymous and confidential advice and guidance from a health professional. ChatHealth is available Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.

You can also contact the Norfolk Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you live in Waveney:

You can call the Suffolk School Nursing service on 0345 607 8866 or email childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk.

Urgent Mental Health Support

For 24/7 immediate advice, support and signposting for anyone with mental health difficulties please contact 111 and select the mental health option. 

If you feel someone's life is at risk or they cannot be kept safe, call 999 or go to A&E.

Useful Articles and Guidance

Was This Page Helpful?