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Understanding and managing anger

Anger is a difficult emotion to express and manage. But being angry is a necessary emotion that everyone experiences.

It's important to deal with anger in a healthy way that doesn't harm you or anyone else.

Reasons for anger

People get angry for many reasons, such as:

  • being treated unfairly
  • feeling unappreciated
  • being under a lot of pressure
  • coping with a traumatic event
  • experiencing body changes

Understanding anger

Feeling angry is not a bad thing but what you do with your anger matters. Anger can become unhealthy when you express it in a way that hurts others or yourself. Bottling it up and not expressing it can create problems but there are ways to deal with anger. Violence is never one of them.

Dealing with anger

Sometimes you can feel like your anger is out of control. This can make you feel helpless.

While venting your anger isn’t helpful, holding in your anger is unhealthy too. Letting out anger doesn’t have to be something that is aggressive, or involves outbursts. If you hold in emotion, it will find a way to come out somewhere.

You may not be able to control what leads you to feel angry but you can manage your anger.

Managing your anger

Anger can often feel uncontrollable, but there are several things you can do to manage it, such as:

  • count to a hundred
  • leave the room
  • kick a ball, punch a pillow or go for a run
  • play some music
  • find somewhere quiet to go
  • practice mindfulness
  • write down what you're feeling, if you keep getting angry

If you keep getting angry or find it difficult to control your anger, talk to someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member, GP or counsellor.

Getting violent never helps. It results in a situation where you could hurt yourself or someone else.

page last reviewed: 23/09/2018
next review due: 23/09/2021

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