Teen Health: Anger Facts

Anger is a healthy, normal emotion, but it becomes a problem when it's expressed in an unhealthy way that hurts yourself or others. Find out how to manage anger. If you need help, call 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) and talk to someone. All calls are confidential.

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Why do people get angry?

Anger is a normal and healthy response to any of these situations:

  • You've been treated unfairly
  • You feel you have no control over things
  • You're stressed or under a lot of pressure
  • You're going through physical changes which cause major mood swings
  • You're depressed
  • You just have a personality with a short fuse

Anger is experienced by everyone at some point, but it can be a difficult emotion to manage, particularly because we're often taught not to show or express it. It's not uncommon to feel guilty or ashamed about being angry despite it being a necessary emotion. It only becomes unhealthy when you express it in a way that hurts yourself or others.

If you bottle up anger, you may find that it can come out in ways that you don't expect. Becoming violent is never an option.

Managing your anger

Count to 100: When people are angry they can say or do things that they regret later. If you feel that you're becoming angry, do something to cool down, like count to 100, and then continue the discussion later.

Leave the room: If the situation is getting to the stage where people are yelling or are possibly being violent, leave the room and tell them you will talk about it when they and/or you are calm.

Do something active: Do something physical like kicking a soccer ball, punching a pillow, or going for a run. This will give you a chance to release some of the energy and calm down a bit. Play video games: If you feel like you're going to get into a fight, it's better to do it while playing a video game rather than in real life. It's a good way to release some anger and negative energy.

Listen to music: Put on your headphones and play your favorite music for a while. Music affects mood and you might calm down just by listening to it.

Sit in a quiet place: Go to a park or wherever you feel calm and just relax. Try and think about why you're angry along with some solutions to the problem you're having.