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Anger

It’s healthy and natural to get angry sometimes. But there are ways to show it without hurting yourself or other people. If you’re struggling to control your anger, there is support out there.

More information about anger

Signs of anger

Some of these might include:

  • Clenched teeth

  • Tense shoulders

  • Increased heart rate

  • Clenched fists

  • Tight stomach

  • Tense muscles

Things that might make you angry

Sometimes the smallest of things can make us angry. It is natural to feel angry at times but can become a problem if it’s uncontrolled. Here is a list of some things that might make you angry:

  • Being embarrassed in front of other people

  • Changes in the family, like divorce or separation

  • Being let down

  • Something that feels unfair

  • Not being listened to

  • Feeling lonely or rejected

  • Pressure from school or at home

  • Death in the family

  • Being bullied

  • Being hurt or abused

You can read more about different types of anger below and the self-help materials you can use.

Different types of anger

Outward aggression

This involves expressing your anger and aggression in an obvious way. This can include behaviour such as shouting, swearing, throwing or breaking things, or being verbally or physically abusive toward others.

Inward aggression

This type of anger is directed at yourself. It involves negative self-talk, denying yourself things that make you happy or even basic needs, such as food. Self-harm and isolating yourself from people are other ways anger can be directed inward.

Passive aggression

This involves using subtle and indirect ways to express your anger. Examples of this passive aggressive behaviour include giving someone the silent treatment, sulking, being sarcastic and making snide remarks.

Express your anger

There are some quick ways that can help you express your anger:

  • Rip paper

  • Pop bubble wrap

  • Squish playdough

  • Wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze

  • Write a letter to someone

  • Jump on a trampoline

  • Do wall push-ups

  • Write down what’s bothering you and rip it up

  • Squeeze a stress ball

  • Talk about it

  • Scribble on paper and crumple it up

  • Do jumping jacks

  • Put the palms of your hands together, push and release

  • Do stretches

However, if these do not work, it may be time to seek help from your Primary Mental Health Worker or your doctor.


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Useful books

  • When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang

  • When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman

  • Cool Down and Work Through Anger by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed

  • Angry Octopus by Lori Lite and Max Stasuyk

  • Don’t Rant and Rave on Wednesdays by Adolph Moser 

  • How to Take The Grrrr Out of Anger by Elizabeth Verdick and Marjorie Lisovskis 

  • What to Do When Your Temper Flares by Dawn Huebner 

  • Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands by Tamara Levitt

  • The Secret to Clara’s Calm by Tamara Levitt

  • Lancashire Libraries - Reading Well for Young People – Shelf Help

  • The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust book recommendations and book club

  • Chillax!: How Ernie Learns to Chill Out, Relax and Take Charge of His Anger by Marcella Marino Craver 

Useful apps

  • HeadSpace is a personal guide to health and happiness. Designed to help you focus, breathe, stay calm, perform at your best, and get a better night’s rest through the life-changing skills of relaxation, meditation and mindfulness.

  • Calm is an app for meditation and sleep. Designed to help lower stress, lessen anxiety, and assist in a more restful sleep with guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, masterclasses and relaxing music.

  • 7 cups Free anonymous emotional support and counselling from trained active listeners.

  • MindShift uses strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety.

  • Smiling Mind is a unique tool developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to your life.

Self-help materials

  • CAMHS Resources - This site was created for young people, carers and professionals to pool together lots of helpful resources from across the internet that are available to help support mental health and well-being.

  • Download a feelings thermometer that can help you make the connection between your feelings and your coping skills.

  • onyourmindglos - Helpful guides about emotional health

  • Get Self Help - This website provides CBT self-help and therapy resources, including worksheets and information sheets and self-help mp3s

  • Centre for Clinical Interventions - Self-help resources for mental health problems

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Useful videos

Watch videos in our anger playlist on our YouTube channel.

Games

However you're feeling, it can be great to express yourself and do things you enjoy. Take your mind off things with games, finding new ways to handle your emotions.

Get more support

Childline - Information and advice

Kooth - Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people, accredited counsellors for mental health needs

Mind - Mental health charity providing support and guidance

Royal College of Psychiatrists - Mental health support for young children

Samaritans - Mental health charity providing support and guidance to all

The Mix - Online group chat/discussion boards supporting children and young people with a variety of mental health issues

Young Minds - UK charity fighting for children and young people's mental health

Youth Access - Advice and counselling network

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