When dealing with an angry teenager, it's important to remember that anger is a natural emotion that needs to be recognised and controlled. Identifying what triggers anger can be challenging, as each person feels anger for different reasons. There are multiple resources and methods available to teens to help resolve anger issues. Following a few rudimentary tips when attempting to teach a teenager who needs anger management can yield exceptional results.
What Is Anger?
Before offering a teenager tips about how to manage his anger, it's important to acquire an understanding about anger itself. Anger is a natural human emotion that can be triggered by dislike or displeasure. It's also a reactive emotion to frustration, criticism or threat. Additionally, anger can function as a secondary response to an already existing emotion such as sadness, fear or failure. Yet, anger is more than just a mental state of mind -- it also triggers bodily effects such as an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and adrenalin levels. Understanding what anger is and how it affects people is the first major step to identifying how it functions within yourself.
Identifying Personal Anger Triggers
Once an understanding of anger has been developed, the next major step toward anger management is the identification of personal triggers. An effective way for a teen to identify anger triggers is to keep an anger diary, which will allow her to keep track of what works and what doesn't, and where and why anger occurred. Recognising why anger occurs will allow a person to remove himself from that particular situation to a place where he has space to gather his thoughts and relax. This can be done by physically moving away from where the situation is occurring, changing the subject of conversation or counting to ten before giving a response. If anger is caused by conversation, slowing down the pace and giving time for thought can produce beneficial results. Slowing down in general, including talking and breathing more slowly, prevents the accumulation of personal triggers and allows substantial time for an angry teen to calm down.
It's important to express anger in a controlled manner, such as through writing, art or counselling. Each avenue allows you to express your anger in a non-judgemental environment that's inherently reflective. For example, if a teenager is encouraged to express her anger through art, upon completion, she will confront her piece and reflect on the anger that inspired it. Moreover, expressing anger in a healthy, controlled manner is imperative when attempting anger management because it makes a person actively take control of her emotions.
Relaxation and Other Tips
According to writer Christian Nordqvist on the website Medical News Today, anger causes a mass flux of stress which can lead to more anger. It's important for an angry teenager to learn to relax and reduce stress. This pursuit can be achieved through a number of relaxation techniques provided by a physical therapist that specialises in anger management and relaxation techniques. Also, the proper amount of sleep (at least seven hours a night) is critical to a healthy mental and physical state. Likewise, a balance of exercise and proper eating habits can also positively affect a person's mental and physical well being.
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- Livestrong: Anger Management Tips For Teens; Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell; March 2010
- Medical News Today: What is Anger? What is Anger Management?; Christian Nordqvist; August 2009