Coping skills for angry teens is just as important as the underlying issue. Everyone feels angry on occasion and it’s not unusual for teens to experience anger from time-to-time. However, when adolescents feel angry regularly or are quick to anger, there are a variety of techniques which can be used to ensure the emotion does not have a negative impact on them or the people around them.
Although any one can experience problems relating to anger, teens may be more prone to anger control issues. A mix of low self-confidence, communication problems, and hormonal changes can mean that teens are more likely to feel upset or angry and individuals with underlying depression or anxiety may find it particularly difficult to control their anger.
8 Coping skills for angry teens & students
With effective anger management methods, however, all teens can learn to master their emotions.
Anger management techniques for teens & students
Fortunately, there are plenty of anger management techniques which can be employed in a variety of situations. Of course, everyone responds to anger differently so you may find one technique more effective than another.
When you notice yourself starting to feel angry, it may be helpful to try out one of the anger control methods listed below. If you feel the technique is helpful, you can begin to incorporate it into your routine and use it whenever you begin to feel angry in the future.
Alternatively, if you don’t find the first technique you try to be particularly helpful, simply keep working through the anger control methods until you find a technique which works for you.
1. Anger relaxation techniques
When you’re feeling angry, you may notice your body reacts physically. People often clench their fists or grind their teeth when they’re irritated and you may tense your muscles without realizing too. Making an effort to notice these physical manifestations of anger is the first step to reducing them.
There are various relaxation techniques which can help to reduce anger, such as:
- Deep breathing
- Guided imagery
Be prepared to try as many techniques as possible and then combine the ones that work best for you. That way, you’ll always have the techniques on hand when you need them. Taking a weekly yoga class may help you to feel less angry in general, for example, but it’s not necessarily appropriate to start performing asanas in a school or work environment.
Instead, you could practice yoga regularly to promote a sense of calmness in general and use other techniques, such as mindfulness or meditation, when you feel anger approaching. A few minutes of meditation or mindfulness can be performed in any location so they’re ideal techniques to use if you’re at work, at school or out and about.
2. Think about your anger
When you feel yourself beginning to get angry or irritable, take a moment to think about why you feel that way. In some cases, your anger may have a specific cause but often people experience anger about non-identified issues and this can result in your anger being misplaced.
If you begin to feel irritable or angry because you haven’t eaten for a while, for example, you may notice that you snap at the people around you. Although they haven’t done anything to warrant your anger, you may misplace the emotion and attribute blame where it’s not due.
By pausing to analyze your anger and identifying what is causing the emotion, you can often find a solution to the issue. Ask yourself whether you’ve missed out on sleep recently, if you’ve skipped a meal or if an upcoming project or test has been on your mind a lot, for example. Although you may not be consciously angry about these things, they could be fueling the emotion without you realizing it.
3. Practice free association writing
Even if you feel angry regularly, you may find it difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s causing you to feel this way. Keeping a journal will give you an opportunity to identify any patterns which are present and this could give you an insight into what’s triggering your anger.
Note down the time and date you feel angry, as well as any perceived causes and circumstances which may be contributing to the feeling, and then look back over previous entries to see if you can see a pattern emerging.
4. Exercise for peace
Exercising is great for the body and mind, and it can certainly help to reduce feelings of anger. When you work out your body releases endorphins and these can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a sense of well-being. Sometimes called ‘feel good hormones’, endorphins can help you to feel calmer and less irritable.
In addition to this, exercise can be done in isolation or in a group so you can choose a method that works for you. If you’d prefer to be distracted by company, why not head to the gym with a friend? Alternatively, if you’d like some time out, you could go for a walk, run or hike in your local area.
Engaging in regular exercise is a great way to improve your mood in general but exercise can also be useful at times when you’re feeling angry. Going for a run or working out at the gym when you feel annoyed or frustrated will give you an opportunity to clear your head and relieve any stress you’re experiencing.
5. Laugh more
When you find something funny and you laugh, you tend to release tension in your body. If you’re storing a lot of tension because you feel angry, watching something funny or joking with friends can help you to retain your sense of humor and allow you to let go of the negative impact of anger.
It may seem difficult to be lighthearted when you’re feeling upset or angry but practice by watching a funny program or listening to a humorous stand-up routine. Once you’re able to focus your mind on what you’re watching or hearing, you’ll be able to appreciate the humor and your symptoms of anger will begin to dissipate.
6. Use music to calm the senses
Music is capable of stirring up all sorts of emotions and it can also help to reduce negative feelings. Depending on your taste, you can use classical music to instill feelings of calmness, hip hop to get you feeling motivated or heavy metal if you want to be fully absorbed in what you’re listening to.
Whether you use headphones when you’re out and about or a stereo at home, listening to music can help you to feel less angry and will promote positive feelings instead. Once you’ve identified a genre which helps you to calm down or specific songs which you find helpful, why not create a playlist you can turn to whenever you need it?
7. Communicate about your feelings
Being able to communicate effectively is useful in so many areas of your life but it’s particularly beneficial when it comes to managing anger and diffusing potential arguments. By practicing your communication skills, you can ensure you’re able to stand up for yourself and get your point across but you’ll be able to do so without sounding rude, argumentative or aggressive.
If you’re angry about someone else’s actions, for example, explaining why their behavior has made you angry is likely to be more effective than simply telling them you’re angry. Of course, finding the right words can be difficult when you’re filled with rage but practicing what you want to say beforehand or writing down what you want to communicate can help you to get your point across effectively.
8. Seek treatment and/or help
Experiencing anger from time-to-time is normal and as long as you channel anger in positive ways, it’s not necessarily a negative emotion. However, there are times when anger can be extremely harmful. If you’re experiencing feelings of anger frequently or you feel unable to control your anger, you may want to consider seeking help.
Anger management can sometimes be tricky to master but there is plenty of help available. In some cases, anger may be associated with anxiety or depression so seeking help could ensure you get to the root cause of your anger issues, as well as helping you to deal with feelings of frustration and anger when they arise.
Managing anger can be difficult at any age but it can be harder for teens to overcome anger issues. With so many changes taking place throughout adolescence, it’s not surprising that many teenagers need a little extra help managing their emotions and there’s certainly no shame in reaching out for the help you need.
Summary of coping skills for angry teens & students
Indeed, seeking help as a teen can stand you in good stead later in life. Effective anger management is a skill everyone needs to develop and the earlier you do, the more you’ll benefit. By using a range of coping skills and techniques, such as those listed above, and reaching out for extra help when you need it, you can learn to reduce feelings of anger and cope with your emotions in a healthy and productive way.