Everyone gets angry at one time or another. Anger is a normal human emotion. It’s how a person acts when feeling angry that can be problematic. When anger builds in intensity or gets out of control, people can behave in ways that are destructive. When anger gets out of control, it can lead to problems in personal relationships, particularly if anger leads to emotionally or physically abusive behavior or other acts of violence.
Expressing anger in healthy ways. Communicating assertively – not aggressively – is a good way to express anger in a healthy way. Being assertive doesn’t mean being pushy or demanding; it means expressing your feelings and needs in a way that is respectful of yourself and others.
Keeping calm. Different relaxation strategies might also be helpful, such as breathing deeply, repeatedly telling yourself to remain calm or take it easy, counting from 10 backwards, or imagining or visualizing an image that helps you relax or feel calm.
Avoiding or leaving a stressful situation. In some cases, a person can identify the situations that often trigger their anger. Staying away from the situation isn’t always an option, but in some instances it could be. Also, if you feel yourself getting angry, another option is to leave the situation before things escalate.
How might counseling help? If you feel that your anger is out of control and it’s affecting your relationships and other important parts of your life, you might consider counseling to learn how to better manage your anger.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.