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Anger Management Techniques for Teens

The physiological growing pains associated with adolescence are enormous. The more coping mechanisms and emotional management tools we can equip a teenager with the better.

angry teenIt is highly common for teenagers to experience difficulty with controlling their anger. This can be caused by a combination of many different factors (i.e. hormonal changes, low self-esteem, anxiety…etc.). Trial and error is the best way for a teen to learn what type of anger management technique is most effective. It is essential to note that there is not a right or wrong formula when it comes to controlling one’s anger. The most important notion as a supportive parent is to help your teen delineate what works and to encourage him or her to stick with it. 

Tips for Anger Management

There are several anger management techniques from which teenagers can benefit. Below are some examples that can help with anger management:

  • Teach your teenager to understand the importance of being impeccable with his or her word. Using proper words to help your teen learn to express him or herself poignantly, kindly and authentically will help to avoid unnecessary arguments and cultivate problem-solving skills. 
  • Exercise: it is widely known that exercising releases endorphins (the chemical associated with feeling pleasure) in one’s body. Increasing the release of endorphins can help a teen feel less angry. 
  • Eat healthy: food is the fuel one’s body needs to sustain itself. Encouraging a teenager to eat healthy snacks and well-balanced meals can help with the avoidance of irritation due to being over-hungry, as well as help to maintain one’s overall health.
  • Journal: sometimes processing (or a lack of processing) all the emotions associated with adolescence can leave a teen feeling overwhelmed, angry and unintentionally holding onto an abundance of unhelpful emotions. Journaling can be a way for a teen to write down his or her experiences and let go of the emotions associated with them. Regular journaling can help a teen gain perspective of a situation as well as illuminate unhelpful patterns. 
  • Listen to music: there is a copious amount of music available at one’s fingertips nowadays. Listening to music can help a teenager relax by providing a teen with an alternative to focus his or her energy rather than focusing on what is triggering his or her anger. The distraction can allow the teen to calm down.
  • Breathe: practicing deep breathing and mindfulness techniques can be incredibly helpful in anger management. 
  • Be the adult role model your teen deserves. Your teenager is witnessing every decision you make, both big and small, and watching your every move. Role modeling how to behave when you are angry can help provide your teen with hope that they can implement an effective anger management tool when they are experiencing anger. 

Each teen matures at his or her own pace, and develops coping mechanisms to help manage emotions along the way. Certain anger management techniques will resonate and be useful for some teenagers while others may rely on different coping mechanisms. Anger is a normal emotion that any typically developing teenager will experience. Some teens may experience more severe anger and require a bit more guidance than simply implementing the above techniques. Mental health professionals can help a parent learn additional tools to help their children with anger management issues in addition to assisting a teen navigate his or her challenges with anger management. 

For Information and Support 

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

References

Lök N, Bademli K, Canbaz M. The Effects of Anger Management Education on Adolescents Manner of Displaying Anger and Self-Esteem: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. October 2017.

Nasir R, Ghani NA. Behavioral and Emotional Effects of Anger Expression and Anger Management among Adolescents. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2014;140:565-569.