When teenagers learn skills to manage their anger effectively it can make a big difference in the quality of their lives. Anger-management skills help teenagers resolve conflict peacefully, behave assertively to get their needs met and solve problems effectively. Anger-management skills can improve a teenager's social relationships, academic experience and attitude on the sports field. There are several ways in which adults can help teenagers learn how to safely manage and express their anger.
Prevention and Self-Care
Teenagers who have good self-care skills are better equipped to deal with stress, frustration and anger. Teach kids the importance of eating healthful foods and getting adequate amounts of sleep. Exercise is a great way to help relieve negative thoughts and reduce stress. According to KidsHealth.org, a brisk walk can produce chemicals in the brain that can improve a person's mood, making it a good tool for managing angry feelings.
Education on Anger
Anger is an often misunderstood emotion, and teens can benefit from learning about angry feelings. Teach teens that anger is a normal emotion and that feeling angry isn't bad. Help them identify the difference between angry feelings and aggressive behavior, and review the potential consequences of the latter. Discuss how angry feelings can lead to positive change, such as during the civil-rights movement. Help teens identify productive ways to express their anger like speaking up respectfully.
Teenagers sometimes resort to aggression when they see it as the only option. Learning that there are many ways to solve a problem can help them recognize better alternatives to aggression. Teach teens how to weigh the potential pros and cons of several different responses before impulsively reacting to events. Encourage them to wait until they feel calm before making decisions, as it can be impossible to think rationally and logically while feeling enraged.
Teenagers need to learn skills that can help them calm down when they feel angry. Activities such as listening to music, writing in a journal or talking to a friend can reduce their angry feelings. Deep breathing and meditation are also good ways to reduce physical symptoms of anger, such as increased blood pressure or heart rate. Progressive muscle relaxation teaches how to reduce tension by relaxing various muscle groups. Guided imagery can help teenagers picture a peaceful scene to calm angry thoughts and feelings.