6 Best Anger Management Tips for Kids, Teens and Adults
Anger is like heavy rainfall, if you don’t know the right ways to manage it the adverse consequences are likely to follow. But, if you know to control this heavy rainfall you can also rejoice the benefits that it has to offer. With 64% of the population saying that the world is becoming an angrier place (WHO) it becomes important to learn the right tips to control anger.
Just like anger and its demonstration vary widely among different age groups so does the anger management techniques. So let us learn some anger management tips for the three age groups- kids, teens and adults.
Tips to Control Anger in Kids
Anger is a powerful emotion, often making kids feel overwhelmed and unsettled. Therefore, it is important to control it. Some of the effective anger management techniques that work well with kids are:
1. Involve in Activities
Kids are found to express their feelings more effectively through activities, especially through art. Some of the way to find in which anger can help you with anger are:
When angry, the child may not be comfortable to speak much and talk about the issue, that is when visuals can help in. You can have flashcards with different emotions and feelings written on it or use the expressions of his/her favorite cartoon character, this in help in conveying what exactly is s/he going through.
The idea behind this activity is to identify the emotions and reasons underlying the anger response displayed by your child. You can frame a story and then involve your child in this activity, like- imagine your friend is facing a situation similar to what triggers anger in you.
What emotions do you think they might feel, other than anger? Write them under this iceberg. This task is insightful for the child and for parents as well.
2. Teach through Modeling
“Children don’t listen to us but rather imitate us”
Children are always watching you even when you are angry. They see you reacting angrily to situations and adapt the same styles knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore, modeling works as a powerful tool to teach your child to deal with anger in a positive and constructive manner. So, make sure you are modeling good coping strategies and self-control methods.
3. Notice Body Signs
Emotional regulation skills generally develop with self-awareness of bodily reactions. The sooner it is taught and implemented in your child’s life, the better will be the outcome. Teach your child to pay attention to their physiological signs of anger so that they can implement the calming tools before anger could take control over them. You can help them explore it by various activities as mentioned above and can also ask questions like- how do your shoulders feel when you experience anger, or can you sense the color of your face changing in times of anger? With this they learn to identify the signs of anger.
4. Teach Emotion Vocabulary
Vocabulary definitely helps your child express himself in a better and effective manner. But, that’s not it! Your child should be taught a wide range of emotional vocabulary as well, giving them a better opportunity to understand what they are experiencing and express the same to you.
5. Explore Triggers
Just like adults, children too have certain situations, events, people in their surrounding that trigger emotional reactions of anger. Try to identify these ‘anger buttons’ This will cultivate self-awareness and help the child be prepared before the tricky situation reoccur.
Remember you are a team. Be there for your child supporting him through the storm of anger!
6. Using breathing techniques
Just like for adults breathing works as an emotion regulator, the same applies to kids as well.
However, when we talk about kids you can teach them breathing their way- the fun way! Some of the creative breathing ways are-
Blow the candles: Put all 10 fingers up and tell your child to think of fingers as candles and blow each one of them individually, as slowly as possible.
Rainbow breathing: Inhale while starting from the bottom of the arch of rainbow and slowly exhale as moving down the arch.
Reminder: Talking to someone you trust can also help in managing anger among kids. Be that pillar of trust.
Tips to Control Anger in Teens
Individuals falling in this age bracket can display some serious anger issues which might hamper their relationship with others, careers and their educational endeavors. Therefore, it becomes important to save teens from this damage and make them learn effective anger management techniques. Some of these techniques are:
1. Identify Anger Stop Signs
Before you learn to stop giving anger responses or manage your anger, it is important to identify your anger signs. There are certain bodily signs that your body will display before that anger outburst, make a note of these signals, they can vary widely from your face feeling hot to your entire body shaking up. Now every time these signs start to show, think of a red stop signal! Leave the situation, event right there or start deep breathing.
2. Deep Breathing
Ideally, deep breathing is a relaxation technique, that will help in calming down the physiological reactions of your body to an anger provoking trigger. Inhale deeply and slowly, hold your breath for a while, and exhale slowly. Repeat it 5-10 times, it will surely cool you down and help you stay out of the anger zone!
3. Take a Timeout
It is okay to leave a situation when you know staying there can double the trouble! Temporarily leave that particular setting that has triggers to make you angry. Give yourself a few minutes to calm down and come back to the right mindset. Once this goal is achieved go and handle the situation with rationality.
4. Involve in Exercises
When we feel angry there is a lot of energy driving within us which demands to be released. Therefore, exercising is recommended to release this energy in a constructive manner, causing no harm to self and others in whichever way possible. You can also go out for a small run in the neighborhood.
5. Buy Yourself Some Time
Studies support that if you manage to distract yourself for 30 minutes after analyzing the signs of anger coming in, the chances of dealing with it in a healthy manner increases manifold. Some of the effective and healthy diversions that can be used for the rescue are: go for a walk, take a long bath, cook or bake, play with your pet and more.
Reminder: Lack of sleep can increase the instances of anger responses. Therefore, proper sleep is recommended.
Tips to Control Anger in Adults
Letting your temper hijack your life at this stage of life can leave negative impact on your career, physical and mental health. Plus, knowingly or unknowingly you are being a role model for someone, so getting your anger under control and expressed in a healthier manner is definitely recommended. Here are six anger management techniques that can work for you:
1. Take A Deep Breath
The breathing pattern when we experience anger changes to a more shallow and speedy process. This pattern has to be reversed in order to manage the emotion of anger. It is best advised to do slow and deep breaths from nose and exhaling it from your mouth (just like blowing candles, but slowly).
2. Knowing Your Triggers & Bodily Signs
Anger can be difficult to stop in its track but detecting the emotion beforehand can do the needful. If you know the triggers or are aware of your bodily reactions, that will lead to an anger response, redirecting them in a constructive direction can be done. Make a note of them and every time they are around, start deep breathing or just leave the space for that moment.
3. Repeat The Mantra
Maybe someone else asking you to calm down works as a trigger instead therefore, it suggests
calming yourself down with your own mantra (Trust me it works the best). Find a word or phrase that can help you refocus by calming you down. It can be just saying Relax or telling yourself It’s Okay You got this, just repeat it again and again, till you start feeling better.
4. Relax Your Muscles
With loads of energy riding in you, your muscles might feel stiff and tight therefore, relaxing them is important to make your body relax and give the signal to your mind that things are under control. The best way to relax your muscles is- progressive muscle relaxation. Here you have to slowly tense and then relax each muscle group in the body, one at a time, starting from the top of your head and moving your way to your toes.
5. Changing the Focus or Place
Although we view distractions in a bad light while working towards a goal but when faced with anger it can be your ally instead. Doing so will calm your brain down as your focus will shift to something else. Distracting yourself with an activity is a suggested way to mentally shift gears.
Alternatively, you can also leave your current surroundings and get a timeout for yourself and your mind. This way you won’t ruminate on the things that might upset you otherwise.
6. Channelize the Energy
As mentioned above when you are feeling angry there is a ball of energy within you that has to be released. The best way to do it in a constructive manner is channelizing this energy into something fruitful for self and others. You can engage in some physical activity like- working out, going for a run or walk, swimming, to name a few. Even certain yoga poses like- balasna, sarvangasana, sukhasana encourages relaxation by channeling your energy the right way.
7. Have a Calm Down Kit
A handy kit for rescue tends to work like wonders in anger provoking situations. If you are aware of your triggers and can sense them being around, this kit will give you the power to deal with it in an effective manner (think of it as Popeye’s spinach can, always there for rescue). It can consist of few items like- your favorite fragrance or lotion, a quote/phrase that radiates positivity, herbs that can relax you like- chamomile, a stress ball, or your favorite music album to tune into.
Reminder: Stay away from any form of substance use or abuse when your anger triggers are around!
Putting these anger management techniques to practice can surely help you get out of the bracket of where 64% of the population is heading.
However, if your anger is still spiraling out of control seeking professional help is recommended so that no harm is caused to self and others.
With that said…good luck with managing your anger!
Be Wise… Be Strong…