Anger Management Techniques for Teens

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Everyone gets angry at times, particularly in the stressful context and hormonal changes of adolescence. However, some teens experience greater difficulty in handling the situations and physical impulses associated with anger. Fortunately, several organizations and behavioral experts have developed strategies specifically addressing teen anger management. Remember that not every technique works for every individual, so try multiple strategies or a combination of some to figure out how to best manage angry behaviors.


Practice Problem-Solving

In some cases with anger management, the best defense is a good offense. You have a better chance of handling stressful situations if you create a survival kit. Role-play or write about daily challenges and brainstorm ways for resolving them. As you experience a conflict, take a step back to reflect. Think about what is happening, your physical and emotional responses to it and your options. Avoid snap judgments and try to come up with a balanced perspective.

Relaxation Exercises

While anger is a natural, self-protective response to many situations, relaxing in the face of excessive or problematic anger is more of a learned strategy. Find a simple phrase or mantra that calms you down, perhaps a self-affirmation or a line from a favorite song. Practice deep breathing and counting in the face of a challenge to give yourself time to check your impulses and respond reasonably. In the long-term, activities such as walking, yoga, meditation, running, hiking, gardening, cooking, playing music, painting or keeping a journal can promote a calmer attitude.

Visualization

When the going gets tough, go somewhere else, at least in your mind. Visualization techniques might begin in a calm, non-stimulating environment, such as a dark room or a quiet spot in nature. Sit comfortably, contracting and releasing each muscle to relax your body. Fix your mind on a place or an image that has a relaxing effect, such as swimming underwater, walking through a quiet forest or even somersaulting through outer space. If you practice visualization enough, you can generate the image in the face of stress and trigger an increased sense of peace.

Five-Step Process

For a more regimented approach, take the five-step process toward managing anger. First, identify the problem. Then think of many solutions before responding to the problem. Third, think through the solutions to imagine the consequences. Fourth, make the best choice. Finally, measure your progress. Determine if your choices were successful. If not, reflect on what you could have done better. If your choices were positive, congratulate yourself.

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