Emotions
 
Anger
 
What is it?
•    Anger is an emotion, just like joy, sadness and fear.

•    Everyone gets angry at one point or another, it’s normal. Even though anger is often perceived as negative, it has its good sides too.

•    Anger can be constructive and indicate that you are sensing something unfair, frustrating or hurtful. It can also push you to resolve a conflict, express your limits and make changes to your life.

•    Anger can be destructive if it builds up and isn’t properly managed. It can lead to violent behaviour, an accusatory attitude (“it’s someone else’s fault”), hurtful words, sulking and, later on, to feelings of shame and guilt.

•    Anger often hides sadness, disappointment, frustration or loneliness. It’s not always easy to express these emotions. Unfortunately, when they don’t get expressed, they can lead to a burst of emotion, often expressed through anger.

•    If you feel like anger is taking up too much room in your life, don’t hesitate to talk about it with a professional.

 
How to manage your anger
•    Try to understand and identify what set off your anger by asking yourself: What happened? How did I react? Why did I react that way? What was I feeling?

•    Try to prevent the next blow-up by identifying the signs that your anger is rising (e.g. you are feeling really frustrated, you’re shaking, you can feel yourself getting red in the face) so that you can take steps to control it.

•    Calm down by giving yourself a time-out before responding to the other person, and give yourself some time to think by removing yourself from the situation that’s provoking your anger. Don’t let yourself get carried away by other people’s anger.

•    Relax by breathing slowly and thinking about a pleasant place, for example.

•    Unwind by finding activities you enjoy and that will allow you to burn off the excess energy brought on by your anger (e.g. a running race, soccer, inline skating).

•    Express your feelings, don’t keep them pent up, and talk to your friends or parents, or call Tel-jeunes.

 
What to do after a blow-up
After an angry outburst, you may feel guilty or ashamed.
You can set things right by:
•    Forgiving yourself
•    Apologizing to the people with whom you lost your temper
•    Explaining to these people what happened (using the “I” form)
•    Finding ways to better handle your anger the next time you’re faced with a similar situation.
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