Your teen years are filled with rollercoasters of emotions, confusion, frustration, and so much more. Parents may say that the teen years are challenging for them, but it could just be that they’ve forgotten just how it feels to be a teen. And indeed, parents today can’t understand the same pressures and stressors that teens are coping with.
You may find that you are struggling with anger that often feels like it springs up from nowhere. Perhaps you find yourself reacting with anger to something that you’d typically otherwise shrug off? It could be that you feel angry at those around you for how they act, behave, and respond.
Do you find that you are asking yourself, “Why am I so angry as a teenager?” There might be a bit of science behind it. And there may also be good angry teenager help that can guide you back from the anger.
Is it just a phase?
We tend to dismiss things as a phase for children and teens. In truth, much of what you will go through will be a phase. In teens who struggle with anger and defiance, the exhibited behaviors tend to extend beyond the expected behaviors. Anger is an expected part of adolescence. It can prove to be a healthy emotional response to stressors.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss your anger, particularly if you feel out of control. Anger is often a secondary emotion for those who are struggling with it. It can mask some of the other issues you’re unsure how to handle.
This could include fear, shame, hurt, anxiety, and sadness. If these underlying concerns are not addressed, and they become overwhelming, you may respond by lashing out in anger at those around you.
The teen years are complicated and can be stressful. Most teens will react with anger now and then. For some teens, however, an angry emotional outbreak may be more of a regular occurrence.
What could be behind your anger?
Many factors could be contributing to the anger that you’re struggling with. Every person’s emotional regulation, maturity level, and capacity is unique to them. Some teens need to learn healthy management of their emotions to better cope with stress. Others struggle with intense and overwhelming anger as a side effect of stress, pressure, trauma, or mental wellness concern. Some common triggers for teen anger could include the following.
- Struggling with bullies, whether in person or virtually
- Peer pressure that may include drugs and alcohol or sex
- Family conflict
- Divorce or separation in the family
- Losing a loved one
In addition, struggling with anxiety, ADHD, ODD, depression, and other concerns can contribute to teen anger. These often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed issues can affect impulse control, self-control, social skills, and more. All of this can combine to make a teen more likely to have angry outbursts.
How can you work on and control your anger?
Recognizing that you have anger problems shows excellent maturity and understanding. Knowing that it’s something you need to work on and control demonstrates that you are willing to change behaviors that others may object to.
So, what can you do to help keep your anger within control? Remember that there is no one-size solution or right or wrong formula for effectively managing your anger. It can take a bit of trial and error, but once you find what does work for you, you should stick with it.
Take a moment to analyze the anger that you’re feeling. You may find that anger can arise even when you’re not truly angry with a specific person or situation you find yourself in. As silly as it may feel, ask yourself if you’re feeling frustrated and mad because you need to eat.
Are you tired? Sad? Anxious? These can all be contributing factors to your anger. When you recognize that you are getting to the point of being angry, take just a few moments to work out what you are genuinely feeling.
Did you sleep well last night? When last did you eat? Are you concerned about an overdue project? Did you recently fight with a parent or perhaps your girlfriend? Identifying what you are feeling can help point you in the right direction to help yourself.
Learn how to be your best advocate. Instead of issuing demands to your parents, try letting them know that you feel anxious and that is contributing to how you are reacting. If you can express how you are feeling using words that are not aggressive or confrontational, you may just be able to strike up positive conversations.
It’s not easy to express yourself because sometimes we simply can’t find the right words. That said, you could try taking the approach of writing your thoughts down or sending a text versus running the risk of getting into a screaming match with your parents or a sibling.
How do you feel physically when you start to get angry? Do you feel your muscles getting tense? Do you grind your teeth and clench your teeth? If you can find effective ways to relax your body’s response, you will have more control over your emotions. Learn more about relaxation techniques that may be helpful for you. There are a few techniques that you can explore:
- Meditation practices, including mindfulness, are things you can do anywhere and for any length of time.
- Yoga is not just a great way to learn how to relax your body; it can be a great low-impact workout to help you build muscles.
- Get a walk, hike, bike ride, or even a run in. Believe it or not, a good workout can help you to feel relaxed and in control of your emotions. When you work out, your body releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins. This can help you to feel calmer, more relaxed, and more in control of how you’re feeling.
- Journal your feelings. Keeping a journal is an easy way for you to express how you’re feeling. You can also eventually begin to recognize triggers and patterns in how you’re feeling. It doesn’t need to be an elaborate journal. Use the note app on your phone or table to simply jot down how you feel when your emotions begin to get flustered.
- Unwind with music, whether country, metal, or rap. Create playlists to put on when you start to feel that your anger is starting to escalate.
- Understand that it’s okay to reach out for help. Many times, feeling angry or enraged simply isn’t healthy for you. If you’re trending more towards being angry more often than not, you may need to consider that it’s time to speak to a mental health professional.
A note for parents – signs that your teen needs help with his anger
Parents may not always recognize whether the level of defiance and anger their teen’s exhibit are normal teen behaviors or point to a more serious concern. If you recognize some of the following behaviors in your teen, it is possible that they need to be seen by mental wellness professionals:
- Almost non-stop arguing and picking fights with siblings, parents, friends, and authority figures such as teachers or coaches.
- Verbal threats that may suggest hurting themselves or others.
- Being physically aggressive or violent, whether to someone in the home, a pet, or someone else at school.
- Frequent emotional outbursts that could include screaming and throwing things.
- Behavior that seems irrational and thinking patterns may also seem irrational.
- Bullying peers and even adults.
- Engaging in criminal activity that could include property destruction, theft, and breaking into homes or businesses.
Any one of the above could be a potential red flag that your teen could benefit from being treated by a mental wellness professional. It’s important to note that unconditional love and support from parents play just as crucial in helping any teen work through the issues he’s struggling with.
Are you seeking help for the anger, anxiety, and depression you may be struggling with? At HelpYourTeenNow we pride ourselves on offering the correct type of resources to teens and families in crisis.