Feeling angry?

Anger is a normal positive human emotion!

We all feel anger to some degree. Anger can motivate and encourage us to do something like fight for our rights, or start a petition.

Our past experiences of anger are important in how we cope with our own anger and that of our children.

Challenging our perception of anger can change how we deal with it.


Why do children get angry

The fundamental reason that children get angry is that their system is thrown out of check. The chemicals in their body are unbalanced. Much like the feeling after eating a very sugary treat or drinking a strong coffee.

Some reasons children get angry include:

  • basic need not being met, such as feeling hungry or tired
  • upset or anxious about something
  • not being understood or felt heard
  • being told no, or not getting what they want
  • being hurt or feeling hurt
  • bored or over stimulated

What lies beneath anger?

Anger is an emotion that tends to be easy to see. However, anger is often just the tip of the iceberg. Other emotions may be hidden beneath the surface.

  • Anger may be fuelled by different emotions at different times, or by a combination of emotions. Sometimes, however, anger is just anger.
  • Anger triggers can be people, places, situation and things. Your triggers can provide clues about the emotions behind your anger.

Responding to anger

Labelling the emotion and changing our language:

Sometimes we can feel a big emotion and may not know how to express it in words. Using language can give us a connection to understand and in time express the emotion with words.

‘frustrated’

‘confused’

‘annoyed’

‘disappointed’

The physical and mental changes

Anger can be a warning sign that something isn’t right.

For a short time, anger changes the physical and mental state in our body by releasing adrenaline and other chemical, hormones and neuro transmitters.

It can cause us to be in a state of FIGHT or FLIGHT as an automatic response; we position ourselves for battle or to move away from the threat. This can result in:

  • Increased heart rate as blood pumps around our bodies
  • Sweating and/or shaking as there is lots of tension in our muscles
  • Our digestive system slows down
  • We feel light headed or have a headache.

These signs will often be an early indicator that we are feeling angry about something. Recognising the signs means that we can do something about it!


Activities to help with anger

Thoughts, feelings and behaviours are closely linked so sometimes they can get muddled up! Knowing what is happening in our bodies gives us increased awareness.

Check out some activities you can do