5 Things to Try if You Feel Angry
If you feel angry, that’s ok.
Anger is one of those funny emotions that is perfectly natural. But in the modern world, getting angry is almost.. frowned upon. We need ways to express our anger, and get it off our chests. But we need to do it in a healthy, productive way that isn’t going to end up hurting the people around us, or ourselves.
At HATW, that’s our jam. We’re all about helping you find things that can work for you when you’re feeling low. It’s important to have a bunch of ideas for different emotions. Because what works if you’re feeling angry won’t necessarily help if you’re feeling scared (it might well do! But it’s better to be prepared!).
So we’ve compiled a list of 5 things to try if you feel angry:
This is one of the first coping techniques that we found from talking to people in the early days of HATW. Check out Becky’s story to read all about it. But the upshot is: grab a bunch of magazines, papers, etc and just rip them all up. Big bits, small bits, straight lines or all over the place. Just this act of ripping up paper is a great way to get out those feelings of anger. Then, once you’ve got all your ripped up bits, turn them into something beautiful. This is our favourite form of art, cuz it doesn’t matter if you’re good at drawing or painting. Literally anyone can do this!
We also do these in our school workshops – find out more about our workshops here!
I feel like exercise is one of those coping techniques that we’re all aware of, but that most of us would rather do anything else. If you ever saw me in PE in school, then you’ll know what I mean. But the good news is: exercise can take many forms.
One thing I notice when I get triggered, is that.. energy. I sometimes start to shake cuz that energy needs to go SOMEWHERE. So doing something physically active – be that running, lifting weights, or even punching a pillow – might be helpful if you feel angry.
Find out more about why exercise is flippin’ great in this video about physical resilience.
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Ok, this is maybe not the most practical one, but it’s kinda how the HATW story started! One of our founders, Si, found that drumming helped deal with those feelings of anger & frustration that were leading him to self-harm. If you have the chance, take it out on a drum kit rather than yourself if you feel angry. It has the added benefit of keeping your brain busy by doing different things with your arms and legs.
And hey, even if you don’t have a drum kit, you can still tap out some simple patterns with your hands. Just on a surface like a table, pretend you’re doing a drum roll for a big announcement, but make it as fast and as long as you can!
Full disclaimer: it’s Si writing this, and it feels weird writing in 3rd person.
If you’re thinking of thrashing a kit, you’ll need some sticks! Luckily, HATW’s got you covered!
Scream into a pillow
What’s one of the most natural reactions if you’re feeling angry? Screaming and shouting! Sometimes you can literally feel it bubbling up inside you and it feels like it just HAS to come out. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with heavy music tbh! We made a playlist of ace shout-y music, but with a positive message. Check it out below!
Unfortunately. One of the side effects is that we often end up shouting or screaming at the people close to us. And/or you end up getting shouted at for shouting..!
So shouting or screaming into a pillow is a bit of a workaround. It lets you get it off your chest without bringing the house down with you. If you’re lucky enough to live near some country side or a beach, you could just go out into nature and let out a big ole yell. It feels GREAT. Just make sure it doesn’t end up sounding like you’re in danger and someone ends up running over to you..!
Punch something soft
Straight off the bat: your siblings don’t count as “something soft”, mmkay?
This one is more what we’d call “harm reduction”. It’s not great to punch stuff in general. But we hear from a lot of folks that they punch walls when they’re angry. It’s related to that idea of needing to do SOMETHING with all the energy that comes along with those angry feelings. So if you’re gonna punch something, make sure it’s something soft like a pillow or a stuffed toy. If you have the option, a proper punching bag could be a good shout!
Kinda related too: stress toys could be a mini version of this that you can take out and about with you.
Try these next time you feel angry
I mean, really, the best thing to do is try and recognise what it is that makes you angry and why it’s causing you to react like that. But, in the heat of the moment, you sometimes just need to let it out. These are a couple of ideas that might help in the short term.
Don’t forget to check out the Things To Try page for a bunch more ideas that can help with all the different emotions you experience.
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If you found this post helpful, check out some more of our Straight Up Advice.see more