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What Is Anger?

Anger is a natural emotion we all have. It is a feeling of hostility or resentment toward someone or something. Anger can be caused by many things, and it can help to encourage you to find a solution or make a change.

Anger has a bad reputation. It is sometimes thought of as a negative emotion, but it is as important as the rest of our emotions. Anger is problematic when it is expressed in an unhealthy/hurtful way. It is okay to be angry, but it is not okay to hurt yourself or others if you are angry. Like other uncomfortable emotions, it can be a problem when you feel like that all the time.

Anger is often a surface emotion. It is the one we show in place of something else. Check out this diagram of the Anger Iceberg.

Anger Iceberg (

What Does it Feel Like?

Anger can feel different for everyone.

Anger can feel like:

  • Faster breathing
  • You are flushed, hot, or sweaty
  • You want to yell or scream
  • Your stomach is upset
  • Your muscles are ready to run
  • Your heart is pounding and beating quickly
  • Your muscles are tense
  • Your body is prickly
  • It can be difficult to think clearly or make good decisions
  • And more

What Can You Do to Calm Down?

It is okay to feel angry and upset. It is about learning how to express it in a healthy way. Anger will not go away if you ignore it. Ignoring it can make you feel worse. You need to find a way to get it out. Being angry does not mean you can hurt others, yourself, living things, or property. Give yourself a moment before you act/speak.

Things you can do to calm down:

  1. Take slow, deep breaths
  2. Scribble on a piece of paper
  3. Yell into a pillow
  4. Play a game
  5. Go outside
  6. Get active
  7. Listen to music
  8. Dance
  9. Play an instrument
  10. Write it out
  11. Take a break
  12. Watch a funny movie
  13. Think of what is bothering you and think of solutions to deal with it
  14. Talk with a loved one

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