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7 Anger Management Tips Every Teenager Should Carry in the Pocket

Are you a teen and live in the West? Then welcome to the new world. Even though no one is currently invading your country, there has been no generation before you that has been exposed to as much anger, violence, and bitterness as you. This stuff is in the movies, on the radio, in your school and on the news every blooming day. You are being sold that anger is cool, normal, even a tool to get what you want in life. I bet you have friends that are on antidepressants, sedatives and been diagnosed will all sorts of exotic conditions. Do you ever wonder why?

I have a clue – values.  That is the lack of them.  When I say values I don’t mean morals or conduct, I mean wisdom to discriminate between things that bring either true happiness or miserable suffering.  What to do?  As some wise sages would say… “In order to start making the right decisions you must first stop making the wrong ones.” It can start with something simple like taking control of those angry outbursts that even a corpse would be disturbed by.

Anger Management Tips for a Wiser Teenager

1. Your brain is not your friend, yet.  New findings in neuroscience suggest that the average teenager’s prefrontal cortex is not ready to take on the role of the brain CEO.  That is because that part of the brain fully matures only in the late 20s. Until then your emotions (driven by amygdala) can easy go unchallenged by the rational mind (function of the pre-frontal cortex) that can weigh out potential consequences and provide for a wider perspective on the situation.  Crudely put, as a teenager, you don’t yet have all the brain power you need to make good judgments.

However, this does not mean your brain is somehow defective or “half-baked.” In fact, your brain has one large advantage over adult’s brain – it is more capable of leaps in cognition and adaptability due to its neuro-plasticity (flexibility in thinking and adjusting to new situations). All you need to remember is that your thinking and reasoning is very fast but you need to be careful with acting out those impulses because the “first think, then do” brakes are not always on, so to speak.

2.  Be assertive, not aggressive.  If you assert yourself, you behave in a way that expresses your confidence and earns respect from others.  Assertiveness is nothing but standing up for yourself in a respectful but direct way. You know… that look in your eyes that you mean business.

3.  When angry consider yourself drunk.  Make no decisions and take no action while angry.  No exceptions!  You will either regret it or it will have negative consequence for your life – 100% of the time. It never fails.  Your mind is really that clouded.  Your judgement is that impaired.

4.  Do not feel obligated to think happy thoughts or neglect your anger. Simply acknowledge to yourself that you are angry and rest assured that this will pass. Instead of suppressing your anger you are much better off learning to be patient and wait till it passes. My spiritual teacher always says, “If it wasn’t here before, it won’t be here in the future, then why worry?” Then he puts a carrot in his mouths and loughs loudly.

5. Don’t believe the moral high of self-righteousness produced by anger. In fact, if you feel angry and feel you are right about your position “I am right to be angry,” you can bet your arse you are probably wrong. Its an illusion! What do I mean? I mean that this is nothing but your ego trying to mask your anger as an appropriate response to a situation.  BUT, if your anger is truly justified, for example you see some punk hurting a dog, then you will never question your anger, it will not come with thoughts like “I have the right to be angry at him.”  Give this one a thought.

6. Who are your role models in life? It is said that you pick the qualities of people you hang out and identify with the most. Is their view of the world cynical and bitter? Do they lose their cool easily? Thanks to your brain’s mirror neurons, you may be modeling their behavior without even being aware of it. I can tell you a big change in my attitude started to happen when I started listening to tapes by people like Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins and the tectonic shift happened when I discovered my spiritual path and started hanging out more around people who radiated fearlessness, joy and compassion.

If you sense your idols are actually more like prophets of false hope and no longer serve your goals on living a meaningful life then it may not be a bad idea to find some new ones.  I invite you to be mindful who you hang out with. See through the illusion of feeble fame and glory of these performers and the Hollywood crowd. Nothing wrong with enjoying a good performance but be careful not to identify with their melodrama.

Do you really want to look like this dude?

7. Finally, trust me on this one, anger makes people look ugly.  Just take a better look at angry faces of people around you.  Damn they are ugly! They can wear Armani jeans, carry a Gucci bag, have the most stylish hairdo on the block and still look like a Gremlin when they are pissed. For a lady, anger is a terrible makeup and for a guy, anger is a sign of weakness. I share with you without any doubt – the most sexy character trait of any guy or gal is kindness and compassion.

Stepping Stones to a Better You

Teen years can be one of the most exciting parts of your life. It certainly was for me.  It is also a time when you can lay foundations for your emotional intelligence. Trust these words: nothing gets noticed more in the society than a mindful, caring person. Not even your IQ is as important as your ability to deal with life’s challenges in a wise and cool way. Life will throw many curve balls but only your attitude will determine whether those challenges will be the road blocks or stepping stones to a better future.

Use these anger management techniques and tips  daily and remember, as a teenager you can get away with the wildest behaviour but the scars that you may leave from anger may never heal.  Be wise with your words, use them to heal and uplift people, not the other way around.  This is your ticket to a rewarding and meaningful life.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • ASIA March 15, 2012, 12:16 am

    during my life i have had a lot of problems and i feel as if they were unfair so my anger is trying to justify my wrong doing that has been done to me…with anyone i feel is doing me wrongly and my mind wont let me walk away and keep quite!

    • Anger Mentor March 15, 2012, 3:31 pm

      Hello friend, thank you for a sincere comment. It takes courage to recognize and express angry feelings.
      Your suffering is real. One of the most difficult causes of anger to deal with is the one you describe – that sense of injustice and powerlessness. Yet, among various ways to respond to injustice, anger is not the most useful one. I don’t know your circumstances so it is hard to give good advice but I can share with you that when I feel the same way as you I ask myself whether I can feel genuine sadness instead of anger. Its ok to be sad over a situation you can’t control. I mean, often times when we’re angry we rarely feel any better but when we can allow ourselves to feel sadness there seems to be more of healing process taking place.

      It also helps to keep a big picture in mind. If it happens that you fell a victim to unfortunate events then you must realize that many other people have as well. This very moment that you are reading this, someone is dying a horrible death, being hurt, raped, experiencing excruciating pain, or watching his child pass away in their arms. All beings suffer, sooner or later; this is the nature of this cyclic existence. (Buddhists call it Samsara).

      Perhaps one of the most difficult things in one’s life is to realize that dwelling in the past robs one of the future. A while ago, I made up my mind to start slowly letting go of all hurts. It was a wonderful experience. What matters most is to build resilience, shake things off quickly and move on. When I stopped wasting time dwelling on unfairness, and instead, started looking for causes of all my suffering I found liberating answers. It sounds like you’re on the same path. I wish you lots of courage and success.

  • Slee March 17, 2012, 5:20 am

    On the upper right of this blog, there is an article called “how to control your anger by setting solid boundaries”. I feel that the key to dissolve ANGER is to find the source what sparks it. Can we recognize it when we are in a situation that an appropriate boundary needs to be set?

    Your anger is of course justified. Look at the sparkle then you’ll know why…

    People are not always nice and kind;
    People are not always reasonable and fair;
    People are often selfish and rude;
    People are often abusive toward others verbally, and sometimes physically.

    Often ourselves are the same way to others when we don’t understand other people. When we only have access to a very limited point of view, we tend to judge. We might hurt other people and not even be aware of that. This is just humanity, normal human conditions.

    So on the receiving side, when we feel hurt or anger, that means our spaces are violated. We need to recognize that above statements are just no more and no less than the reality itself. We need to set boundaries, to keep appropriate distance with others, and to allow things to shift on their own.

    Anyway,having understandood this, it allows us to better engage in the possibility of letting go of the hurts and stop holding unrealistic expectations about how people “should” act in the future. Also, coming along with deeper appreciation when people do treat us nice. Thanks for the inspiring article.

    • AM Tadas March 18, 2012, 12:42 am

      Hello Slee, thank you for your insights. Establishing our own boundaries is very important. In teen years, however, there seems to be much more going on. I remember when I was a teenager it felt the world was crashing on me from unfairness. I believe it is partly because this is a phase of our lives where we transition from an artificial cocoon of safety provided by our parents and Disneyland fantasies of a perfect and beautiful world. Teenage years are when we really start to think deeper and analyze the world. When we do we shed painful illusions and stand a risk of becoming bitter and angry – we can’t point our finger as to why but deep inside we feel betrayed. And we actually were, in the way, betrayed, but mostly with good intentions from our parents. Yes people can be rude and cruel but clinging to the concept that ALL people are somehow evil is short sighted and looking through the rosy glasses and thinking that all people are beautiful is even sillier. The liberating insight comes when we can realize that people can be BOTH – cruel and kind, stingy and generous, angry and loving. Just resting with this thought can bring more inner peace. As always, the truth and happiness reside somewhere in the middle. 🙂

  • Paul Koppel January 20, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Another Useful post, I’ve read on your site. Very much helpful post to figure out the triggers of anger. Yes, you’re correct, people with anger will looks ugly, we don’t like to see them and even our selves too. We may not control the anger but we can control our responses for those anger situations. Thank you.

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