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Let’s be honest. No one has their emotions in check all of the time. There are moments in everyone’s life when feelings overwhelm us and rational thinking goes out the door. This is because when we are highly emotional, the logical part of our brains can be overridden by the emotional part of our brains.

Have you ever seen a little kid chuck a tantrum in shopping centre? The kid might be yelling and throwing their arms and legs around, completely oblivious to the people watching.

Now ask yourself, have you ever seen a teenager or adult do that? Hopefully, the answer is no.

Most of us learn that there are better ways to manage anger than throwing yourself on the floor and yelling at the top of your lungs. It may be normal for a three-year-old, but it certainly isn’t for anyone past the age of eight or nine. As we grow, we learn.

But sometimes controlling our temper is a hard lesson to learn, one that can take us well into adulthood.

Here are some common signs of someone who has a trouble managing their temper:

  • Becoming angry or violent quickly when something upsetting happens.
  • Getting angry when things don’t go right
  • Struggling to talk about anger and other emotions calmly
  • Flaring up over small issues
  • Being uncontrollably aggressive towards others
  • It’s affecting relationships

Admitting that you may have a problem with anger isn’t easy, but it’s often the first step towards change. The good news is that there are some proven ways to take back control. These strategies work best if you stick with them – so don’t give up!

Struggling with your temper? Try these:

  1. Know your triggers
    Write down when you feel angry and what comes immediately beforehand. After a week, see if there’s any patterns. Is it only happening at school? Is it happening when you feel stressed? These could be your triggers.
  2. Cool down your emotions
    When you feel the first hint of anger, take 5-10 minutes away from whatever is making you angry and try to engage 2 of your 5 senses in an activity you enjoy. This will distract your brain from what is making you angry and help you calm down.
  3. Have a safe place
    If you struggle with your temper at school, talk to a teacher or school guidance officer about creating a safe space where you can take some time out. It must be somewhere completely safe and un-pressured, a place where you can engage in the pause strategy.

Learning to control a temper is something we all have to learn, but when we do, we start connecting with others in more positive ways and reach resolutions faster.

So have the courage to get your emotions under control because it will certainly be one decision you won’t regret making.

illustration of tips how to keep your temper under control

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