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Staying Cool - Even When You're Hot Mad!

Anger is a normal emotion - everyone feels angry sometimes, but people handle anger differently. Some people hold it in and say that they are not angry. Some people lose control and lash out at parents, friends, or other people and things around them.

In fact, uncontrolled anger can even lead to physical fights and other types of violence. But anger does not have to lead to violence. Learning how to control anger is important. You may have to stand up for yourself at times, but knowing how to control your anger can help you make smarter choices.

How you can handle your anger

  • Does your heart race, do your muscles tense up, or do you get a knot in your stomach? Learn how anger feels to you so you know when it's coming and can learn to control it.
  • Figure out what makes you mad, and practice staying cool for the times you have to face those things
  • Calm yourself down with deep breathing, exercising, counting to 10, or other tricks that work for you
  • Double-check yourself when you get angry. If you think a friend has spread gossip about you, you may feel ready to throw the friendship away. Before you do, ask yourself if you know for sure that this is true, and tell yourself that you need to first get her side of the story
  • Stay calm and keep your voice "low and slow." You can tell people how you feel without losing your temper or fighting - and your message can get across more clearly
  • Listen to others who tell you that they are angry with you without getting upset. Ask yourself if you can see their point of view
  • Check out an anger management program at your school, community center, or religious center
  • If you feel angry all of the time, or think you are acting in ways that seem out of control or scary, talk to a trusted adult. Learning to talk about your feelings is important. Sometimes anger is really a cover for hurt feelings or other problems, and it's okay to ask for help.
Is someone angry with you? Solve it!

Everyone has conflicts and problems…how you solve them is what is important. If you have a friend who is acting weird towards you, call or send an IM to ask why and really listen to what she or he has to say.

Is someone trying to make you mad on purpose? Ignore it or ask why, but remember that no one controls your feelings but you!

If you and the other person can't work it out, try getting some hands-on help. Find out if your school or community center has a program to teach about conflict resolution, which is how to solve conflicts in a healthy way. You can also talk to an adult you trust for advice.

Visit www.girlshealth.gov for more information on relationships, stress, and keeping your mind healthy.

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