TFW life doesn’t go the way you wanted it to…

Your blood feels like it's boiling, this feeling builds up in your chest, and you think you might explode. You could feel shaky, flushed and even confused. 

This could be because of a bunch of different reasons. Either something has gone wrong or someone has done something to get under your skin. You might feel attacked or frustrated by something. You could feel powerless because you can’t do anything or be invalidated and treated unfairly. People might not be respecting your feelings or your possessions.

This intense emotion is most commonly known as anger.

It’s not wrong to feel this way, even though it is usually said to be a negative feeling. We all feel these different emotions for a reason. Whether sad, happy, excited or angry - it's our brain telling us that something is up. These feelings actually help us to survive and can mean that something or someone really matters to us. They are completely normal and are what makes us human. We need these to help us to take action and communicate with others. For example, you might be feeling really down and that can help you realise you want to reach out and ask for comfort or help.

But sometimes, these emotions can control us (instead of the other way around) and drive us crazy. It can build up inside if you bottle it in and then it can be too much to handle. With anger, you might want to blow up which can easily backfire.

But why anger and not another emotion? For example, you and your mate might go through the same thing but they’re fine and you’re not. Remember that everyone is different and brought up in different ways. Your reaction to something you’ve experienced may be different to someone else’s and that doesn't mean one way is right or wrong. For example, others could just be able to laugh it off. But this doesn’t mean that it isn't okay for you to feel what you feel. Your childhood upbringing, trauma, experiences and your current life circumstances all play an important part.

We know sometimes it can be hard to identify emotions, these are some common signs that you may be experiencing anger -

  • Hot and sweaty
  • Flushes
  • The shakes
  • Can’t think clearly
  • Tears 
  • Rush of energy 
  • Heavy/faster breathing
  • Confusion/dizziness

It’s important to know when this is happening and have a healthy way of dealing with your emotions - whether these are good or bad ones. When you’re angry you want to express it negatively - usually swearing, screaming or stomping. You might also feel like throwing objects, punching and kicking. Problem is, this can hurt yourself or others. It’s important to know how to deal with your feelings so that it doesn't infect other areas of your life or affect you negatively in the long run.

Strategies to help you cope or calm down:

  • Take 10 slow and deep breaths, counting out loud for each one you take. It seems pretty silly at first, but this is actually one of the best ways to calm down..
  • Stop whatever you’re doing and take a minute to pause. You might feel full of rage and want to scowl or raise your voice. Really have a think about the aftermath if you were to burst out at someone. Is it worth it?
  • Use distractions. Take your mind off for a bit by doing something else. You could blast some music, scroll on Tik Tok or go for a short walk outside. 
  • Express yourself. Letting out your frustration really helps to exhaust your emotions. This could be writing out all your feelings into a diary, singing or making some art. It could also be hitting or screaming into a pillow, too, if you really need it.
  • Drink some ice cold water or have a bite to eat. Ever heard of the term ‘hangry’? You’re more likely to snap or act out when your sugar levels are low. Have some cereal or fruit to help out your brain - it will thank you for it.

If you feel like you still need more help, reach out to someone you trust. This could be a parent, friend, sibling - whoever is willing to listen. Or if that isn't comfortable for you, Youthline has an anonymous and non-judgemental helpline you can call or text. It’s like a free listening ear for you to vent and let out your frustrations. Free call the helpline on 0800 376 633.