Anger Management Techniques For Teenagers Seeking More Emotional Control

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated April 10, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention substance use-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use, contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Support is available 24/7. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

The teenage years are sometimes characterized by rebellious behavior and angry outbursts, and seeking anger management tips can be helpful in managing this behavior. It may seem there is a lot to feel angry about, including everyday struggles, frustration with home life, hormonal changes inherent to adolescence, and other negative feelings that can cause anger problems. 

It’s okay to feel angry or have angry feelings; in fact, being upset is a natural part of the human experience and a healthy emotion. Anger can be productive and motivating if we express it in the right way and use it for the greater good. However, if your anger is negatively affecting your relationships with people or other aspects of your daily life, or if you feel your anger escalating, that’s when it can become a problem. If you or a loved one is experiencing overwhelming anger, reaching out to an online therapist could be a great option for you.

What is anger?

Anger is an emotional state that can vary from irritability to intense rage.  Anger can be a natural response to threats, and it’s actually necessary for survival. These feelings can be caused by both internal and external events. For example, you could be mad at a particular person, which would be considered external, or ruminating thoughts about frustration or failure could cause you to feel angry, which is internal. 

When we feel angry, these angry feelings can cause our heart rate and energy hormones like adrenaline to increase as well, and we may typically want to respond in an aggressive manner.

You don't have to let anger dominate your life

Where do angry feelings come from?

Understanding anger can be an important step in controlling anger and expressing anger in a healthy way. Sometimes there are other, more vulnerable, negative thoughts and emotions underlying anger. Anger isn’t always a reaction to a current circumstance or situation and can be triggered by a person’s own bitterness or negative thoughts. Identifying anger triggers and analyzing your anger can be helpful. Past events affect anger, and there may be something else that is causing you to be emotional. 

Anger can also signify a deeper issue. While anger isn’t a mental health disorder, it can be a symptom of other mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.

The issue revolving around anger isn’t feeling anger, it is learning how to feel and express anger in a way that does not hurt yourself or others. Feeling angry is natural but acting out with unchecked anger could cause unhealthy outcomes and may point to further mental health concerns. If your anger or negative feelings associated with it impacts a large part of your life and are affecting friendships, family life, school, work, personal relationships, or your overall quality of life, it may be time to seek help. 

Here are some physical warning signs you may need help with your anger:

  • Resorting to physical violence

  • Getting into fights at school

  • Arguing excessively with authority figures

  • Experiencing frequent outbursts and moments of rage

  • Destroying property and personal belongings

  • Using verbal threats to harm others

  • Self-harming

  • Using substances to cope with anger

  • Experiencing steep increases in blood pressure

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or urges, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text 988 to talk to someone over SMS. Support is available 24/7.

If you are experiencing trauma, support is available. Please see our Get Help Now page for more resources.

Anger management tips and techniques

While anger is an emotion we all naturally feel at times, when managing anger becomes difficult and it is affecting many aspects of your life, it may be time to try different anger management techniques to help with uncontrolled anger. If you are looking for tips on how to cope with anger, there are relaxation techniques you can consider that may help you manage anger, reduce stress, feel calmer, and improve your emotional well-being.

Take a break

Often when we experience angry thoughts, we are quick to react, and we end up triggering passive-aggressive behavior and saying or doing things on impulse that we may end up regretting later. If you feel anger rising inside of you or notice your blood pressure rocket, step away from the situation. This gives you time to calm down, think about the situation, and find a healthier way to respond.

Practice mindfulness

Deep breathing exercises, slowly counting to ten, practicing meditation, doing a few yoga poses, repeating a "calm word," or simply going for a brisk walk outside and observing nature are all mindfulness techniques to help you relax, ease distress, and overcome feelings of anger. Studies show that regularly practicing mindfulness, breathing deeply, and building relaxation skills can improve your mood and feelings of peace. However, during an outburst of anger, remember to step away, count to ten, try progressive muscle relaxation, or try to practice deep breathing exercises and breathe deeply while saying your calming word. These techniques can help you stay calm in the moment.

Get active

Sometimes, the best way to relieve intense emotions is to get active in whatever way works for you. Exercise is another powerful tool that is proven to relieve stress and symptoms of anger. Go for a run, dance to your favorite song, swim, or do any other enjoyable physical activities that move your body. Anger can contribute to health issues, such as heart disease, when it goes unchecked, so exercising or performing any type of physical activity to release tension may be beneficial for limiting this risk, as well.

Getty/Anna Stills

Listen to music

Music is a great outlet for many people experiencing difficult emotions. Studies show different genres of music can help people process their anger and enhance positive emotions. It can be beneficial to set a relaxing scene in your personal space to allow yourself to decrease your anger and cultivate positive feelings through music.


Spending some quiet time journaling can be a great tool for expressing emotions and releasing anger. Writing down your emotions can help you understand the root of them and help you process your feelings. Journaling can also help you identify patterns and triggers that could potentially help you manage your anger in the future.

Talk to someone you trust

Keeping feelings bottled up rarely helps improve a situation in the long term; oftentimes, repressing your emotions can actually make things worse. For a teen or child, this could be a parent, however, if a child refuses to talk to a parent or other family member, it might be time to seek professional help.

Seek help

Some teens may benefit from extra help in overcoming their anger issues and finding healthy ways to express it. Trying to go to anger management classes could be a great option and could help you to practice relaxation skills. A licensed therapist can provide guidance and techniques that can help identify triggers and control anger as well. They can also address underlying concerns like substance use*, which may be contributing to these anger issues.

* Please note that the term “substance abuse” is outdated and is now referred to as “substance use” in the DSM-5.

For all of these techniques, it is important not to have unrealistic expectations, learning to manage anger can take time and practice. When managing anger it is important to engage in positive self-talk and to avoid sarcasm. Doing this for a few moments each day can help diffuse tension and enable you to continue your day in a positive way.

Online therapy for anger management

If you or a loved one are experiencing issues managing anger, and it’s affecting areas of your life, there are solutions that can help. A licensed mental health professional can be an invaluable tool to help you overcome anger and improve your quality of life. 

You don’t have to let your anger get the better of you. BetterHelp (18+) and TeenCounseling (13-19) are online therapy platforms that can match you with a licensed professional who can help you manage anger or any other mental health concerns you may have. They can provide techniques and strategies to help analyze your feelings, discover triggers, and help you cope healthily.

Online therapy offers many benefits to potential participants, including the ability to schedule an appointment from a quiet, comfortable space where teens or adults can eliminate or mitigate potential environmental triggers. Participants can feel empowered with the flexibility to arrange appointments during a time that works for them, and online therapy is often more affordable than in-person counseling.

Not only is online therapy beneficial for many teens, but it is also effective in improving symptoms related to anger issues. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one effective treatment that therapists may use to treat youth experiencing significant anger issues. Many youth experience anger as a result of stress or an anxiety disorder, and internet-based CBT has shown advantages over in-person treatment when it comes to patient empowerment and increased clinical efficiency. 

Getty/Luis Alvarez
You don't have to let anger dominate your life

Online therapy reviews

Consider reading some reviews from real teenage participants who have benefited from the support of compassionate counselors on the online therapy platform, TeenCounseling:

Review written by Teen Counseling user K.A. after counseling with Steve Van Schaick for 4 months

“Very responsive and effective at giving my teen the coping skills to overcome his anger. Always working with our family, not just my son. He’s awesome.”

Review written by Teen Counseling user P.A. after counseling with Aisha Jakachira for 8 months

“Aisha is that friend when you need her! Long story short, my son has struggled with transitioning to a new school and with anger. Aisha has been that friendly ear and is helping him sort out his emotions and feelings. She also checks in with me to get updates on him on my side.”


Feeling angry is a normal part of growing up. When anger starts to negatively affect your relationships, mood, and opportunities, it may be time to seek additional support. Online therapists on platforms like BetterHelp and TeenCounseling are understanding, nonjudgmental, and qualified to assist teenagers in addressing the root of anger. Take the first step in learning healthier coping mechanisms today.

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