Healthy feelings for teens

Whenever we get angry we should know that we may not be feeling the real emotions. Anger is considered a survival emotion and is there to help us protect or defend ourselves. Its not an emotion to vent at loved ones. It often masks other more subtle feelings like confusion, dissapointment, sadness, hopelessness. That’s because the deeper feelings make us feel vulnerable, so we use anger to make us feel stronger and to push others away. That’s why you can feel very angry and when a friend is kind and calms you, you may burst into tears. Anger leads to negative thoughts and destructive behaviour and so should not be our most used emotion.

And how do you control your anger?

  • Calm yourself.
  • Take a few deep diaphragm breaths.
  • Think happy thoughts about the day ahead.
  • Exercise when angry, it releases stress.
  • Talk to someone you trust.
  • Try to look at things from a different perspective.
  • Don’t over-analyze.

There is a difference between ‘venting’ anger and speaking about it. Venting is getting the energy out, while speaking about it is engaging our brain and intelligence. Trust your feelings and use them as a guide once you are clear what the feeling is and you have calmed yourself. Never let your feelings of anger direct you unless your life is being threatened. Anger clouds our constructive thinking.

The next step to take is to express yourself clearly: “I feel…..because……”. If it’s difficult to talk then express your feelings in other ways like: start a blog, write a journal, paint a picture, dance to meaningful music or sing.

Are your negative feelings dominating your life. Answer yes or no.

  1. Are you often sad?
  2. Do you cry often?
  3. Do you often just hide away from others?
  4. Do you feel lonely and unwanted?
  5. Do you sometimes think that life is pointless?
  6. Do you think others are much happier than you?

If you answered yes to 4 or more of the above than you could be depressed. This level of sadness needs help. You need to find a counsellor to talk to, or talk to a trusted older family member. Let them help you work out your sad feelings and find ways to feel better. Don’t push these feelings down and pretend you are fine.

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