Young Carers

I feel angry!

Anger is a normal, healthy emotion, which we all feel sometimes. If you’re caring for someone, you might feel angry because you don’t have the time to do things you enjoy or spend time with friends. Or maybe it feels like you have too much responsibility, or your life has been put on hold.

What causes anger?

There are lots of reasons why you might feel angry.  The charity, YoungMinds, explains that people may get angry when they

  • Feel scared or attacked
  • Feel frustrated, embarrassed, powerless, or stressed
  • Feel misunderstood or judged, or like you’re not being treated fairly
  • Are being bullied, discriminated against or abused
  • Are grieving or having relationship problems
  • Don’t like the situation they’re in

We might also feel angry without really understanding why, and that’s ok – as long as we find a way to express our feelings safely.

Everyone has their own triggers for anger, and the things that make you feel angry might not make someone else feel angry.

Anger can affect you in lots of different ways. You might tense up and clench your teeth. Your heart might start racing or your stomach might churn. You might clench your fists or start shaking or sweating. Or maybe you just feel a little irritated or upset.

When you’re angry, it can be difficult to think things through or talk about what’s bothering you. If you’re feeling angry all the time, it can have a big effect on you and on the people around you. Sometimes, it can be difficult to recognise how angry you are, and what effect it is having. This might be because you have lots of things going on in your life.

Anger can start to become a problem when you express it through unhelpful or destructive behaviour – either towards yourself or other people. If you find yourself doing these sorts of things, it might be a sign that you need some help in learning how to manage your anger:

  • Hitting or physically hurting someone else, or yourself
  • Shouting at people
  • Breaking or throwing things
  • Losing control
  • Constantly ending relationships or getting in trouble at school or work
  • Telling yourself that you’re useless, that you hate yourself or you don’t deserve to be happy
  • Ignoring people, refusing to speak to them, or being sarcastic a lot.

Aggressive behaviour – towards other people or yourself – can cause you more problems. It’s important to stand up for what’s right, but without being aggressive or intimidating to other people. The first step in coping with your anger is to learn to recognise it when it’s happening. Understanding your anger and thinking about how you deal with it won’t get rid of it, but it will help you learn how to manage it – and make you happier.

Action you can take right now

Here are some things that the charity, Mind, suggests to help you manage your anger in the moment:

  • Take time out: Take some deep breaths. Count to 10.  Go for a quick walk or run. Ask if you can deal with it later.
  • Try mindfulness: This involves breathing slowly, relaxing your body and taking some time to let your mind clear. Here are some exercises you could try:
    • A breathing exercise: Breathe in through your nose for four counts, hold it for two counts, and breathe out through your mouth for seven counts. Repeat this several times to help slow your breath and keep you calm.
    • The 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise:Relax your body as much as you can and focus on where you are. Try to name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch and feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
  • Distract yourself: Listen to music, dance, watch TV, meet with a friend, make some music, write down your thoughts, etc.
  • Talk to someone: Talk to a friend, family member, or teacher who you trust, who has nothing to do with why you’re feeling angry. If you prefer to talk to someone confidentially, you could call a free helpline like Childline or The Mix (contact information below).

More Information



  • Anger, Childline – Talks about what anger is, how you know when your anger is a problem, and how to help yourself feel less angry
  • Dealing with anger – for 11-18 year olds, Mind – Information about anger, where it comes from, how it is linked to our mental health, and how to manage it
  • A guide for young people, YoungMinds – Talks about anger, aggression, the ways anger can affect you and other people, how to cope with anger and where to get more help.



  • Anger Management for Kids (and Adults), Jammiespree (4 minutes) – How to manage your anger in 5 simple steps
  • Why do I feel angry, YoungMinds – Four videos (ranging from 1 minute to 4.5 minutes) in which young people talk about what anger feels like for them and how they have learned to manage it
  • Practice Mindfulness with Young Scot – 23 videos, which will talk you through some practical mindfulness and yoga exercises to help you relax and breathe when life is getting on top of you.

Where to get more help

Young Scot has put together a helpful list of organisations you can contact if you feel you need support for your mental health.  You can also talk to your GP or a trusted family member or friend, or phone a free helpline:

  • Childline (for children and young people under 19) (24 hours) 0800 1111 or chat to someone at Childline via webchat or email. See for further information.
  • The Mix (for young people under 25) (Monday to Saturday, 4pm – 11pm) – 0808 808 4994, or chat via email or webchat.
  • Samaritans (24 hours) – 116 123 or



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