alternatives to violence
As teens, we find ourselves getting hot headed and upset about the smallest things, sometimes ending up with small disagreements turning into full on fights. To stop this from happening, we need be able to identify when we are getting angry and have some healthy alternatives to violence, so that we don't end up hitting out.
As someone who knows a lot of people with short tempers, me being one of those people, I have worked out a lot of strategies that often help them when they start to get worked up. I also find myself using these without even realising it when I am in a bad mood. Here are some ideas:
1. Take deep breaths. I know this seems cliché, but it really does help. Take your time and try to relax. I use this method often, as it is the most accessible, since you don't need anything with you to do this.
2. Walk away from the situation, if possible. When you get worked up, it is easy to get caught up in the argument. Before it gets to that stage, if it is possible. Get away. Leave the room or place, walk around. Get the anger out of your system, this strategy is especially good if you find yourself getting angry a lot, because you learn how to identify when you are starting to get angry and you can walk away before your anger gets out of hand.
3. Start writing. It doesn't matter what you write, just write anything. I use this one a lot too, as I find writing therapeutic. My favourite things to write when using this method are short stories, but even just writing about how you feel at that moment might help.
4. Cry it out. This one isn't as convenient in public, but if you are at home, sometimes, just being able to go up to your room and cry can make you feel a lot better, especially if you have had a long, stressful day. Although this method may seem easiest at the time, use this one as little as possible, as it may be seen as a sign of weakness to others.
5. Close your eyes and count to ten. This one is also cliché, but it gives you a chance to think about why you are getting angry and do a reality check as to whether it is worth getting angry about. This method is also very accessible and can be done anywhere.
6. Listen to music. This method is my go to when I am in public, apart from taking deep breaths, because I love music, and it helps me to relax. Try not to listen to heavy rock music though, as this won't help you to calm down, instead, it will most likely work you up even more. Combining this and another method can be a powerful way of getting over your anger and not hitting out.
I hope these methods help you at some point as they have for me. I use these quite a lot, and there has never been a time since I started using them that I have actually hit anyone. If you use these techniques, contact me on social media and tell me if they worked for you.
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The articles here are written by guest writers or previous TWE members.