Know their ‘angry signs’

When people get angry there are a number of things that happen to them physically and psychologically.  Some of these can be:

  • Feeling hot or having a flushed face
  • Being shaky
  • Clenched fists
  • Having a dry mouth or gritting your teeth
  • Muscle Tension
  • Pacing
  • Hard to hear someone speaking to you
  • Flooded with adrenalin and cortisol
  • Blood moves from gut to muscles to prepare for physical exertion
  • Heart rate increase/pounding heart
  • Temp rises and start to Sweat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increasing breathing rate
  • Craving substances
  • Agitated

Effects on the young person's brain during anger: 

  • Unable to be logical
  • Often can forget what they did
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty making sense of what is being said
  • Unaware of things around them but the target of their anger
However these experiences are quite individual so ask them, “How do they know when they are angry?”. 

Learning how to recognise these signs before the feeling becomes overwhelming can be crucial.  They can act as ‘alarm bells’ or ‘warning signs’ for the young person who can then take action to use strategies to stop themselves from getting really worked up or lashing out.  The earlier in the stages these signs can be noticed the better, once a person becomes too overwhelmed their ability to think logically and act rationally are often reduced.

Further Resources