Help me manage my emotions

Many things can happen in a young person’s life that result in trauma, anxiety, distress and depression. Rangatahi / young people’s feelings can be affected by puberty, difficult social situations, bullies, school, and home life.

Some ideas

  • Let the young person you're helping know it's normal to feel a range of emotions
  • Let them know many young people find it hard to control their emotions 
  • Help them to work out the things that make them feel the way they feel. What makes them sad? what makes them happy?
  • Encourage them to try a range of things that might help them when they are feeling sad
  • Encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling and listen carefully

Emotions are a part of life

Emotions like fear, sadness, and anger are all a normal part of life. Sometimes rangatahi / young people struggle to deal with these emotions because they might not have experienced them before and they might feel they’ll never stop.

People respond to difficult events in different ways. Some of the harmful ways that a rangatahi / young person might deal with challenging emotions are:

Denial

They might refuse to accept something is wrong or they need help. They may deny their feelings, which get bottled up to a point where they end up ‘exploding’ or acting out.

Withdrawal

They might stop doing activities with friends and family they usually enjoy. They may be feeling overwhelmed or worried that others don’t like them / want them around or they may feel embarrassed about their behaviours.

Aggression

They might be triggered by seemingly small things. When they’re aggressive or angry it can be hard to engage with them. If they are angry and lashing out, give them space to calm down, keep them and others safe and once they’re calm, talk with them about the incident and what they could do differently next time they’re worked up.

Bullying

They might use force against or threaten others. People generally bully because they don’t feel good about themselves. They think making someone else feel bad will make them feel better about themselves. 

Self-harm

Self-harm can be many things, including cutting or starving themselves, eating lots then being sick on purpose, drinking too much or other dangerous behaviours. Many people self-harm because they want a feeling of control over their emotional pain. If someone is self harming they need professional help. Talk to them about who can help them.

Substance abuse

They might be using alcohol or other drugs excessively to feel better or block out painful or sad situations. This can damage the brain, make them feel worse, and in some cases, lead to suicidal thoughts or addiction.

Find organisations that help rangatahi / young people manage their emotions.

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