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Dear Dish-It: Too Aggressive... Help?

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Question: I'm nearly 12 and I have been really aggressive lately. It's making a lot of people not really like me and I get so worked up about nothing. Can you suggest something to do???

Answer: First things first; I'm glad you are recognizing that you are feeling more frustrated/aggressive than usual. We can work together to come up with some solutions to best help manage those feelings. 

Let's assume we will begin every day with a clean slate. This is something I personally do. No matter what, when I wake up each morning I choose to make the very most of the day ahead. 

Fighting is not the answerFighting is not the answer

Real Talk on PUBERTY. 

As teenagers, or soon to be teenagers you are perpetually trapped in limbo neither children nor adults. An excruciating mix of vulnerability and potential, which by turns engages inspires and alienates the adults around you. Confused yet? So are we. :) Everything you do has a high intensity feel about it, which is kind of aweome too, most of the time. Picture Spiderman after he first realizes his powers... everything is heightened.. stronger.. more emotional. 

Teens typically get a rush from intensity, excitement and arousal. Loud music, competing, horror movies? Exchange these activities with ones of your own but let's examine where your rush comes from. Generally this thrill-seeking and quest for novelty is subtle and easily managed. However in some, the reaction is more severe and can become out of control. 

Let's remember what Spiderman's Uncle Ben told him before he died..

This is something each of us needs to take to heart.. We are responsible for our choices and our actions. This is one of the most important lessons to be learned in life - when something isn't working it's up to us to search a solution. 

It's not uncommon to experience a heightened sense of aggression while your brain and body are going through the huppla of puberty - it's not totally out of your control either. The more we recognize we are responsible for our choices and actions the greater chance you will have to HELP yourself. You might not be able to stop a mood swing in it's tracks but with a few tips, you will be able to help slow them down and choose to react in such a way that aggression isn't the boss. 

  1. Sleep: How well are you sleeping? It's important to know sleep is very important to a growing body.. Add it to your list of IMPORTANT things in life - ENOUGH SLEEP about 9 hours a night. 
  2. Exercise: One of the greater reasons we express excessive emotions through puberty is because we don't get enough exercise. Not getting enough daily exercise has the ability to create a pent-up anxiety and with no where for those feelings to go - they just tend to explode out! Make it a habit to do one thing, every single day that makes you sweat - Taking your dog for a walk, playing a sport, going for a jog, playing a game with some friends, running, shooting some hoops, doing yoga, boxing, kickboxing.. playing football or hockey. Whatever you are going to do, go out there and JUST DO IT. 
  3. Laughing: seriously. It the best thing in the world and I try to have one good belly laugh every single day. 
  4. Help Others: Sometimes the best way to curb the aggressiveness or mood swings would be to look for ways to help others. As soon as we stop thinking about ourselves we often feel a remarkably strong sense of ease and well being. Open the door for someone at school, held your folks out by doing a chore you don't normally do, leave a post it note with a kind message on it for a stranger, smile - just look up and smile at the people that pass you by. 
  5. Eat Balanced, Eat enough. More and more young people today are conscience of the constant babble inside their heads, I am not good at this or that, I don't look good enough, I'm too this or I'm too that.. and the consequence of this thinking is that teens aren't eating enough or enough of the right things. H-a-n-g-r-y is a REAL thing. If you skip breakfast, then skip lunch.. no wonder you turn into a bear. When your brain doesn't get enough nutrients or water.. it's starving.. and when it's in starvation mode.. it's nearly impossible to manage anything else. 
  6. Talk to someone: Lastly point - seek out friends or trusted adults that you can talk to about this.. sometimes the best and easiest way to let go is to share with someone else the way you are feeling. 

I hope some of these tips, we're helpful in dealing with the aggression - in the mean time I will leave you with a video.. one of my favorites when I need a laugh. 

Need a laugh?

PS Do you have any tips to share? What are some of your best ways to deal with agression? Share them in the comments below.