Anger is one of the hardest emotions for me to handle. When it plagues me, I feel like an awful person. Being sweet and faking that nothing hurts me is easier. However, after awhile, I can no longer hide my frustration.
The honest truth is that anger is a normal emotion. Yes, it can motivate people to do terrible things. However, channeled correctly, anger can lead to good actions such as standing up to a bully, fighting a corruption, not allowing others to take advantage of you, or helping people to realize the pain they cause others.
You can choose how you react to your emotions even though you cannot often choose your feelings. When you hide from a feeling like anger, it often only grows stronger and more self-destructive. That is why admitting to my anger has been such an important coping skill in my recovery.
This is a simple coping skill because it needs little preparation or materials. However, doing it can be very draining and frightening. By admitting who and what you are anger at, you are beginning to be honest about how you feel. This can bring up uncomfortable and intense feelings for some people. It took me a long time before I could do this by myself in a safe way.
What I generally do is make a list, mentally or physically, about what I am upset about and why. This can be large things such as someone who abused me in the past or smaller items such as my sister refusing to quiet down when I need to concentrate. Without judging myself, I simply list off everything that is bugging me. Since I tend to remember and be haunted by the past, many of my items come from years ago. That is fine as are occurrences that happened just that day. Just list off everything making you mad. You might even want to add items that you are mad at yourself for doing or not doing.
Sometimes I want to just think about who I am anger at instead of what. If you cannot separate a person from the emotion of anger, then you can write them down for now. However, I recommend that you try to list things instead of people. Most of my friends, family, and even those who hate me do not just fill me with irritation or rage. Perhaps I also feel sad, guilty, loving, scared, confused, or amused by them. Usually we have many emotions attached to everyone that we know.
Here is an example of some of the things that might be on your list. They are just hypothetical and not really things that I am angry about at the moment. Writing and posting that would not be fair to those I am frustrated with at the moment.
- The negative comment that my co-worker made about my work
- How my older sister used to tease me about my hairstyles
- Hearing my grandfather complain about politics
- Every time that my father came home drunk and scared us all
- The way my classmate acts so snub
- That I ate more dessert than everyone else at the party
- People not understanding my illness
- The buss driver’s cranky attitude this morning
- How my brother’s girlfriend laughs
- The politician who is power-hungry
This is only the first step of dealing with anger. However, it is a vital part of healing. Hopefully, you will be able to find this coping skill as helpful as I do.
- Repressed emotions may manifest as illness by Never Mad Again
- Pre-Conflict by Wisdom for Her Heart
- Feeling Stabby? 5 Pro Tips to Help You Discreetly Unleash Your Anger by Notes from the Bathroom Floor
- Feeling Better No Matter How Bad It Gets by Feel Your Way to Freedom
- The Righetousness of Anger by That Reformed Blog