Coping With Anger


#1

We all experience anger at times and often it is when we are facing adversity that our anger rears its ugly head the most.

Why do I feel so angry?

First of all allow yourself the right to feel as you do. Trying to force yourself to feel differently or punishing yourself psychologically for feeling as you do is not going to benefit you and probably frustrate you further. Society trains us to avoid angry feelings and thus when we become angry we often try to suppress that emotion or we make ourselves feel that we are wrong to feel that way. The act of denying anger when we feel angry can lead to depression. We deny how we feel, paste on a smile and pretend everything is ok when it truly isn't. The truth is that we've only displaced the emotion. Anger is like boiling water in a tea kettle building up steam. If the valve is not open it will blow the lid eventually.

We've all felt angry at times. Sometimes the anger falls more in the category of being annoyed but then again every human being has at some time or another experienced the full rage of anger. Anger is a natural emotion that if you feel it, you can try to control it, learn to tame it, and redirect it but you may still get angry when you are faced with a difficult task. You must first find out what it is you are angry at. Write it down. Just let go and write a long list of what it is that you are angry at or about. Anger is a part of any grieving process and we do grieve at times of adversity such as when we feel a disease has taken the life we planned on living away from us or we lose someone special in our life, among other things. So the thing to do is not to try and ignore or rid ourselves of ever getting angry but to find ways to redirect it, put it to good use, etc.

I've had many emotions over the years that have shocked me. The most shocking one was how angry I was when I lost a special person in my life and how quickly that anger turned into deep, deep depression. Actually I didn't even realize the change from one emotion to the other because it happened so quickly. That leaves me to think that there is a fine line between anger and depression.

When I was angry I wanted to pretend that the thing I was angry at didn't exist and go on as if nothing had changed in my life. This didn't work long for me because soon I was forced to face reality. When that time came where I had no choice but to realize that I had to face my new life, this unwavering, relentless anger quickly engulfed me. It controlled every fiber of my being. It was so strong that the rest of my emotions seemed to pack up and say "see ya later". The anger chased happiness, joy, love and peace away.

I was angry at everything and on some days just about every body. The one thing that I felt I should have been the most angry at was gone from my life and I was trying to pretend the pain from that loss didn't exist. Because of this denial it didn't allow me to focus my anger where it belonged so I misplaced it onto other things and sadly, other people. The truth is that the person I was angry at was as innocent as I was and I was still alive while his life had ended.

I've come to realize that this is just part of coping with loss of any kind. We go through a multitude of emotions before reaching a level where we can accept the changes it has brought to our life. Once we reach that level we then begin to redirect emotions such as anger to more positive uses. We don't ridicule ourselves for feeling that way we just use it for positive purposes or do something to alleviate the emotion.

A serious danger with anger is when we hold onto it. We get angry, vent it but we don't let go of it. We must find a way to express it appropriately and then to discard it so we can move on with our life in a positive manner. Some people use anger as if it is a security blanket because it will block out all other emotions. It numbs them against reality. They rely on the fuel from their anger to get them through life. The key is to face the anger, identify what it is we are angry about and then to address those issues and find a way to put the anger to rest.

Why do I get angry because others are so happy?

A person may be the type who enjoys seeing someone happy and would never begrudge someone of having a good, prosperous and healthy life. So when they begin to get angry at the fact that their friends, family members or just people they see out in the world are going on with their life, this confuses them. Seeing others our own age running with their children, functioning in the normal busy world, taking part in sports and other activities can remind us of the things we no longer feel like taking part in. Some people may feel rejected when their friends begin going out with other friends who are more active then we are and this can make us have a lot of different emotions including anger. This reaction is not stemmed from some deep seated selfishness we didn't know existed. In actuality we are grieving over what we've lost. The people living normally just remind us of how our life has changed and the anger we then feel is the way we've chosen emotionally to express that.

Am I a bad person because I'm so angry?

The simple answer is NO. Emotions you feel does not make you a bad person. Don't ever beat yourself up because of the feelings you are experiencing. You've been hit hard and it is understandable that you'd have a wide range of emotions, including anger. The key is to identify the anger and find ways to use it in a positive way or to alleviate the angry feelings.

How can I control my anger?

Some people have more angry tendencies than others but we all can learn ways to control it. One way to control it is to calm ourselves down. Calm down by perhaps trying to take a deep breath, go to a silent place and practice deep breathing. Sit and control your breathing to a specific rhythm and then imagine yourself in a calm place.

It is important to control anger because scientists have reported that when a person is feeling the emotion of anger their heart beats faster and they experience a rise in their blood pressure. In other words anger can affect your health.

Changing the way we think can help with controlling anger. Anger never fixes a problem and it can cause more complications because often we say things we shouldn't say or things we don't truly mean when we are angry.

How can I communicate with others when I'm so angry?

When we are angry we tend to curse or speak in tones that are very offensive and even hurtful to others. We also use stronger words in our vocabulary such as "Never" or "always" when describing our thoughts and others actions. Have you ever said something like "Never speak to me again" and didn't mean it? This is probably the out of control anger speaking. Speaking to others in this way will alienate them and the sad truth is that oftentimes these are people who care for us and would be willing to help us and be there for us.

When you are very angry it is a good idea to take a deep breath and not communicate with others until you are thinking clearly. We may believe that we are thinking logically but most of the time when we are at our most angry stage we are thinking irrational. This is when we must slow down our breathing and repeat in our minds thoughts that help us to calm down.

How can I redirect my anger?

I'd like to share my own experiences in this area. I know I may seem like such a chipper gal to you all now but boy oh boy have I come a long way baby :-) I went through a period where anger was my middle name. I was angry at me, everyone and everything. It isn't anyone's fault, not even my own what had happened in my life.

First you must identify the anger. Once you identify what it is you are angry at then you can make positive changes or steps to a solution or at least to help ease the feelings. One way I use my anger is to fuel my determination to fight and have a happy life at all odds. One way to cope with tough emotions such as anger is to occupy yourself. For me I found hobbies that I could do, I have now got involved online and have really poured my heart into it. I volunteered when I could at places that needed my help. I made friends and went to lunch with them. Did special things, however small they may be for my family and that made me feel useful. I write in my journal and express my emotions. I write poetry. Read a good book. Do crafts if I can and find others if I can't do the ones I used to now. You just have to look inside of yourself and let your creative juices flow and find what you can do and would want to do.

Trying to make yourself feel better and feel that you still have a purpose in life will make a world of difference in helping you deal with anger, sadness and the grieving process. Yes your life is not and may never be what it was before but you can still have a wonderful, happy, prosperous and meaningful life. I know this because I am living that wonderful new life. Do I still get angry at times, frustrated at times, fed up at times. Of course I do and I give myself permission to have those days because those days of trouble are a way for me to cleanse my emotions and vent how I feel so I can have more positive days just around the corner.


#2

I was dx’d 33 years ago and still go through long periods of being angry at diabetes. IT’S SO UNFAIR!!! blah blah blah.
I’ve also had a lot of cognitive therapy, which was helpful.
My moher is currently very ill with emphysema. On Friday, a co-worker pranced by my desk and said, “have a good week-end Kathy”.
I was so angry that I wanted to step on her head and scream, "my mother is ill - how can I have a good weekend?
Fortunately, I avoiding looking like a crazywoman by keeping my mouth shut.
And, what I was really angry at was the loss of my mother as I knew her a year ago, when she was healthy.
This was a good post. Thank you.


#3

I’m so sorry to read about your mother. It is scary when your parent is so ill. I went through this with both of mine before their passing. I’m here anytime you need someone to talk to. It is shocking to us at times how angry we can get but just remember that it is ok to feel strong emotions when facing such difficult times. Again, write anytime and don’t hesitate to contact me.


#4

Hi Denise: Excellent and well thought out post!


#5

Thank you Travis, I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.


#6

Another great post Denise. Thank you!


#7

Thank you Scott for stopping by to read.


#8

Denise:
Based on this post, I thought you may want to consider this:
https://www.oprah.com/plugger/templates/BeOnTheShow.jhtml?action=respond&plugId=290000001

Perhaps you can share your past experience with them. Just a thought…