Understanding and Dealing with Anger #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to day 21 and my letter U post in the #AtoZChallenge. Today I’m going to write about dealing with anger.

First, before you can learn to deal with it, you have to figure out whether what you’re experiencing is truly anger. I mean, anger is often our first go-to emotion even when what we’re truly feeling is guilt, sadness, fear or hurt, for example. I for one tend to express all strong emotions, even “positive” ones, as anger. (I put that between quote marks because no emotion is truly positive or negative.)

Second, check whether you are hungry, thirsty or not feeling well physically. Particularly hunger can cause you to feel angry. Anna Borges explains in her book, The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care, that the same chemicals are released in the brain when your blood sugar is low that are released when you are angry. Usually when I’m hungry, I want to overeat and the thoughts I use to suppress that, cause me frustration and anger.

Also, pain can be a really frustrating feeling. When you’re not used to dealing with pain or physical discomfort, it can be that your go-to emotion is once again anger. It is for me.

When you have figured out that you are actually angry, there are several things you can do.

Firstly, leave the environment. Literally physically leave the room. Tell the people you’re with that you need a break to calm down.

Also, write an angry letter – but don’t send it. It may even be helpful to shred it at the end. Write out all your angry thoughts, whine if you want to, let it all out.

Another strategy is to self-soothe. Anna Borges explains that you can see anger as an inner baby who cries. Hold it by doing deep breathing and maybe talking calmly to it.

Lastly, Borges doesn’t mention this but I find it extremely helpful to exercise vigorously. This helps release chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. Also, tearing apart an old magazine or newspaper, stomping your feet, or otherwise expressing your frustration safely, can certainly help.

What do you feel helps you when you’re mad?

12 thoughts on “Understanding and Dealing with Anger #AtoZChallenge

  1. I have a tendency to hold my emotions inside, and especially such generally difficult ones that are often called “negative” like anger, and then when I experience a lot of it at once I tend to turn it inwards and have self-harm urges. Similarly when I experience other difficult emotions that are not really anger, especially multiple such emotions at once that feel very intense and I struggle to express them, they also tend to manifest as anger turned inwards, I feel super angry like a minefield but struggle to get it out properly and in a healthyy way so that people around me often don’t see anything at all unless they know me really really well, and then I feel generally emotionally overloaded and often self-loathing.
    When that happens and I am around other people, I try to leave if that’s possible, because being around many people during such times is definitely not helpful for me and only makes me feel worse. Often when I feel overloaded with feelings it feels kind of like my brain is shutting down so it’s hard for me to communicate until I feel better.
    Misha is always the best remedy for me for almost everything, and so when I’m angry and when that’s possible, I also try to be with him as that makes me feel more stable and calm and if I for example need to cry I can do that with him as he of course won’t judge me, raise alarm, try to ask me what happened or anything.
    I like to listen to music that corresponds with my feelings so when I’m angry I tend to listen to a lot of rock, alternative or such, and then some relaxing music.
    Exercise helps too, especiallyy with self-harm urges, and I think that walks can clear out your brain from rubbish really well, so if it’s possible and if I feel like being around other people then I go for a walk with my Mum.
    Writing is always the easiest way for me to express myself so if I know the root cause of why I’m feeling something I’ll write a lot about that, whether in my diary or on the blog or to someone. Sometimes talking to someone helps but not always, sometimes it can make things worse and sometimes I just don’t know what to say or the other person won’t understand. But usually if I do talk/write about it to someone it’s either someone online or my Mum.
    Also some of the things that help typically with self-harm urges often help me as well, like holding ice cubes for example, or one that I particularly love is eating very spicy foods. There’s just something so cathartic in them it’s strange! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so very much for your extensive comment. Yes, I can relate to feeling overloaded with emotions a lot, but I do tend to express them outwardly. I am sorry you struggle with self-harm urges. Glad music, writing and being near Misha help. Oh yeah, eating very spicey food is such a great way of relieving strong feelings of anger.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sorry you experience such emotional overloads as well, that’s no fun.
        As for self-harm urges, thankfully things are getting better and all those helpful things work for me a lot of the time so I self-harm much less than I did, but sometimes I still do.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When I’m mad, I shut down completely and nothing you say or do can get me to speak. And because I have master the ability to be silent, depending on how upset I get, I may never speak to you again…

    Liked by 1 person

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