Advice: How to Deal with Anger

Many people’s depression is manifested in the form of anger and irritability. Anger can have serious adverse effects if it is not addressed properly. The worst part about this facet of depression is that often you don’t know why you are angry and irritable. You seem to be peeved for no reason. You lash out at others, which makes you feel guilty and causes you to be isolated, anxious and more depressed. You may destroy the ties you have with friends and family, which are vital to maintain when dealing with depression. This can also increase your symptoms even more. So, how do you put a stop to this vicious cycle?

Learning anger management techniques is the key to end the cycle. Anger management is based on the same principles we have been discussing in our other posts.

You can control your thoughts.

Your thoughts affect your feelings.

Therefore, you can control your anger.

In order to control your feelings of anger, you must first accept them, even if you don’t know why you are angry. Then you have to choose to react positively to those very real, very strong feelings. Most people cannot do anything positive when they are in the heat of anger. Therefore, you have to be armed with the knowledge of how to deal with it. One way to deal with anger and irritability is to learn and remember to use the STOP, LOOK, LISTEN technique.

Stop and remove yourself from the situation BEFORE reacting. Give yourself some time to calm down.

Let yourself experience the feelings…

Punch a punching bag or pillow.

Scream into that pillow.

Clap your hands loudly.

Go for a run.

Once you have expelled that negative energy, let yourself relax…

Count to twenty.

Take some deep breaths.

Listen to soothing music.

Take some long, slow sips of very cold water.

Next, look at the situation. Try to identify your anger and figure out why you are feeling so mad. Is it something you have control over? Is it something you can change? Is it something you can let go, or blow over? Are you angry for no reason whatsoever?  Think about the situation without all of the emotion involved. Is it worth it to get all riled up? Will it make you feel better to yell, scream or lash out at someone? Will you care about this or even remember it a year from now?

After you think about it, listen to your thoughts. How aware are you of your feelings as they build? Do you feel like you are in control? Are you trapped? Put on the spot? Do you want to keep feeling angry? Of course not, so look at the facts and try to logically determine how you can deal with the way you are feeling. You have to remember that you can control the way you feel. Don’t listen to the negative inner voice that says you should yell, harm, seek revenge or blow a gasket. There are positive ways to deal with irritability and anger, even justified anger.

Write down your negative feelings. Get them out! Vent those nasty thoughts and then be sure to delete what you wrote or even burn it if it’s on paper. DO NOT SEND IT TO ANYONE, POST IT, OR EVEN SHARE IT.

Use the thought-stopping technique to replace the negative feelings you are having with positive ones.

Maintain control & don’t let someone else determine how you feel. Don’t let anyone steal your joy. Avoid people/places/things that trigger your anger.

Give others the benefit of the doubt & think if there is anything you could learn from the situation. Maybe whatever caused you to be angry was unintentional and you took it the wrong way.

Most anger is a result of hurt feelings. Discuss your true feelings with the person whom you are angry at and let them know how you feel without expecting anything in return from them. You can’t control others.

Be a bigger person and try to find humor in the situation that made you angry and laugh about it.

If you don’t know what is making you angry and irritable, remember to love yourself and know that you deserve to be happy, not uptight. Smile at yourself. Treat yourself to a long bath, favorite snack or other special thing.

Learn how to control your irritability and anger before it controls you!

Please note that if you are unable to control your anger on your own, that’s ok. All that means is that you need some help to learn how to control it.  Get some outside help. Depression is a serious disease that is experienced on many different levels. That is why therapists and counselors exist. If your leg was broken, you would go to a doctor. If you can’t control your anger/depression, go to a therapist.

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