Feeling angry is common among people with mental health challenges or trauma. First, consider working with a therapist to find the root cause of your anger and work on relieving it. I have always found it helpful to have a “toolbox” of ideas that I can do when I start feeling angry, anxious, or sad. I even have my ideas written down so that when my mind is filled with strong emotion, I don’t have to worry about brainstorming how to deal.
Here are some things that I have in my tool box that I’d like to share with you:
- When people think of meditation, they think of clearing their mind of all thoughts. For someone with a lot of angry, depressed and anxious thoughts that won’t go away, that sounds impossible. Meditation is actually about finding peace from intrusive thoughts and remaining in the present moment by watching thoughts pass by and focusing on something with intention. If this sounds like it may be helpful for you, YouTube has many guided relaxation and meditation videos.
- Sometimes sweating it out can help you to connect to your body and bring your thoughts into the “now.” This one can be really difficult for me to find the motivation to do, but even doing stretches gets your muscles moving, and can fight back some negativity.
- Writing in my journal has been a life saver many times. I’ve noticed a pattern when I journal. I start out feeling bad, and the emotions get bigger and bigger, and then slowly melt away. I’m letting out that negative energy onto the paper. Sometimes it’s important to focus on the emotions, when you have a way to release them.
- On the other side of paying attention to your feelings, sometimes you just need a distraction from them, and that is okay. I play video games, read, and take relaxing baths. Just be sure that your distraction activity doesn’t turn into avoidance.
What are some things that may help you when you first start feeling explosive thoughts that you can do before you get to the “blow up” point?