The 1st thing is recognizing that I’m angry. Ok, I am REALLY angry. The reason for my anger is my heartache over being abused in the 1st place, and there is a long list that unfolds from there. Current events are also disheartening. I’m an trying my best to not be depressed and just lay in bed staring into the nothing. I wake up angry a lot.
I used to be afraid of my anger. Afraid of what my mind would suggest as an option. Let’s just say my mind is….graphic. Since I was very little I had this anger and I’ve coped with it the best I knew how. I see anger differently now. Since I am angry when I feel hurt or sad it is a protective thing. I read that anger is the part of you that loves you. Anger is a force! I try to use that energy wisely and for good. Like moving myself forward, to get up, to take care of myself anyway.
Now that I know what helps me to feel better I can reduce the amount of suffering I have throughout the day. For anger, I use a few skills that I have developed over the past 7 years of healing full time. I hope to reread this blog post later when I need it. More notes for my future self.
Like I said earlier, acknowledge the reality of the situation. I am angry. Now what? Deep breathes and change your physical state. Anger makes you focus and that can lead to more urges for actions that aren’t necessary or helpful at this time. No need to knock over the table at this point in time, lol(ok, it might not be time for humor yet but that is a coping skill too). Breathing deep and slowing down so you can think about things clearly.
I do a body check exercise and pinpoint where I am armoring up my muscles and flex and release them. My inner counselor goes to work with calm words and soothing talk to let me know it’s ok to be angry. It’s what I do with it that is important. I’m allowed to express myself and writing is a healthy expression.
Soon the anger starts to subside a little. I see the humor and my mind is once again helping me to laugh. I smile with the relief. I am still angry. I am angry a lot actually but I have back at a manageable level. I’m going to go into the coping skills I used a little more so that ya’ll know what I am talking about.
Acknowledgement: Saying what is without judgment of yourself. This helps me to accept my feelings, the reality of the situation.
Radical Acceptance: This is the way things are or how I feel (right now).
Compassion: For yourself. You are going through a difficult time and you are doing the best you can to take care of yourself right now. The anger comes from pain. I ask myself what kind action can I take to sooth myself. I was very resistant to this at 1st but just knowing I have the intent to be kind can take the edge off the anger or that immediate urge to express the anger in a way I do not want.
Dance: Mindfulness is not always done sitting still. I feel very grounded and p[resent when moving around more than I do sitting still. It was definitely that way in the the beginning of me learning about meditation. Sitting still with my thoughts made me very anxious. Movement helps bring me out of that mind state.
Music: Loud music seems to help me block out a lot. music is also helpful for pain relief. It does help my pain which is the the source of most of my anger.
Deep breathing: A common thing I do that is a trauma response id that I hold my breath and wait. This causes other issues. One of the easiest ways for me to slow down so I can take better care of my self is to take 3 deep breaths. This is especially helpful for anger and urges to express that anger. Breathing helps me to pause and think things through.
Body Scan: This is a mindfulness exercise I do throughout the day but it helps with anger because I can realize how much I am armoring up my muscles. This causes body pain over extended time periods of anger or hypervigilance. This scan helps me to ask my body to relax more.
Change your state: If you are standing there not breathing, muscles clenched, or in some otherwise uncomfortable state, the body scan exercise will reveal this. If I am sitting down I then get up and use the anger energy for something good in my life. I let my body relax and unfurl itself into a posture of confidence. Don’t just jump up angry though. That scares the dog.
Humor: Laughing and crying release some of the same helpful brain chemicals. Once the height of the anger is dropping back down I tend to find humor is whatever it was. I try to be a little silly(not mocking or mean to myself/others). life is ridiculous, laugh at the absurdity.
Expression: Writing down what I am angry about , talking to a friend/family member, vent in my blog, drawing, and dancing about it also helps.
A lot of people do these things automatically. I am still learning how to best take care of myself. Some things work some of the time. Having the steps laid out so I can practice them intentionally helps me to build the new pathways in my brain. The more I help myself, the better I get at helping myself through this chaotic healing process.