Anger issues


Whenever I get angry or irritated at my family members, I find that I cannot really control it and tend to lash out by saying nasty things, shouting, slamming the door etc. This started since young and the anger takes quite awhile to subside.

Recently, I got angry at a family member because of an incident which thinking back, I don’t think I should have been thaaat angry about. But I was, and it affected my entire day as I was just pissed and couldn’t really do anything else, ended up wasting that entire day scrolling through social media. That same night, the same family member just asked if I wanted breakfast the next morning, and I flared up again. (It was literally just that single question and it was quite ridiculous how angry I got.) I shouted a bunch of nasty stuff and slammed the door. Was so angry (at myself? the situation? idk) that I started hitting myself and had thoughts of unaliving. Took awhile for me to fall asleep, as I was just fuming. The feeling only went away when I woke up the next day.

This is probably not normal, how do I stop this?

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Hello @ded,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing what you’re going through. It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge your feelings and seek help, and that’s a really positive step forward. Well done :clap:t4: :clap:t4:

Anger is a natural emotion that can signal when something is wrong or when our boundaries are being crossed. However, it often masks other, deeper feelings like sadness, fear, or frustration. Sometimes, our reactions are not just about the present situation but are influenced by past experiences and unresolved emotions. Reflecting on these can help us understand and manage our reactions better. Here are a few self-reflection journal prompts that I hope you’ll use to uncover what anger is trying to tell you.

  • What was I feeling before I got angry?
  • What did the situation remind me of from my past?
  • What am I truly upset about?
  • Was I hungry, tired, or feeling unwell when I got angry?
  • Did I feel misunderstood or unheard in the situation?
  • Was there something else bothering me that I hadn’t addressed?
  • How did I handle my anger? What could I do differently next time?
  • Do I notice any recurring patterns in my experience of anger? Is it primarily triggered by interactions with a specific family member, or do I encounter similar challenges in other areas of my life?

It seems like you’re logically aware that your reaction is much stronger than the situation warrants, yet you find it challenging to control yourself. This is because our “feelings brain” reacts much quicker than our “thinking brain” to triggers, often in just 1/50th of a second, leading to almost automatic responses. To overcome this, regularly practicing somatic techniques can help build a sense of safety in the body and release pent-up anger. With time, you may notice a reduction in the intensity of your reactions. It’s crucial to practice these techniques when you’re calm so that they become a familiar response for your body when triggered. Here are some calming techniques (pick any one first and then build up) you may want to consider implementing as a daily practice:

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Tense and then release each muscle group in your body, starting from your toes and moving up to your head. This can help release physical tension.
  • Physical Activity: Engage in activities like running, cycling, or even a brisk walk. Exercise helps release built-up energy and tension.
  • Breathwork: Practice deep, slow breathing or techniques like the 4-7-8 method (inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, exhale for 8). This can calm your nervous system.
  • Grounding Techniques: Stand barefoot on grass, sand, or soil to feel more connected to the earth. This can help you feel more centred and calm.
  • Mindful Movement: Try yoga, tai chi, or other forms of mindful movement that encourage a connection between body and mind.

Also when you feel triggered, having some prepared responses can help you communicate your need for space without escalating the situation. Here are a few phrases you can consider:

  • “I need a moment to calm down.”
  • “Can we take a break and talk about this later?”
  • “I’m feeling overwhelmed right now, can we discuss this in a bit?”
  • “I need some time to think.”
  • “Can we pause this conversation for now?”
  • “I need to step away for a few minutes.”

Remember, anger is a normal and natural emotion. It’s okay to feel angry, and if it leads to hurt or misunderstanding, the next step is to repair the situation. Apologising and discussing what happened can help rebuild trust and understanding.

It might also be beneficial to talk to a counsellor or therapist about what you’re experiencing. They can provide strategies tailored to your situation and help you work through underlying issues.

Most importantly please be kind to yourself. Practice self-compassion. It’s important to recognise that it’s normal to struggle with strong emotions, and seeking help is a positive step forward. Feeling angry doesn’t indicate any flaw within you; it simply points to an opportunity to enhance your emotional regulation skills.

I hope the above has been helpful and if you’d like more resources or if there is anything else you’d like to share with us, please do. We’re here to listen to you, your feelings are valid and you matter! :grinning:

Take care,
CoolBreeze =)

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Hey @ded ! Totally agree with everything CoolBreeze mentioned^

Something else my therapist taught me when I’m having these automatic reactions is to talk to the part of myself that wants to be angry. Sometimes when we react like this is because there’s some part of ourselves that uses this anger to protect the rest of ourselves from getting hurt.

Distancing yourself from the angry part of you and asking it gently and honestly, ‘What are you trying to do for me?’ can help you uncover things in your body or subconscious that you never realized before! Would love to hear if this works for you, it was super mindblowing for me.

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