Been feeling very angry and losing my temper

Been feeling very angry and losing my temper

Hi @sibeisian , thanks for sharing how you’ve been feeling with us. I hear that you’ve been feeling very angry and that you’re having a tough time controlling your temper. I imagine that this can be very overwhelming for you.

Here are a few things to bear in mind and that we can do:

Firstly, anger is a normal emotion that all of us may experience from time to time. Various situations can trigger feelings of anger, which may range in intensity. When anger becomes extreme or uncontrollable, it could result in stress that may begin to affect our health or even interpersonal relationships. For this reason, it is important to evaluate our anger and to understand what we can do to manage it.

Something that might help is to understand why we are feeling angry in the first place. We can ask ourselves what might have triggered the anger. At times, the feeling of anger may just be the tip of the iceberg, and may have been fueled by different underlying emotions. Gaining insight into these underlying emotions may help us look into specific ways to better manage our anger and to recognize the warning signs leading up to the feeling of anger. You may wish to refer to the Anger Iceberg worksheet to gain greater clarity on how to go about doing this (1).

Some other strategies to help manage the anger include:

  • Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing. In moments of anger or rage, our body enters a state of fight-or-flight in order to prepare ourselves to take action, which then results in physiological changes in the body, such as increased heart rate and rapid breathing. Focusing on slowing down our breathing and taking deep, controlled breaths may help us de-escalate. You may wish to consider trying the Box breathing (2) or the 4-7-8 breathing technique (3). At times, we may need to temporarily place some distance between ourselves and the triggering situation so that we can first calm ourselves down before revisiting the issue at a later time. Besides breathing exercises, taking a walk or listening to a calming song may also be helpful in the interim.

  • Reframing our perspective. Although we may not have control over certain situations, what we can do is to work on the way in which we view and respond to them. Taking a step back and reflecting upon the following guiding questions may help you to re-evaluate the situation at hand. Alternatively, you may wish to try out the Thought Reframing exercises on the youth mindline platform (4).

  1. What am I feeling right now? (hurt, disappointed)
  2. What happened to make me feel this way? (A friend cancelled plans at the last-minute with no explanation.)
  3. Does the situation have a different explanation that might make sense? (Perhaps they had a last minute emergency to tend to that they may not have the capacity to explain at the moment.)
  4. What do I want to do about these feelings? (e.g. Lash out, sulk, give the silent treatment)
  5. Is there a better way of coping with them that is aligned with my beliefs, values and purpose? (Check in with them again at a later time. Engage in self-care and relaxation activities in the meantime to keep yourself occupied.)

If you find it difficult to work through these questions on your own and the frequency as well as intensity of such feelings become overwhelming, talking to a trusted friend or a counsellor could help you better manage your emotions.

Resources you may wish to refer to:
(1) Anger Iceberg (Worksheet) | Therapist Aid
(2) Box breathing relaxation technique: how to calm feelings of stress or anxiety - YouTube
(3) 4-7-8 Calm Breathing Exercise - Relaxing Breath Technique | Hands-On Meditation - YouTube