Anger Answers

How can I keep my calm when under pressure?

How to keep calm under pressure? Keeping calm under pressure is challenging. Managing your emotions and regulating how you feel when something happens takes time. Emotional regulation is essential to help you to become more "responsive" than "reactive." You can learn emotional distress tolerance skills by learning what your triggers are and recognizing your emotions. Distress tolerance is your ability to manage emotional distress using strategies to help you cope with emotional discomfort without making the situation worse. You can recognize when your ability to manage distress is low when you are overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed. Emotional dysregulation can lead to emotional outbursts and trigger negative emotions impacting your moods and interactions with others. It can be challenging to feel like you have no control over your emotions and continuously find yourself stuck in patterns and behaviors you don't like. Emotional regulation is a distress tolerance skill that involves taking the time to acknowledge how you feel, noticing the triggers that impact you the most, and choosing how you will respond to how these triggers impact you.It can be challenging to communicate and express how you feel if you are not mindful of how you feel, self-aware of what you need, or even able to address your needs. Your emotions are alarming you with what your needs are and how to cope with the emotions that you need. For example, if you feel insecure, your emotions tell you that you need to feel valued and fulfilled in a specific area to feel more secure and confident. To better understand why you are more emotionally reactive, try to explore and understand the contributing factors impacting you the most. Notice your triggers. Ask yourself are your triggers internal triggers (thoughts, feelings, assumptions, expectations; or external triggers (people, places, situations, experiences), which are all experiences that impact your emotions. Focus on your body cues, behaviors that let you know when your emotions are escalating. For example, are you staring at a spot on the wall? Is your leg shaking? Do you feel hot? Is your heart beating faster? Do you feel queasy or dizzy?Do the opposite of how you feel. In situations where you find yourself being more reactive than responsive, what do you do when you feel emotionally triggered? How do you react? Journaling, discussing your triggers, and reflecting on your experiences can help you better understand your feelings.Deep breathing is another way to pause and regulate your feelings before responding. Try “Boxed Breathing,” in which you’ll breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and so on until you feel grounded. You can also tighten your muscles and release them while breathing, focusing on the breath, and practicing mindfulness all the way through.You will learn that your emotions are essential and that validating them and choosing how to respond to them takes practice. Going to therapy to learn how to manage your anger and how to regulate your emotions is also helpful. There are also many self-help resources that you can explore on emotional regulation, anger management, and distress tolerance skills. You have already made a positive step toward improving your emotional well-being. Good luck, and I wish you the best.
(MA, LMHC)
Answered on 11/17/2022

How do stop taking my anger out on the person I love the most?

Hi there, Seeing that you have reached out, knowing that it is not the correct response to take things out on loved ones suggests that you are sincere in wanting to change and become a better you. Hurting the person you love the most is not the healthy way to deal with life's stresses. Acknowledging this yourself and expressing that you are unhappy regardless of your achievements suggests there is more going on that may need to be unpacked. Therapy may be the way to do this, by eliciting and promoting healthy responses and change. To answer your question, I would suggest seeking out a counsellor that has an expertise in counselling people with anger and/or stress related issues. If when you have developed this relationship and it's one you feel comfortable in, perhaps look more into what it is that is making you unhappy? As therapists we tend to look at the bigger picture of our clients world and not always just the forefront presenting issue/s. Clients often find that there are many attributing factors in their lives that lead into what it is that brings them to therapy in the first place. I would also perhaps suggest to the person that you are "taking your anger out on." that you are working towards changing yourself for the better and are seeking a way to stop this behaviour. It may also be valuable for yourself to keep that relationship with that individual healthy. Anger is such a complex emotion/response to our environments. It is also an easy one for people to go to when trying to understand the more complex feelings and thoughts that are going on in that moment.  Often the feeling that people feel in moments of "Anger" is frustration. That frustration is often easier for people to respond with than pausing and trying to understand what it is that they are truly feeling or thinking. In counselling, a natural result of a healthy therapeutic relationship is for the client to start to be able to pause, unpack and express what they are truly feeling to loved ones which is the healthy way to deal with these situations. I hope this answer helped. Well done for reaching out.
Answered on 10/26/2022

Why can’t I show emotions anymore towards some things and my thoughts are dark

Hi Lola, Thank you for reaching out with your question of concern. Let me see if I can help you. I will try my best with the little information you provided.When individuals start to feel anger, it is usually because there is pain or hurt hiding behind it.  It is much easier to feel anger than to feel pain or sadness.  It also helps the person feel more in control, but also avoid feeling of sadness, etc. because it can be triggering and lead to depressive feelings and emotions.When we feel anger, it could because we feel something "unjustly" happened to us and needs to be fixed or corrected.  So, with this being said, it would be good for you to examine if you feel someone or something has mistreated you.  If you are having a difficult time getting in touch with your emotions, it would be good to try and center yourself.  You can try doing a self guided meditation, breath work, or journaling to help you focus on yourself and tap into your feelings more.  It would also be good for you to open up to someone you trust so you can vent about what you have been feeling inside. If you are unable to do this on your own, BetterHelp has many licensed therapists that can help you figure this out, sort out your feelings and thoughts, and work through what you are feeling.  You may have a lot of defense mechanisms going on emotionally in order for you to self protect how you are really feeling and experiencing and a licensed profession can help you through many different techniques to sort it out and cope through this time in a healthy and productive way.  The feelings of anger is usually related to a" fight, flight, or freeze" response of the sympathetic nervous system and it seems like that is what is happening to you.  You stuck in this emotion and you are having a hard time really processing it out.I hope this helps and I wish you nothing but the best in this journey of discovering your emotions. 
Answered on 10/22/2022

How to become less aggressive in my behavior?

The goal here is to engage as you are trying to do in Anger Management which takes awareness and practice. It is also important to consider that there could be other symptoms associated like stress, anxiety and depression  that need to be addressed. It is also important to understand what is motivating such strong emotion and impulsivity leading to loss of control. You also may have low frustration tolerance and be more easily triggered than others, so knowing yourself and your personal triggers is important. To begin with, you would benefit from recognizing the signs that you are becoming upset. So you might for example experience the following right before: rapid heartbeat, faster breathing, tense muscles, restlessness, clenched fists or jaw sweating and pacing. Be aware of this onset so you can implement coping skills to try to avert an episode. Simple relaxation tools such as deep breathing, using relaxing imagery, can help calm down angry feelings.  You can also "walk away" if you feel you are on the edge and take a personal "time out" until the feelings pass. Cognitive restructuring is another technique which means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to think in exaggerated and dramatic terms. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones. So instead of telling yourself things are "awful, ruined, terrible" tell yourself "this is frustrating but manageable and it is understandable why I am upset, but I will get through it and it is not the end of the world". Use consequential thinking.  For example, reflect -"when I lost my temper last time I got into a fight and got arrested. I do not want this to happen again so I will....." and plan your strategy. Remind yourself  that getting angry and losing your temper will not solve anything and instead will make things worse. You also have to practice these skills when you are not angry so you are ready if and when you feel you are losing control. You can also join an anger management group and receive psychoeducation and peer support. You can also go to talk therapy and learn more about your relationship with anger and its origins in your life.   In regard to taking action that is helpful, you can learn to practice verbalizing your feelings and needs in an assertive but not aggressive way so you are heard.  Being assertive does not mean being pushy but instead clear and respectful while speaking in the "I" and not attacking the other. These are all things to consider and remember logic triumphs over anger.  I hope this helped!
Answered on 10/22/2022

How can I control my anger? I get angry very quickly and also cool down very quickly

Ask yourself to reflect on your past experiences. Go as far back as childhood. How did your parents or caretakers respond when you made mistakes? Were they loving? Were they gentle? Did they create an atmosphere in which mistakes were seen as learning opportunities? Did they correct you in kindness? What did you need to hear after you made a mistake? What did you hear instead? Was there an expectation of perfection whether implied or expressed outright?  Now let's shift to your young adulthood and adulthood. Do you set impossible expectations for yourself? Do you set impossible expectations for others? Is there an expectation of perfection? What role does perfectionism play in your life? Do you feel that's sustainable? Remind yourself that you will never be perfect and neither will anyone you encounter. Put down that façade. You are a human "being" not a human "doing". You are valuable based on the simple fact that you are human and not based on the value your actions can add to society. Treat others with the kindness that stems from looking at them through that same lens: they are also people who are valuable simply because they are human too.  Instead of thinking of this as difficult, think of it as different. It will be different than how you're used to treating others, but with time and practice you will have kindness, grace, and compassion ingrained in you.  Next, remind yourself that although anger can feel powerful at times, it actually leaves you vulnerable. It means that another person is controlling your actions rather than you being in control of your emotions. You are then vulnerable to them taking you on an emotional roller coaster. Being reactionary isn't useful here. Next, identify what is underlying your anger. Anger is like an iceberg - in the surface everyone can see that a person is angry but underneath that anger is a sea of emotions. What is the need that underlies your anger? Are you angry because you're frustrated? Are you angry because you feel disrespected? Are you angry because you are hungry? Are you angry because you are tired? Are you angry because you feel overwhelmed? Are you angry because you feel anxious?  Anger can have many underlying emotions. This is why it's important to get to the root of your anger. Someone else who is in your shoes may not make the same choices you make even though they feel the same emotion. So they may not be able to relate to the choices, but they can relate to the emotion. Express your emotions by being assertive. Remember that you can be assertive and polite. You don't have to be rude in communicating your needs. Remember that anger is simply a need that has gone unmet, so find what you need. Tell the person that you feel (emotion word) when they do (action here) and what you would like them to do (action here) instead. Figure out the unmet need. Take deep breaths. Take a break from the conversation. Express yourself politely while setting healthy boundaries. Follow this pattern and you're likely to succeed. 
Answered on 10/19/2022

How do I cope with the rage and sadness inside of me?

Dear Client,      As a therapist with twenty years of job counseling experience, I promise I can help you!  I admire how you acknowledge the positive aspects of your life and job.  This demonstrates character, integrity, and accountability.  These are wonderful qualities, and they will work for you!  I also see that you are blaming yourself unnecessarily.  This is something that you and I can work on using CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).  CBT empowers clients by teaching them to say nice things to themself.  Inner dialogue is important when finding fulfillment!      Career counseling teaches that the bottom line is this: a person must do that which they love to do the most!  This is the bottom line, and no one can tell you what this is except you! All other factors ie.-money earned, working with family vs. not, are not indicators of that which you love to do the most.  This is why it is important to work with a professional to learn to quiet your mind!      DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), can work to achieve this.  I can guide you through short meditations, and other exercises.  This can help you realize what you truly love to do.  A great fiance and pet can be supports in working towards what Shakespeare and I would encourage you to do. "To thyself be true!"       Anger control is also a common obstacle.  BetterHelp has great worksheets on anger control, as well as CBT and DBT.  We can do them together.  These worksheets will prove to be extremely useful.  If winter causes you depression, we have worksheets for depression as well.  We can also discuss coping mechanisms for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which may contribute to your depression in winter.      I have many tools to assist you in finding the right work environment.  These are books (ie-What Color is Your Parachute?), Informational Interviews, and Personality Tests (ie-the MMPI).  All these can assist you in understanding whether you are in the right job, or need to search further.         A good therapist will make themself available to you on a regular basis.  You and I can work together as a team to empower you by developing a treatment plan unique to you.  This treatment plan can help you overcome obstacles.  Problems such as anger, job dissatisfaction, depression, stress, boredom, loneliness, frustration and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) all have coping mechanisms.  These can be included in your treatment plan.   I wish you all the best! Sincerely, Jennifer Spinner LCSW
Answered on 10/18/2022

I need help dealing with my mood swings and anger.

Hello. I would like to help you if I can. Mood Swings and Anger Anger results from feeling violated or let down or forgotten or abused.  When we learn to express and to deal with anger in a healthy way, we can usually mitigate the physical and mental effects of anger. It is when anger is stored within ourselves, unexpressed, that it becomes a problem. Generally, many people end up taking the anger out on themselves (calling self names, refusing to eat or eating too much, and many other types of expressions).  OR, they take the anger out on the people that they love and trust the most. Which is it for you? Since you have accompanying mood swings, I tend to think you internalize the anger and store it up inside you. Maybe I'm wrong. But the mood swings in this scenario would likely be between Depression and Numb and Sleepy and Unmotivated and a few episodes of ultra-Excitement / Happiness. I'm just guessing. For the mood swings, counter those with objectively true statements to yourself. If you feel especially down on yourself, counter that feeling with questions to yourself in trying to seek the objective truth. If you say, "You're stupid. You're a loser," counter that with the question "Am I measurably, truly stupid?" The answer will of course be "No." Anger is a primary emotion that must find proper expression and management. We all get angry at times. We all feel offended or disappointed or unsettled or whatever. Some of us have VERY good reasons to be angry because of what others may have done to us.  Give yourself permission to be angry, but aim the anger at the source of the violation, the person or process that caused you to feel violated and hurt. This is good prompt for Meditation and Consideration of your past and your present and your beliefs about your future: Name all the ways you've been hurt, write them down. Name all the ways you've been violated, write them down. Then work through each occurrence as best as you can while being sure to keep your thinking based in objective reality and truth. I hope this helps. I wish you all the best.
(LMFT, MEd)
Answered on 09/21/2022

How do I deal with the racist remarks that have been made to me?

Dear Riya, What a terrible experience! I'm so glad you came to BetterHelp; once you are matched with a therapist you will be able to work together to prioritize and set realistic goals to help you learn how to process experiences like this. Although this doesn’t sound like a major behavioral health disorder, if it’s causing you distress or feelings of discomfort, then therapy can help! I wanted to set some expectations for you so you know what therapy will be like with BetterHelp. Depending on your subscription you will likely have one live session a week with your therapist (by video, phone, or live texting). In addition, you and your therapist can text back and forth through the week, you can attend unlimited free “Groupinars” about behavioral health topics, and you can use the journaling feature. It’s good to shop around for the right therapist based on their specialties. When you are matched with a therapist, make it clear what you are looking for. It will not hurt our feelings for you to try out several of us until you find the correct fit (there are more than 25,000 on this platform alone, so you have choices!). We just want what’s best for you. Think of it like remodeling a home. You may just want help painting and changing some fixtures or going after walls with a sledge hammer. You would certainly want different kinds of professionals for these tasks, and you would also want to learn their specialties before getting to work. For example, I specialize in anxiety disorders, grief, sleep improvement, and sexual functioning. I also have been successful with many other areas. However, if a client comes to me asking for help understanding their dreams, I would (kindly) suggest they pick another therapist since that is not my area of expertise. Here are considerations as you look into therapy and shop around. 1. CONSIDER WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH. As I mentioned above, there are lots of styles of therapy, and many different practice specialties. Here are some of the main areas that people usually want help with (but there are many more, of course. You may want to Google, “types of therapy.”) - Empathy (unconditional positive regard). Sometimes we just need someone to listen to us without judging. You may come from a family or friend group where this is hard to find, and a therapist can listen to you kindly and empathically. - Reality testing (helping you separate the logic from emotions). Sometimes we have difficulty understanding whether a situation warrants the kind of reaction we feel. For example, you may become enraged at poor customer service. A therapist can help you understand why you feel this way and how to deal with such situations. - Learning new patterns for thoughts (cognitions). Sometimes we fall into logical fallacies or thought distortions such as-or-nothing thinking and catastrophizing. These lead to increased feelings of depression and anxiety. Your therapist can help you understand these distortions and what to do about them. - Understanding anxiety triggers. We are creatures of habit, and we tend to be afraid of consistent things. Unfortunately, the more we avoid a fear, the stronger that fear gets (avoidance is like fuel for fear). As such, it is important to start learning about the common themes of what makes you anxious. Is it a fear of being judged? A fear of failure? A fear of not being loved or admired? Everyone is different. The best way to do this is to start keeping a log of the times you experienced the fight or flight response. Jot down in a journal or in an app like Google Keep these times, including: -- What was the triggering event? -- How long did it take to calm down?  Over time, your therapist will likely recommend that you also track “what was the automatic thought,” or the instant thought that just popped in to your mind that might have made you feel even worse (such as “everyone here is going to hate me.” Or “They all think I’m stupid.”) Your therapist can help you identify themes and come up with alternative cognitions or thoughts to battle these automatic thoughts. - Disrupt intense fear or the fight or flight response with deep breathing. Learning deep belly breathing (or “diaphragmatic breathing) is a great tool to add to effective stress management. Taking time to breathe deeply for a few minutes is a free and easy to learn method to take you out of the fight or flight zone and into a zone where you can think more clearly and not experience those side effects. You can Google “deep breathing” or “diaphragmatic breathing” to start learning a technique that really helps most people. You can find mobile apps to help (for example the Breathe2Relax or the Virtual Hope Box app – both are free and evidence-based) or watch videos online that can walk you through it. These are skills that not only help you now, but can assist you throughout your entire life (for example, dealing with road rage, poor customer service, annoying family). You can also disrupt the fight or flight response in the moment with just a minute or two of intense exercise (for example, push-ups, jumping jacks or walking up and down a flight of stairs). This helps use some of the adrenalin and glucose that are released into your blood stream when you have encountered a stressor and leaves you thinking a bit more clearly. - Accountability partner. Your therapist can help you set achievable and realistic goals and help keep you accountable for making progress. This can prevent you from making goals that are too large and unrealistic. Your therapist can also congratulate you on the small achievements that you may not want to share with others (for example, “Yay! You were able to go through the day only reading the news twice!”). - Helping you understand how your early life affects you now. In our early childhood we learn many things and have many experiences that lead to our behaviors as adults. Some therapists (especially those with psychodynamic backgrounds) can help you understand these effects. - Coping with grief, mourning and break-ups. Therapists can help you grieve and mourn losses such as deaths, break-ups, and other ways that you have lost people close to you. - Processing and working through trauma. Therapists can help you understand the symptoms of posttraumatic stress and help you learn ways to reduce these symptoms. - Learning ways to improve sleep, chronic pain, sexual functioning, and other quality-of-life factors. There are many evidence-based techniques that therapists can help you learn to improve your daily functioning in these areas. - Improving communication skills with partners, family, children, friends, or co-workers. As the saying goes, “love is never enough.” To help maintain healthy relationships, your therapist can help you learn effective and clear communication skills. 2. CONSIDER YOUR “STAGE OF CHANGE.” Sometimes we may have the need to change but not yet the motivation (like reducing substance use, quitting smoking, or other healthy behavior change). Depending on your stage of change, it may not be the right time for therapy. Here are the major stages of change. Consider where you are: - Precontemplation: This is the stage during which you may not even be aware of the issue. - Contemplation: This is when you are just starting to think about making change. - Preparation: This is when you get ready to change. This is when a therapist is MOST helpful. - Action: This is when we actually start making the change. Therapists are also very helpful here. - Maintenance: Maintaining the change can be difficult, and therapists are very helpful at this stage as well. I’m sending you hopes for quick healing and lifelong growth. Thank you so much for reaching out! Best regards, Julie Note: If you are in crisis and feeling like hurting yourself, please call 911, go to your closest emergency department, or call the suicide hotline (the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) immediately at 800-273-8255. You could also go to their website to chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
Answered on 08/04/2022

Anger issues

Anger can be one of the more challenging emotions to navigate. If you think about it, many consider anger as a secondary emotion to primary emotions like anxiety or depression. As I often tell my clients, feelings are wonderful advisors, but not so great masters. With this in mind, anger can be a proactive emotion, so long as we respond to it, and not react. When we react, something else takes over, which is typically our emotion mind. Our emotion mind is not based in reason, therefore, it can be very impulsive and one-sided, leading to more arguments and/or disagreements. Luckily, there are proactive steps that we can take to reduce impulsive reactions to emotions like anger.  First, it's important to identify the roots of anger. What do you find is contributing to anger throughout your typical day? Oftentimes, anger is a secondary emotion that is rooted in feeling taken advantage of, feeling invalidated, and/or feeling upset. Once the roots are identified, we can then convey our emotion to others effectively with use of "I" statements. "I" statements are wonderful because they encourage us to take ownership of our feelings/emotions, vs projecting them onto another person. Let's consider these two examples: Example 1: "You make me so angry when you don't take the trash when I ask! What's wrong with you!" Example 2: "It upsets me when you choose not to take the trash when I ask you to do so. I would like for us to work together in ensuring that our house is clean."  Example 1 is dangerous, because it is a projection statement. In example 2, you're saying the same thing as in example 1, but taking ownership of your emotion.    Another example worth mentioning is use of the acronym DEARMAN. DEARMAN can assist you in structuring statements associated with asking for what it is that you want, while also saying no to unwanted requests effectively. The acronym stands for: Describe, Express, Assert, Reinforce, Stay Mindful, Appear Confident, and Negotiate. I will share an example of what this may look like.  (Describe): I have asked you to take the trash 3 days in a row; (Express): When you don't take the trash, it makes me feel angry and that you're not paying attention to me; (Assert): I would like for you to be more considerate of taking the trash in a timely manner when I ask; (Reinforce): I wouldn't hold as much anger regarding this instance if I felt you we're putting forth effort to help me; (Mindful): I hear you saying you're mad about me not cleaning the counters, but I would like to focus on ways we can work together to ensure the trash is taken in a timely manner; (Appear Confident): Chest out, shoulders back, face the other person; (Negotiate): Would it help if I took the trash out half of the days, and you take it the other half?  All in all, these strategies are useful starting points to practice skills in conveying emotion like anger effectively. Regarding management of anger outside of communication, I would encourage that you work with your therapist on identifying your triggers and anger warning signs. This will ensure that you're more cognizant of when you're in an anger state, and eventually becoming less reactive to the emotion. I hope you find these suggestions to be useful! 
(MA, LCMHC, LCAS, CCS-I)
Answered on 07/29/2022

I am unemployed and reluctant to seek therapy, but I know I need help, what can I do?

Hi Sampson, My name is Elaina and I am a licensed clinical social worker who has over 20 years of experience in working with people who are struggling with cannabis abuse as well as problems with mood and anger outbursts.  It sounds like this has been a difficult decision to reach out for help and I agree that it takes a lot of courage to seek help.  Some times it can feel overwhelming to start the process and take the first steps.  My role is to help support you in a judgement free zone as we together figure out treatment and treatment options.  I'm glad that you are reaching out for support to help you maintain sobriety as well as a clear mind.  I would like to have more information from you to help me have a better picture of what is going on and how long this has been going on.  I am curious as to what stressors are going on in your life that may be causing you so much distress such as relationship issues, financial stressors or past trauma.   I will need to ask you questions about patterns of your mood swings, sleep, appetite, energy levels to help me figure to what may be causing the delusions and mood swings.  As well as questions about your cannabis use-for example what do you like about it and what are reasons for your use. It is common for substance use and mood issues to go hand in hand as one tries to cope with stress. Hopefully this response put you at ease. This writing forum is new to me and is taking me a little bit to figure out what to say.  BetterHelp is open to a writing forum as well as live telehealth sessions.  I am open to what works best for you and your comfort level or schedule.  I will be able to check for any written responses on a daily basis.  My availability to meet live online should be posted to see if that coincides with your schedule.  I look forward to meeting and talking with you.
Answered on 07/28/2022

What are the signs that you are suffering from anxiety and depression?

Dear Jayzee, First of all, I want to commend you and say “way to go” on recognizing that there may be an issue with anger management and ways to productively communicate your feelings to those around you. You have been through a *lot*, and it's common to struggle with depression and anxiety after losing parents. I’m so glad you’ve come to BetterHelp for support. Although your counselor here will be able to hear more about your life and help you come up with healthy strategies, I can give some advice to get you started (especially if you are still waiting to be matched with a counselor). Learning how to communicate anger can be like learning a foreign language if you didn’t grow up with role models for appropriate expression. However, it is 100% a skill set that you can gain as an adult! A lot of anger management is about identifying the triggers, assessing your “automatic thoughts” and then developing healthy ways to respond.  We are creatures of habit, and we tend to be stressed or saddened or angered by predictable things. It is important to start learning about the common themes of what makes you feel this anger or rage. Is it when your partner does something annoying? When you feel like you are not good enough? When you are bored or lonely? When you are sexually aroused? Everyone is different. The best way to do this is to start keeping a log of the times you experienced these feelings. Jot down in a journal or in an app like Google. Keep these times, including: -- Where was I when this happened? -- What was I doing? -- How was I feeling? Over time, you will see themes that can help you attack the triggers. It’s also important to identify your own patterns of self expression. For example, it’s possible that your self-expression in the past has been punished or mocked or that you’ve seen others punished or mocked for self-expression. For example, if your siblings or peers teased you for everything you said, then it may be difficult to speak up now (because it’s hard to get rid of that nagging voice telling you that people around you are waiting for you to mess up). Or perhaps you saw one of the adult caregivers in your home mock others. Even though you logically understand that your feelings and thoughts are valid, it’s hard to undo this kind of lesson (especially when it happens early on and / or repeatedly). This is especially where a therapist will be helpful as we are trained to help you evaluate automatic thoughts (such as “everyone is going to laugh at you” or “no one wants to hear what you have to say.”) Further, we can help you come up with alternative thoughts to replace these and practice using these alternatives until it becomes natural (such as “people who love me also love to know what I’m thinking,” and “I have the right to express myself,” and “I don’t need to say things perfectly; my thoughts are better out than in.” Another piece of advice for you is to practice deep breathing in the moment when you are feeling your anger surge. Learning deep belly breathing (or “diaphragmatic breathing) is a great tool to add to effective stress management. Taking time to breathe deeply for a few minutes is a free and easy to learn method to take you out of the fight or flight zone and into a zone where you can think more clearly and not experience those side effects. You can Google “deep breathing” or “diaphragmatic breathing” to start learning a technique that really helps most people. You can find mobile apps to help (for example the Breathe2Relax or the Virtual Hope Box app – both are free and evidence-based) or watch videos online that can walk you through it. These are skills that can assist you throughout your entire life (for example, dealing with road rage, poor customer service, annoying family). You can also disrupt the fight or flight response in the moment with just a minute or two of intense exercise (for example, push-ups, jumping jacks or walking up and down a flight of stairs). This helps use some of the adrenaline and glucose that are released into your bloodstream when you have encountered a stressor and leaves you thinking a bit more clearly. All of my suggestions above focused on helping you maintain your relationship. However, it is possible that this is not the right partnership for you. Consider listing what you would like to have in a partnership (whether it is with your partner or someone else). Making a realistic wish list can help you identify your priorities. And please keep in mind that you are valuable and WORTH meeting these priorities. Ask yourself questions like: - How should my partner and I solve problems when we disagree about little things (for example, the best way to wash dishes)? How should we solve problems when we disagree about big things (for example, how we want to spend money)? - What kind of activities do I want to be able to do with my partner? - How should my partner and I talk about what we want in sex? - What kind of sense of humor is important to me? What kinds of things make me laugh, and is it important that my partner shares this? - How much are looks important to me? - What kind of dates do I expect? What do I like to do when getting to know someone or spending time with someone I care about? - How fast should my partner get back to me when I text or call? Do we always need to pick up the phone, or is it okay to have the call go voicemail if I’m busy? - Should my partner and I do fun things apart or only together? Is it okay if we do fun things with our friends without the other partner? - How important is it that my partner get along with my friends? - How important is it that my partner get along with my family? - What are my limits? Are there any things that I absolutely will not allow from a partner (like physical violence, certain kinds of substance use)? After making your list, consider how it felt. Do you feel you deserve to have these needs met? (I think you do deserve to have a good partnership that meets your needs). Are the needs realistic? Which ones are the highest priority? Of these high priority items, which ones do your current partner meet? Your friends and family are so lucky to have you – a person who *wants* to be better and who can see areas for improvement. You’re ahead of the game and I see great things in your future! Sending you many good wishes, Julie Note: If you are in crisis and feeling like hurting yourself, please call 911, go to your closest emergency department, or call the suicide hotline (the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) immediately at 800-273-8255. You could also go to their website to chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
Answered on 07/21/2022

How can I learn better coping skills to manage my emotions?

Hello. I am sorry that you are having a hard time with managing your emotions but I am glad that you are reaching out for help and suggestions. My name is Bertha Mendoza-Rivera and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Congratulations on taking a great first step by asking this question. I feel that there is no wrong answer to your question but instead many different ways to manage ones emotions and our reactions to situations depending on the situation and what the emotions are (anger vs sadness). Learning different coping skills can help you tolerate, minimize and deal with stressful situations and also help you feel better not just emotionally but also physically. One thing that I have found to be helpful is changing the way you respond to or think about a certain situation or problem. For example, reframing it and looking at the situation from another perspective. This gives you a chance to look at the whole picture instead of staying focused on one detail. Taking time for yourself is also a great opportunity to really think about everything without interruption. Have you tried deep breathing? Often when facing a difficult situation or stressor, deep breathing can really help you refocus. I have also heard great things about meditation as it can produce a deep state of relaxation and a calm mind. Journaling is also a great way to cope with certain stressors and sort through different emotions. Talking about these difficulties with your partner can also be beneficial and you can work together to better understand each other. One thing that I never recommend is to avoid your problems or bottle up your feelings because they will not go away if you avoid them and they can possibly get worse.  It does not appear that it is something that you are doing, which is great. I feel that therapy would be a great way to explore the suggestions I have listed and many more coping skills that we can come up with together. I would be happy to speak with you. Please feel free to click on my profile and check out my availability to schedule a session. 
Answered on 07/15/2022

How do I stop letting my emotions go uncontrolled?

Yoni, Hello, it is very nice to meet you! Thank you for taking the time to write your question, I hope that you will find this helpful. If you and I were working together in therapy, I would want to know more about this difficulty you have with controlling and managing your emotions and feelings. Additionally, there may be background issues for you - childhood issues, history of of difficulty managing emotions, etc.  As difficult as this may sound, you are actually the only one who can control your emotions. Think of it this way - thoughts control feelings and feelings control actions and behaviors. Start small, when you feel yourself getting upset, identify the physical sensations you are experiencing - headache, gritting teeth, eyes tearing up, ears ringing, chest feels tight, heart rate increasing, stomach hurts, etc. Ask yourself what is causing the feelings, what is going on. Then, ask yourself what you have control over. For example, you have control over yourself, your words, your actions, and nothing else. We can not control other people or other situations. Once you establish that it is something you have no control over, allow yourself to let it go. With your relationship, I would want to know more about what happens with your partner when you get upset, how do you react and respond? Thinking about it, how could you respond differently?  Some strategies that you may find helpful include, when you get upset, give yourself permission to take a break, step outside, go take a walk, do something that is relaxing for you. Talk to him when you are upset. Tell him what is bothering you, identify the feelings that you are experiencing.  When you are upset, focus on using "I statements". What I mean by that is, do not go to him and say, "you did this, you did that" etc. Own the feelings you are having and say, "I feel upset when xxx happens, I am upset because xxx"  You might also find it very helpful to speak with a therapist to help you further identify and develop coping strategies. I hope that you have found this information helpful and I wish you all the best moving forward in your journey. 
Answered on 07/10/2022

How can I deal with all my problems?

Hello, It sounds like you are dealing with mixed emotions and having difficulty understanding how to manage all of them. It is natural for people to experience anger, anxiety and have feelings of being overwhelmed. However, based upon the intensity, frequency and duration of your emotions, this will affect your mental health. The depression may be indicative of triggers from life stressors and the inability to appropriately address them. I'm curious about your perception of your issues as being "maybe bipolar". I would encourage you to gain more insight about bipolar disorder and how it relates to your depression, anxiety and anger symptoms. It is possible that you have depression but are experiencing anxiety and anger as a result of the depression. It is also possible that the anxiety can trigger the anger and depression. There are studies that show a relationship between both anxiety and depression. Typically, clients that suffer with depression also have anxiety and struggles with their mood (anger). In order to address your mental health issues you must identify triggers. Your triggers are usually people, places, things and even thoughts that you notice effect your emotions, behaviors and overall functioning. Once you can identify your triggers, you can work on noticing them and using techniques/skills to manage the triggers. You mentioned feeling overwhelmed at times and getting "so angry". I would invite you to explore and process your anger. How do you define anger? Is it good or bad? When and how did you see anger displayed throughout your life? Most of what we say, do and think are based upon information and behaviors that we have learned from our environments. You may have had parents or other adults in your life that you watched struggle with certain people, things or situations and exhibit angry, aggressive body language, use angry, harsh words and express feelings of extreme anger or rage. If extreme anger was a common emotion demonstrated by others in your life, then it could have been viewed as "normal" and an acceptable emotion for most situations. You should also explore depression and anxiety in the same manner. How do you define depression? Anxiety? Is it healthy to be sad and anxious at times? Have you observed others in your life that struggled with depression and anxiety? How did they manage their mental health issues? Can you recall times in your life when you weren't depressed, anxious or angry? Can you recall times that you overcame challenging circumstances, reduced/decreased anxiety and depression, and were able to control your anger? If you can recall times that you were able to effectively manage feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, depressed and angry, then you will be able to apply the same strategies/skills to your current issues. I encourage you to reflect upon the individuals currently in your life and be sure to have a good support system to contact to avoid isolation, withdrawal or a feeling of loneliness. If you don't have a good support system, I implore you to consider therapy so that you have a "safe space" to process your current mental health issues. In my opinion, you can overcome any mental health challenges through your commitment, consistency and capacity to process your emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Start your journey today with a Betterhelp therapist so that you can learn to handle your problems and improve your emotional, mental, and physical well being.
(LMFT, CTMH)
Answered on 06/29/2022

Why do I get easily irritated and rudely snap at people? How can I stop myself from doing so?

Hello Andy, Thank you for reaching out. As I'm sure you can appreciate, this would likely be better answered upon further exploration in session. However if i may i'll try to offer insight for what you have already highlighted and you can see if it feels right for you. Lets start with the question itself.........I would ask what happens for you when you respond to people in a short manner and snap at them? do you get any physical sensations? any thoughts? feelings? emotions? If yes to any of these, then this would be a good indicator as to what might be happening for you and the possible reasons behind why you might respond in this way towards interactions with other. If you're not sure what happens for you a good way in which you can identify this is by journaling. Journaling does not have to be a complicated thing or even an everyday thing. Simply whenever you feel you have something to write. It equally does not have to be a novel it can be a few words. If you're focusing purely on what happens for you around interactions with others maybe restrict yourself to only journalling around such interactions. However journalling in a wider context could offer insight to what might be happening for you during the day. For example if something has happened in the day that has annoyed you and then you respond to others by projecting this annoyance on them, it's possible that might offer insight as to the why. But you can journal in either way. How journalling helps............its two fold, in that one it helps us get thoughts feelings emotions out of our head and down on paper so that we can respond not in the moment with a flash of anger etc but with a mindful view. Second, it teaches us to really look at and engage with our process (how we function in thoughts feelings emotions), to look at what is happening for us, which offers insight that we may otherwise not realize or be aware of. Now for the wider context of your question..............it could be and only you will know here, that your anger response to other could be a learned behavior on account of your Dad. What do I mean by this? Well simply that when we see our parents act in certain ways or do certain things and we are growing and developing, we take these things on board and we mimic them and respond in the same way in similar situations. However while we are growing and developing we lack the wider context as to why our parents might have anger issues, i.e. is it in certain situations with certain people or is it with everyone. Also the reasons behind those anger issues, unless they tell us why they are angry, we cannot know for sure, so we might see this as a behavior that they do, take it on board as a typical way in which we should respond too but then because we are not aware of why they were angry we simply apply it to every one of our interactions with others. The latter half of your question speaks to parents not being around, this could be a case for you as an attachment issue in development. Which may explain how you might interact with others now, but this would require further exploration to see if it is applicable. As to how to stop this undesired behavior, the importance of therapy here cannot be underestimated in order to explore exactly what is behind the anger response for you. It should be noted that anger might be the displayed emotion but under anger there are many more feelings and emotions that it be discovered which of these might be at play, can again identify why you might be responding with anger. Think of it like an iceberg with anger on top and the other emotions beneath the sea level. In terms of practical things you could try to try to respond differently in the mean time, mindfulness practice may offer some respite from anger responses. Hope this helps, Thanks, Kai
(BA, (Hons), Integrative, Counsellor)
Answered on 06/24/2022

How do I get over the anger I have to someone who used to treat mẹ badly?

Hello, Thank you for your question. My name is Radka Kozielova. I work for BetterHelp as a therapist, I am very passionate and committed to my role in helping others. If you would like to know more about me please click on my name on this page Firstly you have done the hardest part by getting away and cutting all contact with this person. You know in your heart the mental abuse was wrong. Nobody deserves that. This person that put you through this is the one with the issues, if you were a child when this happened, report them; make sure nobody else suffers at this person hands. Now let's think about you, you will never forgive this person or forget the mental torture this person has put you through but you can learn to move on from it. People that abuse others no matter whether it is physical, mental or sexual abuse are weak; they abuse other’s for their own satisfaction. They want to belittle others to feel strong themselves. Write down exactly how this person has made you feel don’t hold back, put pen to paper and release all those feelings you have kept inside for so long. Decide then if you want to send that letter to that person or if you want to put it in a drawer and anytime you feel angry add to it. Just remember you are a good person. You did not deserve any of this mental abuse and you are far better than the abuser. Always remember you are better and stronger than they will ever be. You have recognized that this was abuse and you have got away from them. Look around you. Look at all you have achieved in life and embrace how that makes you feel, hang on to those good positive energies, release the anger you hold for the person that mentally abused you. Do not stay trapped in what they have said. Like I said earlier: embrace all the good in your life and keep moving forward. If you feel I could help you on this journey to find self love, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Radka 
(Counsellor)
Answered on 06/18/2022

What are some good ways to manage anger throughout the day?

Hello and thank you for posting your question in this forum. This is a rather difficult and complex concern but we will attempt to help you deconstruct it as much as possible. You have asked about anger management techniques you can use throughout the day to help you work through anger. It’s important to first understand what anger is and from where it normally arises. Anger is considered to be a ‘masking emotion’ in that it masks some other feeling, which is its true root. Often we feel very negatively about a situation, we are sad, we are experiencing grief, etc. And these feelings are too difficult to confront with real motivation. So we then turn to anger which is like an emotional shortcut and keeps us from dealing with the root of the problem. The main way to overcome this is to face the core of what is really making you angry. Again, keep in mind that it is a masking emotion. So we might ask: what is it masking? Are you dissatisfied? Are you feeling sadness over something? Reflect on that at length as that is the thing which needs to be confronted and addressed. If you are successful in doing that you will end up at a place of acceptance for the issue where you are struggling. This is the ultimate way to cool your anger as it will address what you’re experiencing with some finality. Essentially, acceptance is the place where we try to get most people struggling with anger management issues. It’s not so much about in the moment coping strategies as it is about being able to fully accept whatever is making you angry. All that being said, in the moment strategies for anger management can have their use in helping you to pass over a difficult moment. One such strategy is to count to 10, slowly, while breathing mindfully. In fact, breathing or taking deep breaths can generally be helpful when confronting your own anger. However, the best strategy in such a situation is removing yourself from the stimulus or the situation. Removing yourself from whatever might be making you angry is an important measure in helping to control your anger. Sometimes when we become angry in a situation we stop hearing what others are saying and we enter a sort of flight or fight response. The parasympathetic system takes over and we can no longer hear what others are saying and often we cannot act logically. In that situation our anger response will dominate, however, we may regret what we do in such a state of mind. So the best thing is to try to not end up in that mental space. And you would accomplish that by being sensitive to how your body is responding and being able to perceive that you are becoming angry. Then taking steps to separate yourself from that situation, as much as possible. Hopefully some of these suggestions will be helpful to you as you seek to manage your anger response. Thank you again for posting your question in this forum. I wish you good luck in the future as well as good physical and mental health. 
Answered on 05/29/2022

Am I a fraud? Am I broken?

Hello there, I am sorry that you are feeling this way and I am sorry that previous therapy has been unsuccessful. It would be interesting to know why the therapy did not work as maybe it could be a certain modality that did not work for you. Usually pent up anger stems from somewhere else and we cannot usually make the link on our own, but it comes out in all other ways and towards things that are not usually to blame. I would definitely say this is not who you are nor that there is anything wrong with you. Just that an unhelpful way of expressing your feelings has been learnt and to unlearn it without knowing what the deep rooted cause is, is difficult. Anger is just an emotion, it tells us information like we feel something is unfair or unjust, or were perceiving disrespect or threats/neglect. Anger is not the issue, it is simply how you are expressing your anger that needs the work! You are allowed to feel angry! And you are allowed to express your anger. Going forward, it would be good to explore the situations that trigger your anger in order to find a theme. Then we could look at what other emotions might be happening alongside the anger which make is so overwhelming. Usually there are several other emotions happening alongside anger or under anger which makes us feel so overwhelmed we can explode. We can identify the warning signs we get just before we explode as this is the best place to intervene and choose differently. Then finally, looking at healthier choices to make when angry, which is hard and takes real motivation to change, but it is possible. A few coping strategies that are useful is taking long deep breaths fur 5-10 minutes to calm all the physiological symptoms. Walking away from the triggering situation and being outside also helps. Also, a favorite of mine is screaming into a pillow. Feels awkward at first but really helps. I hope that this information has been useful and I wish you every success in learning about your anger and learning to cope. 
(Postgraduate, Diploma, in, counselling, BSc, psychology, Psychotherapist)
Answered on 05/20/2022

Why can’t i just be happy…

Hello Anna. You asked an excellent question. Many people ask themselves that same question when they are trying to make sense of things. It is very normal to wonder why happiness can't be easy. The fact is that there are so many factors that go into happiness, that it is hard to determine where to start. This is especially true when someone is also feeling depression and anxiety. Not only are you dealing with depression and anxiety, but you are also dealing with other variables, such as conflict, relationships, emotional safety, trust, and the big one, past trauma. You see, trauma alone creates a filter that is used to see the world. Think of it as having a pair of glasses on that distorts reality. Trauma distorts reality because the world, situations, or relationships do not feel safe. So even if someone is acting in a way that seems safe, the trauma lens can distort that and make it seem threatening. Trauma can be broken down into two categories, "little t" trauma and "big T" trauma. Little "t" traumas are situations that are not life-threatening but are emotionally difficult. The little "t" traumas can range from an embarrassing experience to heartbreak after a breakup. Big "T" traumas are situations that are more intense and may be life-threatening. These are events that are typically life-changing. What you are describing appears to sound like an environment that does not feel emotionally safe. That is not to say that it is not safe but that it feels emotionally unsafe to you as you feel criticized, blamed, and unimportant. Essentially, your response is one of hypervigilance, caution, and self-protection. You are responding the way your brain is telling you to respond based on the belief that you are not emotionally safe. Happiness or contentment can be felt when the environment feels safe enough to let your guard down and enjoy the moment. Think of the last time you felt happy or content. How was your environment? How were the people around you? As you can see, the answer is not simple and each variable adds a different level of complications. When things in your life feel so tangled up and there are many variables to consider, it is beneficial to have a third party that can help you find a clear path to untangle all the variables. We are not meant to do this alone. Find that person that can give you guidance, support, and perspective.
Answered on 05/16/2022

How to deal with anger?

Generally speaking, difficult emotions related to anger and anxiety can be diminished with mental clarity.  Emotion itself, while educational, is either positively or negatively disruptive. We tend to love emotion if we are in love, happy, or experiencing something pleasant. But even enjoyable emotions "take our eyes off of the ball" in the sense that logic tends to be on the other side of the pendulum swing. Seeking clarity and mindfulness is a step in the other direction. Things seem to make more sense and we usually have greater self-awareness in this sort of state.  This is the opposite side of feeling anger and anxiety, which what the question was geared toward.   How does one manage those emotions? Commonly used tools include time-outs, box breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy.  The EMDR "Safe Space" technique can also be helpful.  Add to that a list of hobbies which can either take the mind of anger and anxiety completely or assist a person in working through them. Often, it seems that when a person is asking for help with anger or anxiety, they've already tried some of these things, and the emotions seem so overwhelming that they feel impossible to manage. And I do think that if one has as patiently as possible tried these with no success, then it's time to see a a psychotherapist for a last-ditch effort to make sure enough has been tried. In terms of the specific techniques mentioned above, box breathing, time-outs and the "Safe Space" technique are among the most immediate short-term actions that be taken to alleviate the stress of such thoughts.  Box breathing, which is sitting down and slowly inhaling four counts, holding for four and exhaling for four, can lower the heart rate and relax the body.   Time-outs are taken from a source of anxiety, especially difficult conversations that provoke anger.  If they are taken in agreement with another person, rules need to be set for them so that both parties accept them as legitimate.  The Safe Space technique involves using patting of the body alternating on either side while visualizing a very relaxing and peaceful circumstances in one's memory. Mindfulness techniques such as meditation take more patience and are geared for more long-range work, but Calm and Headspace are common apps for easy beginning execution of such practices.   You can also find free examples on YouTube.
Answered on 05/15/2022