What can I do to control my anger and the stress I have?

I am a single mother that's going through bad anger issues. I start to get mad over little things that I don’t want my toddler picking up after me.
Asked by Red

Hello, thank you for your question. I can see that you are experiencing a lot of anger right now and it sounds important to you that your toddler doesn't pick up on this issue or model their own behavior after yours. 

Anger is a natural emotion and part of being a human being. Perhaps anger could be perceived as being a negative thing, but sometimes it can actually be a positive, for example, it can help us to identify when something is a problem to us or causing us harm so that we can take steps to move away from that or give us the motivation to make changes to ourselves or our circumstances. Anger can also activate the "fight or flight"response within us, giving a sudden burst of energy which can be needed in dangerous situations where we need to defend ourselves. 

However, for anger to be healthy, it should feel manageable and not have a detrimental affect on life. It sounds as though perhaps your anger is impacting on your life and having negative consequences. You didn't mention any specific problems it is causing you, except for your concern about your toddler. Perhaps it could be impacting on relationships - perhaps you are being easily triggered by other people, what they say or things they do, and you recognize that your reaction is disproportionate to what they have done. I can also see that you are a single mum, which can be stressful enough by itself - maybe you are not getting breaks from the daily grind of life and looking after yourself adequately, which is causing you to get annoyed at things faster than you would like. 

It sounds like you could do with some support. Is there anyone around you who can offer some practical support - help with your toddler so that you can have some time to look after yourself? I understand that not everyone has a support network around them, and this can be upsetting in itself.

Perhaps you are considering therapy to gain some extra support and learn some tools for managing anger. In the counseling environment, there is no judgement and you are always held in positive regard and with empathy. Your therapist will see the world through your eyes and try to support you. Being able to talk about your experiences without judgement, opinion or constant solutions, can be a unique experience for some, and also what they need in order to feel heard and validated. This allows you to reflect on your situations and your roles within them. Reflection will help you to grow as a person and become more self-aware. With increased self-awareness, you will start making better decisions for yourself - whether that be putting in boundaries with certain people, or understanding your own triggers and modifying what is going on around you so that you can be more content in life. 

It sounds like you are motivated to make changes for yourself and in turn your toddler. This is a great first step and you are willing to be proactive to seek out those changes in yourself!