Temperament Answers

How to control my temper

Dear Janel,   Thank you for your message.   Anger is a response we have when we don't feel understood, don't feel listened to, don't feel respected. At first, we might just feel disappointed or irritated, however, it escalates often when others add fuel into it by saying words that are hurtful, misunderstanding, and dismissive. We then become even angrier and at last, we turn our anger into rage.   To control anger we must understand how anger works within us. Anger is almost like a volcano when it erupts, it releases a large amount of energy and often is destructive. However, this energy is often accumulated for a while before it erupts. If we can understand what accumulates this energy with us, and find ways to release it, then we can be assured that our volcano will not erupt.   Anger is the natural emotion created in a fight-or-flight situation by the physiology of your mind and body. When you sense a threat your mind generates fear and anger.  The fear you generate is part of a flight response from your physiology. Anger is the emotional energy you generate for the fight against that perceived threat.    What can be confusing is that your mind creates fear and anger even when the threat is just imagined.   Emotions like anger are natural and real.  Even if the threat is imagined the anger you create is just as real and powerful. However, the reasons you generate anger aren't always real. If you aren't aware of how your mind is imagining scenarios of hurt your anger will appear irrational.   Real vs. Imagined Anger   It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a real threat from an imagined threat because they can happen at the same time.  For example, someone is cutting you off on the freeway and a car briefly maneuvers in a way that could cause an accident and possibly injure your body.  There's a natural fight-or-flight reaction to your emotions and you create a combination of fear and anger. The reality of this harm usually passes very quickly and so do your emotions.   However, your imagination may take over and create worse scenarios.  You begin to consider that you or someone in your car might be hurt or killed. You might recall similar events from your past, project those into your mind, and add more emotion.  After the real physical threat passes your mind still projects scenarios in the imagination. Your emotions then respond to those imagined scenarios.   Even later that day when you replay the event in your mind, your emotions respond to the imagined version. The emotions you create from your imagined scenarios are no longer based on anything real.  Because of the natural response of emotions to what you imagine you can amplify fear and anger to the degree that they become out of control. However, fear and anger are natural consequences of the imagined scenarios. The problem is that the imagined scenarios in the mind are out of control and no longer based on reality.   Awareness   If you are not aware of how your imagination is projecting these scenarios you will blame other people unnecessarily for your emotions.  Understanding how your mind dreams images and scenarios of outcome is critical to understanding your anger and other emotions.   The initial moment of fear and anger resulted from a very real scenario that could have caused you harm.  However, most often the anger and fear people generate are sourced from their uncontrolled beliefs and imagination.   Anger is Rational   Anger is the natural emotional response designed to protect us from danger. It is part of our instinctual system for protection and preservation.  Notice how a dog growls and bares its teeth in response to a threat to its territory.  A mother bear will also go into ferocious anger if you were to come near her cubs.  Anger is a force of energy that we project in order to push away or combat a threat.  However, anger ceases to be a form of protecting your life and becomes a means of destroying your life and relationships when the threat isn't real.   Your emotions respond the same whether a threat is real or part of your imagination. Anger itself is a completely rational emotion to have when you perceive the thoughts and scenarios in your mind. There is nothing irrational or wrong with the anger from imagined scenarios and beliefs. Your emotional response system is working properly. The problem is with the thoughts, beliefs, and scenarios in your mind that generate an anger response.  The scenarios the mind projects are often not rational at all.   Other problems are created when you do not have the awareness and willpower to refrain from outbursts of your anger.  These reactions and consequences often distract us from the root cause of the problem.   It's easy to assume that your anger is the problem because it is what you notice.  It is the outbursts of anger that we see and that cause destruction.  The assumptions and interpretations in the mind are less noticeable amidst this emotional drama.  However, your emotions of anger are just a natural response to what the mind imagines.  If you perceive and believe what the mind imagines you will create emotions as a natural response.   If you accidentally touch a hot stove and burn your hand you will feel pain.  Naturally, you would want to pain to stop, but the pain in your hand isn't the problem.  The pain is just a natural response to touching a hot stove.  The physical touch on the stove is less noticeable, but yet it is the real problem.  Touching the hot stove is the cause of that pain. The pain won't go away until you take your hand away from the hot stove.   The same is true for your emotions such as anger.  You may want to stop your anger, but anger is just a reaction to something else. Anger is the natural emotional reaction to what the mind and imagination are doing.  The way to overcome anger is to change how the mind imagines stories and how much you believe them.  When the mind imagines painful scenarios you naturally produce anger.  To reduce and eliminate the danger it is necessary to shift the stories that the mind imagines.   To effectively reduce or eliminate the anger in our life, we can practice changing the core beliefs, assumptions, and interpretations of the mind.    The Reaction to Emotional Pain   Your mind can generate anger and fear even when there's not a physical threat of pain. Your emotional response mechanism can generate anger just as easily by imagining a scenario involving the threat of emotional pain. When your mind is out of control imagining scenarios of emotional pain, your anger goes out of control. For anger to happen the emotional pain doesn't even have to occur. If you just imagine that you will be hurt in the future, you can become angry before anything has happened.   Understand is the first step towards managing. We can't control what we don't understand.   Looking forward to talking with you more, Jono
(MSW, LICSW, LMHC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

I’m quick to snap and start and argument. How can I take a moment to reflect?

Correct me if I am wrong, I wonder if you may have had been the subject of criticism or persons not considering the impact of their actions would have on you in the past and developed a knee-jerk reaction, a reflex of sorts to go into attack mode first.  I would like to suggest starting with controlling your breathing, taking a moment to remove your focus from the present moment, and begin self-regulation from the bottom up. Our emotions are influenced by our body signals, internal body states, and vice versa. Hyperventilation or heavy breathing correlates with stress/anger/ heightened emotional arousal and sends signals or feedback to our brains that we are stress and/or angry. When we regulate our breathing we can change the signals or modify that feedback to our brain to that of calm. You can reduce the intensity of your emotions by practicing mindfulness breathing exercises. Breathing in deeply through your nose as if you are smelling a flower for ten (10) seconds, holding it for five (5) seconds, and releasing you breathe as if you are blowing out a candle. You can repeat this cycle until you notice a reduction in emotional arousal.  A possible strategy may be to implement a technique "Stop, Think and Do" once you feel they are triggered to urge to snap or start an argument. First, "STOP", stop and suspend your response until you had the chance to process what is happening for you at the moment. As you begin to consider what happened for you at that moment, "THINK" about what does this means to/for me. Consider if your understanding of the scenario or perception of intent is congruent with the behavior(s)/action(s). Challenge the validity of the meaning-making. When you move to the "DO" step, do use "I Statements" ( https://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/i-statements.pdf) to express how you are feeling in response to what has taken place and begin a dialogue that helps you understand what the intended outcome and explain what your needs are to avoid the miscommunication/ misconception moving forward.  Also, the use of fair fighting rules (https://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/fair-fighting-rules.pdf) may be a way to buffet responses when you do find yourself engaged in a disagreement. 
(MS, LPC, NCC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do you gain control over your emotions?

Thanks for your question. I would like to offer clarification that you are not toxic, but that your emotional reaction may have been out of proportion to what was warranted in this given circumstance. We want to be careful to separate our emotions from who we are. Our emotions do not define us nor are we defined by our emotions. I think the initial key is in becoming emotionally aware before your emotions reach their peak intensity. There is always a slow progression of feelings before they become unmanageable. We can often prepare ahead to deal with difficult emotions when we know certain situations are triggering, so in the case where we know, we might become activated, develop a plan for managing the situation before the circumstance unfolds. In cases where emotional reactions are unable to be planned for, having a road map to deal with them is helpful. Most often you want to learn to set boundaries with yourself and to take a time out when you are initially activated. You then can take time to reflect upon your feelings, journal, or even engage in activities that are distracting from your emotion. The key is to distract yourself until your emotions become more manageable and controllable. Doing activities to soothe yourself, such as getting a massage, taking a bath, lighting a candle, etc. are great skills to implement to reduce reactivity when initially activated. Once more controllable, you will very infrequently regret your response. It is okay to have an urge to act when emotional, but if you cannot separate urge from action, then it is problematic. Take a deep breath as another strategy to buy time prior to responding. Anything to slow down the response so you can process its implications is key to then provide a response that is not later regretted.  I think the other key is being able to consider the risks and consequences prior to acting. If you can delay a response five minutes, then ten minutes, then longer, that might help you to think through the response and whether it is reliable and trustworthy. Its reliability will be determined based upon how you feel as time progresses about the same issue. Thinking about what you might regret if you take the risk to act now might prevent later regrets. After all, the only moment you have influence over is now. I think there is so much more that can be said about this topic. Remember start by grounding yourself to come up with a response that combines reason with emotion rather than just offering an emotional response. If interested in learning more, I highly recommend Dialectical Behavioral therapy, which is a therapeutic approach that emphasizes distress tolerance and effective emotional regulation to create more meaningful relationships with self and others. 
Answered on 10/18/2021

Why I am getting upset for no reason?

Dear Achu,   Thank you for your message and for sharing with me how you've been interacting with yourself, especially how you've been handling unpleasant feelings and emotions. As you said this has also affected your life significantly. Perhaps by addressing how to handle unpleasant emotions in a healthier manner, we can dive into addressing the issues in your life as well?   Often the experience we've had about anxiety (or any strong emotion such as stress/depression) was so terrible (even physically) that our body sort of becomes traumatized by it. We naturally become nervous about these unpleasant feelings because we don't like these sensations and experiences. As a result, we would do everything we can to avoid/fight these anxious feelings, often using numbing techniques such as using substances or distracting ourselves. Yet only to find that the anxiety gets stronger over time because we have never been able to make peace with it.   Therefore rather than trying to "change" / "fight" / "get rid of" these unpleasant sensations, perhaps the best thing that we can do is to make room for these feelings and even sensations while staying on track to do what brings us meaning and fulfillment. Floating without judging / blaming ourselves through the anxiety experience, while focusing on making room for anxiety can be helpful.   Here is a short video put up by the author of the book "The Happiness Trap" which does a good job explaining this concept:   Please take some time to watch this and share your thoughts later :) I also highly recommend picking that book as well to supplement this therapy process.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCp1l16GCXI    We as human beings do not like suffering, therefore often times we would be doing our best to fight it. However just like the analogy of swimming vs floating that we have talked about before, the more we fight it, the faster we sink. While if we can learn to float with these waves, we will realize that we won't sink.   Radical acceptance / Expansion is about accepting life on life's terms and not resisting what you cannot or choose not to change. Radical Acceptance is about saying yes to life and all that life brings (including all sorts of emotions such as joy, sadness, peace, and pain), just as it is without forcing our ways into our lives.   Why do we want to accept life as it is? Because anything that we do in life that brings us meaning and fulfillment, always accompanies a wide range of emotions, we can't possibly just choose the ones that we like and fight/avoid those that we don't like. Learning to experience all emotions as they are, is a sign that we are living our lives to the fullest.   To do so we must learn to accept (and make room for) any unpleasant sensations, feelings, or thoughts that we experience.   We don't want to fight it because the more we fight, the stronger they will come back.   We don't want to avoid it either because the more we avoid it, the more we'll be afraid of it.   So the key here is to make room for these sensations, feelings, and thoughts while continuing to do what brings us meaning and fulfillment in life.    Learning to "co-exist" with these feelings will naturally reduce the intensity of them.   Floating is a form of learning to accept these feelings and make room for it.   Let me give you some practical guidelines on what I mean by accepting these feelings and make room for it.   You can look up the "expansion technique" under Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for more information as well.   How to accept our emotions (and make room for them):   OBSERVE. Bring awareness to the feelings in your body.   BREATHE. Take a few deep breaths. Breathe into and around them.   EXPAND. Make room for these feelings. Create some space for them.   ALLOW. Allow them to be there. Make peace with them   Some people find it helpful to silently say to themselves, 'I don't like this feeling, but I have room for it,' or 'It's unpleasant, but I can accept it.'   When you're feeling an unpleasant emotion, the first step is to take a few slow, deep breaths, and quickly scan your body from head to toe.   You will probably notice several uncomfortable sensations. Look for the strongest sensation - the one that bothers you the most. For example, it may be a lump in your throat, or a knot in your stomach, or an ache in your chest.   Focus your attention on that sensation. Observe it curiously, as if you are a friendly scientist, discovering some interesting new phenomenon.   Observe the sensation carefully. Notice where it starts and where it ends. Learn as much about it as you can. If you had to draw a line around the sensation, what would the outline look like? Is it on the surface of the body, or inside you, or both? How far inside you does it go? Where is the sensation most intense? Where is it weakest? How is it different in the center than around the edges? Is there any pulsation, or vibration within it? Is it light or heavy? Moving or still? What is its temperature?   Take a few more deep breaths and let go of the struggle with that sensation. Breathe into it. Imagine your breath flowing in and around it.   Make room for it. Loosen up around it. Allow it to be there. You don't have to like it or want it. Simply let it be.   The idea is to observe the sensation - not to think about it. So when your mind starts commenting on what's happening, just say 'Thanks, mind!' and come back to observing.   You may find this difficult. You may feel a strong urge to fight with it or push it away. If so, just acknowledge this urge, without giving in to it. (Acknowledging is rather like nodding your head in recognition, as if to say 'There you are. I see you.') Once you've acknowledged that urge, bring your attention back to the sensation itself.   Don't try to get rid of the sensation or alter it. If it changes by itself, that's okay. If it doesn't change, that's okay too. Changing or getting rid of it is not the goal.   You may need to focus on this sensation for anything from a few seconds to a few minutes until you completely give up the struggle with it. Be patient. Take as long as you need. You're learning a valuable skill.   Once you've done this, scan your body again and see if there's another strong sensation that's bothering you. If so, repeat the procedure with that one.   You can do this with as many different sensations as you want to. Keep going until you have a sense of no longer struggling with your feelings.   As you do this exercise one of two things will happen: either your feelings will change - or they won't. It doesn't matter either way. This exercise is not about changing your feelings. It's about accepting them.   Looking forward to talking with you more, Jono
(MSW, LICSW, LMHC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do I get rid of these feelings?

Dear Roro,   Thank you very much for your message.   I understand that we are going through some fluctuations with our emotions and often it can feel like we are going backward. However, the reality is that the night is always darkest before dawn. The reason you are feeling discouraged is that you are trying to move forward in this healing process, therefore when you do experience any kind of anxiety or depression you begin to doubt yourself in this process.   Meanwhile, as human being, we will always have times when we feel anxious or depressed. That is normal and natural. Just like there are days that it rains, there are also days that the sun shines. This isn't a problem to be fixed.    We will only feel more depressed if we constantly compare ourselves with our old selves in the past that seemed to be happier, while we forget that back then we did not have this much on our plate to worry and we did not experience what we have experienced recently that gave us hurts and pain. Therefore it isn't fair to our current self if we always think about how to go back in time, that isn't possible anyway.   To further recover from feelings of depression and anxiety, we must constantly be thinking about how to develop a healthy, positive interaction with ourselves.   Happy relationships all depend on how happy we are with ourselves. So how happy are we?   If you feel like you're on a constant quest for inner bliss, you might be asking yourself: If there was one secret on how to be happy in your relationship or marriage, workplace, home life and family wouldn't you have learned it by now?   Are you constantly searching, asking people who seem happy, reading articles, and watching videos on how to be happy? If so, you're certainly not alone. Online search engines get millions of people asking this question, and the internet is full of promises that this strategy or that formula will deliver you to a place of lasting happiness. Yet, many miss the main point: they never even touch on the fact that the real key to happiness with others is happiness with yourself.   If you haven't noticed or been here yourself (most of us have), an insecure person's need for constant approval is exhausting. Those who are happy and love themselves don't hang around with that kind of negative energy. Since we can't change other people, lead by example and others will follow in your footsteps, becoming good role models themselves. Here are 5 lessons that I learned (still learning) to find peace within ourselves and enjoy true happiness that does not depend on others.   1. Forgive Yourself   Forgive yourself for anything and everything you think you caused that was bad in your or someone else's life. You can't go back for a do-over, so learn the lesson and move forward, promising to better handle any similar situation that may arise. Now you're freed up to relax more and have greater peace of mind without beating yourself up over guilt and resentment.   2. Understand That You Are Complete   And understand that, "You complete me," was just a cheesy line in a Tom Cruise movie. (I loved that line at first too... for a few seconds, until I realized how inaccurate it was. Keep reading to learn why!) The reason most of us don't feel complete and latched onto that line like it was the end-all-be-all relationship concept is that we're waiting for someone else to be or do something that makes us feel whole.   First of all, as mentioned, we are already complete. But even if we weren't, no one else would be able to complete us anyway - it's impossible. When we put our happiness in someone else's hands we set them up for failure. Why would we do that to someone we care about? Because we don't realize we are the only ones who control our happiness.   Does this mean if you're unhappy it's your fault? Yes. Does this also put you in a position of power in your life? Absolutely. You want your relationships to be the joining of two complete individuals to create a third, larger entity so that you're a part of something, not just half of something. The whole "my other half" thing just breeds insecurity, which leads to the most painful relationship challenges like jealousy, abuse, and infidelity. Why on earth would you want your happiness to be determined by someone or something outside of yourself?   3. Get To Know Yourself   When do you feel you're at your best when you're alone? Are you reading your favorite book overlooking a beautiful view? Enjoying your favorite tea, watching a movie? Shopping outside at the farmers market? Listening to your favorite music? How does your body feel? Healthy? Need some work? No one will be happier than you when your body looks good and functions well. This is a good confidence builder and when you have more confidence, you look better and healthier and carry yourself in a completely different way that attracts confident people to you.   Here's a personal example: I had a spider vein on my lower leg and didn't feel comfortable in shorts for years. I finally had it removed and couldn't believe how much better I felt. My posture and confidence in shorts were much improved. Some things are easily fixable and for the others, we may need to adjust our perspective a bit.   What are your favorite parts of yourself - your appearance, your character traits, your values, or your personality? Do you get a kick out of your great sense of humor? I get a kick out of mine. I laugh to myself quite often! Are you really excited that you value honesty, which has attracted honest, genuine people to you? Are your eyes or hands or knees your favorite part of your body? Get to know your favorite parts and love them all.   4. Take A Good Look At Yourself   Take a look and notice how amazing you are. Keep your self-talk positive. There are things supermodels hate about themselves, so don't go thinking you're the only one who has dislikes. You can be happy with yourself even if there are things you'd like to change. I've always been shorter than most other people and would have given anything to be "normal" height. It took me 27 years of hating my height when many other people always wanted to be taller and would have traded me in an instant. Look how many years I experienced self-induced suffering. (This describes all suffering by the way. Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.)   What are you good at, best at, and want to improve at? What are your talents and what skills have you developed? What would you like to do in your life that you haven't done yet? What is the best thing you've ever done? Are you noticing that you might ask some of these questions on a date to get to know someone and determine if you like them or not? We get to know people by asking questions although we rarely ask them of ourselves. And when someone else asks, we sometimes answer differently than when we're asking ourselves.   5. Ask Yourself Questions   To find out more about yourself, ask yourself the questions you would ask on a date. The quality of your relationships is determined by the quality of the questions you ask. Ask good questions and lots of them (more than you would ask on a date; it's OK to be a chatterbox with yourself) to build that strong, healthy relationship with yourself.   Take time away from other people and be happy alone. At first, it might feel weird choosing to be alone but being alone and being lonely are two very different things. Dr. Wayne Dyer says, "You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with." I went from being scared to sit alone in Starbucks for fearsome strangers would think I didn't have any friends to loving going places alone. I have attracted wonderful friends by learning how to like myself and since like attracts like (energy), they happily do things on their own too. Yes, we do enjoy each other's company as well; we don't just talk about all the things we did by ourselves (although that would be funny).   Welcome to your inner power. You are qualified, capable, and worthy of being happy with yourself regardless of anyone else on the planet so lead by example and show others how it's done. You will see that you can have much more fulfilling relationships without putting the responsibility of your happiness on someone else.   Looking forward to talking with you more, Jono
(MSW, LICSW, LMHC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

I don't know how to gain control over my anger. How do I communicate without speaking from anger?

Hi Ifah, I am happy that you are reaching out for support in taking these steps to support yourself in navigating through the barriers attached to your home environment and the manner that this influences your feelings and emotions as well as your general thought process.   I do want us to note that anger is a secondary emotion and therefore if you are noticing yourself becoming angry, a heightened state of temper, or being reactive, you are typically experiencing some kind of feeling and emotion underneath this that is presenting itself as anger. Therefore, it can be very important for you to recognize and identify what is underneath your anger and how this participates in your thought process leading up to an outburst or expression of self.    As, I hear and note what you have mentioned it does sound like there are feelings of being undervalued, lack of support as well as care for yourself based on the ways that you are being treated and the way that they treat your belongings when you are not present. I do commend you for taking the step to find a studio apartment to support a differential living environment for yourself. I also am hearing that there is something holding you back from following through with this related to the lack of family presence that you have felt traditionally throughout your life. I do wonder for you to challenge this a bit; Are you feeling like if you live independently that you cannot formulate a relationship with one another or stay connected? Many times our fears can create us to respond differently to ourselves and place our own self-care needs in the background. If there may also be a hint of truth related to this, I will mention that supporting yourself in communicating with someone like a therapist or counselor can be supportive for you to process your past trauma and support yourself in developing healthier ways to build a relationship with your family that is present and closer to you. It is important to make sure that you are putting yourself first as well as in a place that can help you to feel stable related to your mental and emotional health.    It is unfortunate to hear that you are not able to communicate with your family and therefore express yourself and your needs. Additionally, we can find that anger can intensify when not feeling heard or able to express yourself. It does sound like if they are not open to communicating related to what is going on in the home environment that setting boundaries separately from this will help you to feel healthier as well as connect to yourself in different manners. Boundaries can look like identifying a specific area for your belongings potentially if wanting or able to place a lock on your things if them taking or overstepping on these areas is something that presents itself. Discussing the feelings and emotions related to them taking your items such as if they were to ask vs take if this would feel any different for you. Essentially, the goal many times can be to allow yourself to feel heard and express your needs in order for your boundaries to be taken into consideration. Boundaries may also need to be repeated multiple times throughout interactions although it is important that the message and goal remain consistent so that these areas are taken into consideration and helpful for your family to recognize the way that they have been treating you.    Additionally, some grounding techniques that you can use in specific moments can be deep breathing, taking yourself away from the specific situation as well as allowing yourself to process the anger prior to reacting. grounding skills are active skills for yourself to be able to gravitate towards and utilize when you are specifically in the moments of feeling anxious or your anger is about to implode when interacting or going to interact with others in the household. Such as some kind of small fidget tool to use in your hands, gum, in specific moments pressing your heels to the ground to notice the pressure points in your body, pushing the pressure points on your fingertips in a consecutive cycle, Grounding techniques can help in the moments where you are noticing your body fluctuating in high and low behaviors and mannerisms.   I am also wondering, what you are doing in order to cope with these moments and decompress following the interactions. Do you allow yourself or try to find some alone time or independent space in general? Coping skills are those to support yourself to process your emotions and feelings and connect through your logical mind vs your emotional mind where you may notice your reactions coming from. Essentially when taking this time to compartmentalize you can find that your reaction of temper may not present itself as strongly.    I do always like to mention the element of self-care and the way that you are taking care of yourself on a regular basis. Self-care does not mean only baths or calming activities. Self-care can be the manner that you treat yourself, foods that you are eating and the general sense of what supporting yourself looks like in order to decompress from a long day after work and going home to a more chaotic environment.    Lastly, it can be helpful for you to take the time to prepare yourself for what potentially may transpire when you arrive home in order to support yourself in not having as strong of a reactive response. Such as through self-talk, in identifying and talking yourself through what may happen when you return and how you desire and would like to respond to others if something is to look different with your belongings. Mantras can also be a way for you to identify and support yourself in redirecting your focus and taking yourself out of the situation. A mantra is a short phrase to remind yourself what you are not wanting to happen or take place. Such as "They do not have the power over me" "I do not have to react to their negative behaviors" "I control my anger and expression". Anything along these lines to increase feelings of empowerment and help you to feel in control vs like they are taking your control from you.    I do hope that these tools are supportive to help you with developing your own strengths and creating a healthier environment for you to notice yourself reacting less. Remember to focus on what is in your control vs out of control as your family's behaviors and mannerisms are always going to be out of your control, no matter what is communicated, expressed, or the amount of anger that presents itself.    I wish you all of the best in your future and have hope that these patterns of connection and communication can become different and that your ability to feel empowered can be there for yourself.    Best Wishes, Kathleen Monroe
(LCSW, CADC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

I moved here in canada when i was 19 for study and then i got addicted to gambling after 3 months.

Hello Simran, I am glad you reached out for support at this time.  I am sorry you are struggling in this moment.  I would encourage you to start to work with a therapist to help you learn skills to help you overcome your struggles.  If we were to meet I would first talk to you about the counseling process through our site and how together we could help you obtain your goals going forward, how I work as a counselor and how I would try to help you through the counseling process.  I would also take the first session to get to know you by asking you a few questions to get a better understanding of your struggles, so that I am able to focus on a plan and goals to work on going forward. I want you to know that you are not alone during this time even through you may feel like you are alone at this time.  During the therapy process you can have support 100% of the time as you are able to reach out and talk to a therapist 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  I am going to send you some skills and tools to help you during this time of struggle you are having.  If we were to work together we would be going over these and more tools to help you through our struggles and be able to ask for support from others. Mood Questions●       Describe your typical daily mood. Is your mood like a roller coaster, or is it pretty steady?●       What energizes you and makes you feel more upbeat?●       What brings you down or makes you feel blue?●       How do you typically handle irritations, aggravations, and frustrations? Do you get mad easily? How does your anger come out?●       Do you feel mad when you don’t get your way or lose control?●       How do you get yourself out of a bad mood?●       We all use different strategies to cope. Do you find yourself reaching for caffeine, drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, the internet, or something else to make you feel better?●       What have people close to you told you about your moods? What action can be taken? (even if it's just taking time out to rest and meditate)What decision can be made today?What would you like to happen?would you like to be/feel/do that this belief or fear is holding you back from?What small step would be enough to feel you are heading in a positive direction? Do you feel better?Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors are all connected. They are activated when something happens.1. Trigger: Something happens, it can be anything!! When this "something happening" is negative. The impact can be traumatic. No matter how large/small the event...The measure of the trigger is determined by the impact that this trigger has on you emotionally.2. Automatic thoughts: These are the automatic thoughts that occur right after you are triggered (something happens). These automatic thoughts are when you try to understand and make sense of what happens. This is when you try to answer questions, which practically cannot be answered . However, "no answer at all" is completely uncomfortable and unacceptable. So it is in these automatic thought processes that the thoughts are no longer based on reality. Rather, based on your perception of reality.3.  Emotions: Now that you have had time to process (whether rational/irrationally)...your mind has concluded an explanation for the triggering event. You have thought about it so much, that it feels true. Instead of it just being something you thought about, you are actually feeling what you think...and it causes you to feel emotionally distressed. So this can be in the form of depression, insecurity, indecisiveness, low self-esteem, emotional disconnection and even people pleasing behaviors. This is just a tip of the iceberg of emotions.4. Behaviors: Remember, you have been triggered. Your automatic thoughts have processed what happened...and now you are feeling emotionally disoriented. Your emotions are everywhere. Which means your behaviors can result in aggression, poor communication in relationships, and aggressive communication in relationships, the inability to connect in relationships...and self-destructive behaviors (there are many individualized self-destructive behaviors). This may even result in jumping from relationships to relationships, or avoiding relationships altogether.  Another behavioral response is believing that you have to do more in the relationship to avoid abandonment. By this, I mean accepting maltreatment, thinking that if you declare your wants...you will run the person away. Or that you have to tolerate things you do not like, to keep the relationship. “The People Pleaser Mentality”Step by guide to deconstruct and reconstruct your thoughts:1. Triggers: what are your current and past triggers?2. Automatic thoughts: What are your thoughts after being triggered?3. Emotions/feelings: What specific feelings are you experiencing? Ex...Fear, anger, sadness4. Behaviors: What are you doing? How do you respond to this? (Interactions with people, eating, isolating)?Steps in CBT Identify troubling situations or conditions in your life. Become aware of your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs about these problems. Identify negative or inaccurate thinking. Reshape negative or inaccurate thinking.Cognitive RestructuringStep 1: Finding ways to relax and calm down(Meditation, exercise, music, etc…) What usually calms you down when you are stressed?Step 2: Identify the SituationStart by describing the situation that triggered your negative mood.Step 3: Analyze Your MoodWrite down your mood, or moods, that you felt during the situation. What were your triggers?Step 4: Identify Automatic ThoughtsWrite down your natural reactions, or "automatic thoughts," Step 5: Find Objective Supportive EvidenceIdentify the evidence that objectively supports your automatic thoughts. Fact vs. FeelingsStep 6: Find Objective Contradictory EvidenceIdentify and write down evidence that might contradict your automatic thoughts (thoughts that occur right after you are triggered)Step 7: Identify Fair and Balanced ThoughtsBy now you should have considered all sides of the situation. You should have all the information you need to make a fair, balanced view of what happened.Step 8: Monitor Your Present MoodYou should now have a clearer view of the situation, and you're likely to find that your mood has improved. Write down how you feel. Anger has power, but there are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with that power, from letting it control you to wielding it in a way that spurs you on to something positive. Some people are prone to rage more often than others, but anger is a feeling that many of us could use a bit of help in handling. The choices we make when angry can often come back to haunt us, but the cycle can be hard to break. Here's how to tame your inner raging bull. And if you find that you are often mired in negative thinking.1. Own It. Pretending you're not angry—especially while exhibiting nearly cartoonish physical signs of anger—does no good for you, the target of your anger, or your blood pressure. Many people think that to acknowledge anger is the same as acting inappropriately on it. That's simply not true, and the difference between those two concepts is huge. Admitting that you are upset, whether to yourself, or as calmly as possible to the person you're in conflict with ("I admit I seem to be getting upset here. I want to resolve this and not do anything I regret, so I am going to try to slow down.") can validate your feelings. This, in turn, can help you feel more empowered toward working toward a solution, and it will also diminish the conflict within yourself.2. Break It Down. So you're still simmering after your yearly review? If you jot down some of your thoughts, whether with prehistoric pen and paper or with an app du jour, you'll gain some clarity as to how they're serving as the antecedents to your feelings. In the process, you can sort out why you're upset and what steps you can take to work through the situation. Perhaps most important, putting your feelings into words can make them feel more tangible, and therefore more manageable—which can eventually help them work their way out of your system.3. Move It Out. As physical signs go, anger can look very similar to other forms of arousal, like anxiety or even excitement. Calming those physical impulses, or giving them someplace useful to go, can help you get your anger under control. Slow down your breathing through several long, deep breaths. Loosen your muscles through clenching and unclenching your fists and slowly doing a neck roll. If you can use that arousal for good rather than for clocking someone in the face, you'll be better off. So channel that rage into an activity that can release tension: running, kickboxing, dancing, jumping rope, or even just beating your fists against your chest like a gorilla. A primal scream can be helpful if you are blessed with space. Instead of letting your frustration burn you up, you can burn it off. And if it comes out in the shape of tears or even demonic laughter? Just let it.4. Find The Big Picture. If you're still feeling steamed from that interaction with your colleague or that snarky tone from the person in line at the coffee shop, it might be time to make a list of the things you're grateful for. Gratitude meditations, or just sitting and focusing on what's right in your life, will make what you're angry about seem more molehill than a mountain. You might also choose to think about the person whom you think has wronged you, and imagine what unique challenges they may be reacting to. Think about the ways that they could use some empathy, and try to mentally give it to them—that can often neutralize anger.5. Share—carefully. If there is a friend or loved one you trust, sharing your feelings with them can sometimes be cathartic. But be aware that not everyone is equipped to hear difficult feelings in a healthy, supportive way. Some might just not be good listeners and could just try to bottle up your emotions for you. Others might try to fan the flames, like audiences in a gladiator match.6. Act. If someone drove poorly on the freeway, you'll simply move on, eventually. But if you're part of a toxic relationship or the victim of a serial aggressor, you'll need to do what you can to chart out steps to improve the situation. A specific plan of action with methodical goals and the pathways to get there can lend a very important sense of control, reducing your stress and increasing your peace.7. Be Watchful. Sometimes things may seem to be resolved, but rage still lingers residually, in the form of irritability, insomnia, or even depression. Increasing your mindfulness through your awareness in the moment of your thoughts and feelings and the triggers that seem to cause them can serve as an early warning system for future conflicts. It can also help you determine if your anger is due to something deeper that could benefit from talking to a professional.Here are 25 ways you can control your anger and try to put these skills in place through the 7 step process listed above.1. Count downCount down (or up) to 10. If you’re really mad, start at 100. In the time it takes you to count, your heart rate will slow, and your anger will likely subside.2. Take a breatherYour breathing becomes shallower and speeds up as you grow angry. Reverse that trend (and your anger) by taking slow, deep breaths from your nose and exhaling out of your mouth for several moments.3. Go walk around can help calm your nerves and reduce anger. Go for a walk, ride your bike, or hit a few golf balls. Anything that gets your limbs pumping is good for your mind and body.4. Relax your musclesProgressive muscle relaxation calls on you to tense and slowly relax various muscle groups in your body, one at a time. As you tense and release, take slow, deliberate breaths.5. Repeat a mantraFind a word or phrase that helps you calm down and refocus. Repeat that word again and again to yourself when you’re upset. “Relax,” “Take it easy, and “You’ll be OK” are all good examples.6. StretchNeck rolls and shoulder rolls are good examples of nonstrenuous yoga-like movements that can help you control your body and harness your emotions. No fancy equipment is required.7. Mentally escapeSlip into a quiet room, close your eyes, and practice visualizing yourself in a relaxing scene. Focus on details in the imaginary scene: What color is the water? How tall are the mountains? What do the chirping birds sound like? This practice can help you find calm amidst anger.8. Play some tunesLet the music carry you away from your feelings. Put in earbuds or slip out to your car. Crank up your favorite music and hum, bop, or sashay your anger away.9. Stop talkingWhen you’re steamed, you may be tempted to let the angry words fly, but you’re more likely to do harm than good. Pretend your lips are glued shut, just like you did as a kid. This moment without speaking will give you time to collect your thoughts.10. Take a timeoutGive yourself a break. Sit away from others. In this quiet time, you can process events and return your emotions to neutral. You may even find this time away from others is so helpful you want to schedule it into your daily routine.11. Take actionHarness your angry energy. Sign a petition. Write a note to an official. Do something good for someone else. Pour your energy and emotions into something that’s healthy and productive.12. Write in your journalWhat you can’t say, perhaps you can write. Jot down what you’re feeling and how you want to respond. Processing it through the written word can help you calm down and reassess the events leading up to your feelings.13. Find the most immediate solutionYou might be angry that your child has once again left their room a mess before going to visit a friend. Shut the door. You can temporarily end your anger by putting it out of your view. Look for similar resolutions in any situation.14. Rehearse your responsePrevent an outburst by rehearsing what you’re going to say or how you’re going to approach the problem in the future. This rehearsal period gives you time to role-play several possible solutions, too.15. Picture a stop signThe universal symbol to stop can help you calm down when you’re angry. It’s a quick way to help you visualize the need to halt yourself, your actions, and walk away from the moment.16. Change your routineIf your slow commute to work makes you angry before you’ve even had coffee, find a new route. Consider options that may take longer but leave you less upset in the end.17. Talk to a friendDon’t stew in the events that made you angry. Help yourself process what happened by talking with a trusted, supportive friend who can possibly provide a new perspective.18. LaughNothing upends a bad mood like a good one. Diffuse your anger by looking for ways to laugh, whether that’s playing with your kids, watching stand-up, or scrolling memes.19. Practice gratitudeTake a moment to focus on what’s right when everything feels wrong. Realizing how many good things you have in your life can help you neutralize anger and turn around the situation.20. Set a timerThe first thing that comes to mind when you’re angry likely isn’t the thing you should say. Give yourself a set time before you respond. This time will help you be calmer and more concise.21. Write a letterWrite a letter or email to the person that made you angry. Then, delete it. Often, expressing your emotions in some form is all you want, even if it’s in something that will never be seen.22. Imagine forgiving themFinding the courage to forgive someone who has wronged you takes a lot of emotional skill. If you can’t go that far, you can at least pretend that you’re forgiving them, and you’ll feel your anger slip away.23. Practice empathyTry to walk in the other person’s shoes and see the situation from their perspective. When you tell the story or relive the events as they saw it, you may gain a new understanding and become less angry.24. Express your angerIt’s OK to say how you feel, as long as you handle it in the right way. Ask a trusted friend to help you be accountable to a calm response. Outbursts solve no problems, but mature dialogue can help reduce your stress and ease your anger. It may also prevent future problems.25. Find a creative channelTurn your anger into a tangible production. Consider painting, gardening, or writing poetry when you’re upset. Emotions are powerful muses for creative individuals. Use yours to reduce anger.The bottom lineAnger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, if you find your anger turns to aggression or outbursts, you need to find healthy ways to deal with anger.  
Answered on 10/18/2021

Do you take Health Net as payment or Not !!!!!????????

Hi Ronnie,  Thank you for reaching out to BetterHelp.  I appreciate the information you shared with me and applaud your motivation to want to address your stressors.  It can be challenging to take steps in order to change your life. It appears that your health care provider has not been helpful with your search for mental health services.  I would like to offer various ways to accessing mental health services. -If you are currently working, you may want to ask your human resources department to inquire if there is an employee assistance program (EAP).  These types of programs can provide you with no cost and low-cost therapy.  There generally is a limited number of sessions offered.   -In terms of the cost of therapy, try to reach out to BetterHelp for financial assistance.  You can email counselor@BetterHelp.com to discuss scholarship options.  There may be online discount codes you can utilize.  BetterHelp advertises on many podcasts.  You may hear about discount codes through an advertisement.  So, keep your ears open when listening to your favorite podcast.-Contact your county mental health office.  There may be affordable payment options, low income, or free-of-cost services available through them.   -A lot of counties have a social services referral line.  I encourage you to look on the internet to find your county’s referral line or even a county social services website.  Most of the time, the number is 211.  You may be able to search for the closest location to your residence.  Sometimes, if you call the referral line, the operator may connect you directly to the resource you need on the same phone call. -Are there any local universities in your area?  If there are, the university may have a master's in social work, psychology, and or marriage and family therapist school.  The students in those programs tend to need to accrue practice hours working with clients.  Services with these students tend to be low cost, sliding scale, or even at no cost.  Do not rule out working with them because of their lack of experience.  The students are all supervised by an experienced therapist and students are required to do supervision/consultation frequently.   -If you are involved in a faith-based organization, you might consider reaching out to them.  There may be counseling services available or referrals that may assist you with therapy. -NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a great resource if you just want someone to talk to.  They provide telephone-based non-crisis support for anyone struggling with mental health or substance use issues.  Their number is 877-910-9276.  Crisis text line to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 741-741  You can connect with crisis-trained counselors 24/7. -If you are feeling suicidal, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.  You may consider reaching out to the 24-hour Suicide Prevention Hotline at 877-727-4747. Here are some techniques that may help to diminish anger.  Please pace yourself with these techniques.  Some may take time in order to work and may not work at all.  Either way, give them a try and see which ones work best for you. -4 square breathing.  Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, then exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds.  Do this 4 times.  You can do this more than 4 times if you do not feel a sense of relaxation and calm.  This can help you clear your thoughts. -5 senses.  Take a look around you.  Notice what you hear, see, smell, touch, and taste?  This is a grounding activity that can help you orient yourself to the present instead of worrying about the future or ruminating about the past.  The advantage of doing this exercise is that you can do this without anyone noticing you. -Exercise.  Go for walk, run, or any type of physical activity.  Try to engage in at least 30 minutes 3 to 4 times per week.  This can help to regulate mood and emotions.  Sometimes, just taking a step away from your current environment can be helpful.  Return to what you were doing once you feel calmer and at ease. -Reframing.  Pay attention to when you are having negative thoughts.  Where do these thoughts come from?  Did someone say these exact words to you in the past?  Perhaps, these words no longer apply to you now.  Or maybe, the person who said it to you does not understand your stressors and struggles?  Think of ways you can be kinder and more forgiving towards yourself.  Maybe, the situation is not so bad after all.  Take the time to reflect, think, and then act.  Hold off from making a judgment call or act upon something right away.  We generally do not have to make life and death situations on a regular basis.   -Self-care.  Engage in activities that help you soothe.  This can be getting a massage, talking to a friend, and/or playing with a pet. -Assumptions.  Be mindful of making assumptions.  We can be inaccurate in "reading others," especially when our minds are clouded with anxiety.  Take notice of what was said and try not to mind read (or try to insert your thoughts into others).   -Probability versus possibility. Compare and contrast the difference between the two.  For example, is it possible for you to be hit by lightning?  What is the action probability of it happening to you?  Chances are, the probability of it really happening to you is relatively low.-Will it matters in the future?  Examine what you are feeling stressed out about.  Will how you feel and think about your situation right really matter in the next 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years?  It is highly unlikely what you are worried about will carry over for a long period of time. I hope the suggestions and resources are helpful to you.  I can provide more in sessions if you choose me as your therapist.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I look forward to assisting you through your journey. Sincerely,  Jeannie Meyers, LCSW
(LCSW, 74817)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How to change my attitude and thinking

This is a really complex question and I am very glad you asked it. Those moments when you realize that your anger has been in control and it feels like you are ready to change can feel really big. Reaching out for help in those big moments takes a lot of strength. From your statement it sounds like there are two big things to talk about here, there is the repairs you need to make with your family and the healing you need to do from your own trauma. While these are two different things they are also intrinsically linked. In order to address this issue, you will most likely need to work with a therapist to both unpack your trauma history and explore anger management tools. I will give you just a bit of a brief summary of how brains work and why it can be so hard to control your anger. Brains work based on patterns, our brains work very hard from the moment of birth to understand the world around us and create patterns of how we should interact with that world to keep us safe. While this is very effective if our brains witness or are exposed to unhealthy patterns that is how it will learn to respond. This is why anger management therapy work and trauma therapy work go hand in hand. Once you can see where your brain learned the pattern of lashing out in anger to protect itself you can start to help it learn a new pattern, one that protects both yourself and those around you that you don't want to hurt anymore. That is really the beautiful side of our brains is that at any point we can do the work to help them learn a different pattern of interaction. I won't say that learning these new patterns is easy, it takes a lot of work, but it is really possible and in doing so you will be able to learn healthier ways of interacting with the people you love. This kind of work is best done with a therapist, however, if that is not an option there are some really good books about trauma and anger that you can read or listen to depending on your preference for learning. I would recommend that if you want to try and do some of this work yourself that you first research trauma and anger management books and choose one that sounds interesting to you. However, the most effective method of treatment will be working with a therapist. 
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do I stop being so angry

Hi, and thank you for your question! I am Danielle Johnson, a licensed therapist with BetterHelp. I hope that I can provide a helpful answer to your question.  There may be numerous factors involved in uncontrollable anger, lashing out, and feeling useless/hopeless/worthless. These symptoms could indicate changes in one’s social environment (ex. relationships, occupation, finances, peers, etc.); behaviors patterns (ex. substance use, medication adherence, sleep hygiene, etc.); medical/biology (ex. Hormonal changes, underlying medical concerns, nutrition, etc.); spirituality/existential awareness;  or family structure. It is important to consider all areas of your life that might be unattended or under-addressed. As you work toward decreasing anger, you might also want to check in with a doctor or address any health-related goals you have, for example. You might notice an increase in cognitive or thought-based distortions that contribute to increased frustration and anger. For example, you might tell yourself, “I can’t do anything right!” or “Everyone hates me!” These are examples of cognitive distortions.   Distorted thoughts are patterns of thinking or believing. The thoughts are usually untrue or do not tell the whole story and cause significant emotional discomfort.   In addition to counseling, journaling might be a helpful tool for thought exploration. It allows you to understand and prioritize your concerns, worries, and complex thoughts. Physical activity or exercise is another valuable tool for managing emotions. Exercise can decrease stress and irritability. It increases feel-good chemicals and offers a sense of empowerment and confidence. Another point to consider is how you are expressing your emotions. It is essential to keep those we love close to us for support, guidance, community, and connection. All of these relational factors contribute to our sense of wellness and health. We all have emotions and feelings, and that is okay. It is also okay to verbalize how you are feeling. However, we can get accustomed to expressing how we feel (ex. Yelling), demonstrating how we feel (ex. Slamming doors), and making sure others feel the way we feel (ex. Abruptly walking away mid-conversation). When angry, instead of using communication styles like demonstrating, expressing, or making sure others feel like you, try: pausing, taking a few deep breaths, and calmly say what you are feeling (ex. “I feel… sad, angry, rejected, invalidated, etc.). I hope these examples and possible suggestions are practical ideas that build your coping mechanism toolbox. Thank you for reaching out, and my best to you with your healing! -Danielle 
(LCPC, CAC-AD, NCC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

What shall I do?

I believe that your confusion is legitimate related to the imformation given.  Have you given up having friends due to overwhelming anger?  Looking for friends is always reasonable but it doesn't always solve issues if you are choosing friends who are similar to those who created the anger.  The things that you have mentioned do take time and it is a gradual process.  While you are still consumed with hate it is not really possible.  It takes understanding and assigning blame in a more productive way.  Some terrible things that happen to us aren't even about or because of us.   I don't know what has happened to you growing up but I will liken it to a shark attack for the sake of simplicity.  You love swimming in the ocean but then one day you are seriously bitten by a shark.  You survive.  Do you hate the shark?  Sharks do what sharks do and, yes, they are dangerous.  You could, therefore avoid them with vigilance.  The rub being that you give up swimming as a result.  Another alternative could be to become consumed with hate and become a shark hunger, which would take up a lot of time though it might make a dramatic narrative.  A more satisfying path could be to learn to recognize when they are about and to avoid them thereby still allowing yourself the joy of swimming without the stress of anger.   Sharks will always be dangerous and will not learn to quit biting because it is what they do.  People are often like sharks and cannot be retrained.  Spending time fretting the nature of a shark consumes time that could be used enjoying life.   I don't see that there is anything wrong with enjoying being at home with your spouse.  That sounds nice.  Not everyone enjoys hanging out with friends with the same enthusiasm.  I will note that people with strong, healthy, friendships tend to live longer but again, making strong friendships take time.   I'm going to guess that there may be some connection between your anger and self isolation, or perceived isolation. Otherwise, I am confused as well.  Again, some people are simply more solitary.  What is important is what makes you happy and brings peace to your life.
(MA, LPCC-S)
Answered on 10/18/2021

I’m not sure if therapy is something I need.

Dear Ving,   Thank you for your message.   Let's understand a bit more about anger.   Anger is a response we have when we don't feel understood, don't feel listened to, don't feel respected. At first, we might just feel disappointed or irritated, however, it escalates often when others add fuel into it by saying words that are hurtful, misunderstanding, and dismissive. We then become even angrier and at last, we turn our anger into rage.   To control anger we must understand how anger works within us. Anger is almost like a volcano when it erupts, it releases a large amount of energy and often is destructive. However, this energy is often accumulated for a while before it erupts. If we can understand what accumulates this energy with us, and find ways to release it, then we can be assured that our volcano will not erupt.   Anger is the natural emotion created in a fight-or-flight situation by the physiology of your mind and body. When you sense a threat your mind generates fear and anger.  The fear you generate is part of a flight response from your physiology. Anger is the emotional energy you generate for the fight against that perceived threat.    What can be confusing is that your mind creates fear and anger even when the threat is just imagined.   Emotions like anger are natural and real.  Even if the threat is imagined the anger you create is just as real and powerful. However, the reasons you generate anger aren't always real. If you aren't aware of how your mind is imagining scenarios of hurt your anger will appear irrational.   Real vs. Imagined Anger   It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a real threat from an imagined threat because they can happen at the same time.  For example, someone is cutting you off on the freeway and a car briefly maneuvers in a way that could cause an accident and possibly injure your body.  There's a natural fight-or-flight reaction to your emotions and you create a combination of fear and anger. The reality of this harm usually passes very quickly and so do your emotions.   However, your imagination may take over and create worse scenarios.  You begin to consider that you or someone in your car might be hurt or killed. You might recall similar events from your past, project those into your mind, and add more emotion.  After the real physical threat passes your mind still projects scenarios in the imagination. Your emotions then respond to those imagined scenarios.   Even later that day when you replay the event in your mind, your emotions respond to the imagined version. The emotions you create from your imagined scenarios are no longer based in anything real.  Because of the natural response of emotions to what you imagine you can amplify fear and anger to the degree that they become out of control. However the fear and anger are natural consequence of the imagined scenarios. The problem is that the imagined scenarios in the mind are out of control and no longer based in reality.   Awareness   If you are not aware of how your imagination is projecting these scenarios you will blame other people unnecessarily for your emotions.  Understanding how your mind dreams images and scenarios of outcome is critical to understanding your anger and other emotions.   The initial moment of fear and anger resulted from a very real scenario that could have caused you harm.  However, most often the anger and fear people generate are sourced from their uncontrolled beliefs and imagination.   Anger is Rational   Anger is the natural emotional response designed to protect us from danger. It is part of our instinctual system for protection and preservation.  Notice how a dog growls and bares its teeth in response to a threat to its territory.  A mother bear will also go into ferocious anger if you were to come near her cubs.  Anger is a force of energy that we project in order to push away or combat a threat.  However, anger ceases to be a form of protecting your life and becomes a means of destroying your life and relationships when the threat isn't real.   Your emotions respond the same whether a threat is real or part of your imagination. Anger itself is a completely rational emotion to have when you perceive the thoughts and scenarios in your mind. There is nothing irrational or wrong with the anger from imagined scenarios and beliefs. Your emotional response system is working properly. The problem is with the thoughts, beliefs, and scenarios in your mind that generate an anger response.  The scenarios the mind projects are often not rational at all.   Other problems are created when you do not have the awareness and will power to refrain from outbursts of your anger.  These reactions and consequences often distract us from the root cause of the problem.   It's easy to assume that your anger is the problem because it is what you notice.  It is the outbursts of anger that we see and that cause destruction.  The assumptions and interpretations in the mind are less noticeable amidst this emotional drama.  However your emotions of anger are just a natural response to what the mind imagines.  If you perceive and believe what the mind imagines you will create emotions as a natural response.   If you accidentally touch a hot stove and burn your hand you will feel pain.  Naturally you would want to pain to stop, but the pain in your hand isn't the problem.  The pain is just a natural response to touching a hot stove.  The physical touch on the stove is less noticeable, but yet it is the real problem.  Touching the hot stove is the cause of that pain. The pain won't go away until you take your hand away from the hot stove.   The same is true for your emotions such as anger.  You may want to stop your anger, but anger is just a reaction to something else. Anger is the natural emotional reaction to what the mind and imagination are doing.  The way to overcome anger is to change how the mind imagines stories and how much you believe them.  When the mind imagines painful scenarios you naturally produce anger.  To reduce and eliminate the anger it is necessary to shift the stories that the mind imagines.   To effectively reduce or eliminate the anger in our life, we can practice changing the core beliefs, assumptions, and interpretations of the mind.    The Reaction to Emotional Pain   Your mind can generate anger and fear even when there's not a physical threat of pain. Your emotional response mechanism can generate anger just as easily by imagining a scenario involving the threat of emotional pain. When your mind is out of control imagining scenarios of emotional pain, your anger goes out of control. For anger to happen the emotional pain doesn't even have to occur. If you just imagine that you will be hurt in the future, you can become angry before anything has happened.   Understand is the first step towards managing. We can't control what we don't understand.   I am curious to learn if these words have been helpful in guiding us to a better understand of anger, and reduce our fear towards it. After all, it is something that can be controlled and changed. :)   Looking forward to talking with you more, Jono
(MSW, LICSW, LMHC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

What happens if one heads into a depressive state and loses control over his anger?

Hello Koki, I am glad you reached out for support at this time.  I am sorry you are struggling in this moment.  I would encourage you to start to work with a therapist to help you learn skills to help you overcome your struggles.  If we were to meet I would first talk to you about the counseling process through our site and how together we could help you obtain your goals going forward, how I work as a counselor and how I would try to help you through the counseling process.  I would also take the first session to get to know you by asking you a few questions to get a better understanding of your struggles, so that I am able to focus on a plan and goals to work on going forward. I want you to know that you are not alone during this time even through you may feel like you are alone at this time.  During the therapy process you can have support 100% of the time as you are able to reach out and talk to a therapist 24 hours a day 7 days a week.   A few of the questions I would ask would include the following:Can you tell me more about your past history?How long have you been struggling with fighting the battle inside of you?Has there ever been a time when you have been so upset that you do not remember what you did or said?I am going to send you some skills and tools to help when you are struggling with your anger at this time.  If we were to work together we would be going over these and more tools to help you through our struggles and be able to ask for support from others. Anger has power, but there are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with that power, from letting it control you to wielding it in a way that spurs you on to something positive. Some people are prone to rage more often than others, but anger is a feeling that many of us could use a bit of help in handling. The choices we make when angry can often come back to haunt us, but the cycle can be hard to break. Here's how to tame your inner raging bull. And if you find that you are often mired in negative thinking.1. Own It. Pretending you're not angry—especially while exhibiting nearly cartoonish physical signs of anger—does no good for you, the target of your anger, or your blood pressure. Many people think that to acknowledge anger is the same as acting inappropriately on it. That's simply not true, and the difference between those two concepts is huge. Admitting that you are upset, whether to yourself, or as calmly as possible to the person you're in conflict with ("I admit I seem to be getting upset here. I want to resolve this and not do anything I regret, so I am going to try to slow down.") can validate your feelings. This, in turn, can help you feel more empowered toward working toward a solution, and it will also diminish the conflict within yourself.2. Break It Down. So you're still simmering after your yearly review? If you jot down some of your thoughts, whether with prehistoric pen and paper or with an app du jour, you'll gain some clarity as to how they're serving as the antecedents to your feelings. In the process, you can sort out why you're upset and what steps you can take to work through the situation. Perhaps most important, putting your feelings into words can make them feel more tangible, and therefore more manageable—which can eventually help them work their way out of your system.3. Move It Out. As physical signs go, anger can look very similar to other forms of arousal, like anxiety or even excitement. Calming those physical impulses, or giving them someplace useful to go, can help you get your anger under control. Slow down your breathing through several long, deep breaths. Loosen your muscles through clenching and unclenching your fists and slowly doing a neck roll. If you can use that arousal for good rather than for clocking someone in the face, you'll be better off. So channel that rage into an activity that can release tension: running, kickboxing, dancing, jumping rope, or even just beating your fists against your chest like a gorilla. A primal scream can be helpful if you are blessed with the space. Instead of letting your frustration burn you up, you can burn it off. And if it comes out in the shape of tears or even demonic laughter? Just let it.4. Find The Big Picture. If you're still feeling steamed from that interaction with your colleague or that snarky tone from the person in line at the coffee shop, it might be time to make a list of the things you're grateful for. Gratitude meditations, or just sitting and focusing on what's right in your life, will make what you're angry about seem more molehill than mountain. You might also choose to think about the person whom you think has wronged you, and imagine what unique challenges they may be reacting to. Think about the ways that they could use some empathy, and try to mentally give it to them—that can often neutralize anger.5. Share—carefully. If there is a friend or loved one you trust, sharing your feelings with them can sometimes be cathartic. But be aware that not everyone is equipped to hear difficult feelings in a healthy, supportive way. Some might just not be good listeners and could just try to bottle up your emotions for you. Others might try to fan the flames, like audiences in a gladiator match.6. Act. If someone drove poorly on the freeway, you'll simply move on, eventually. But if you're part of a toxic relationship or the victim of a serial aggressor, you'll need to do what you can to chart out steps to improve the situation. A specific plan of action with methodical goals and the pathways to get there can lend a very important sense of control, reducing your stress and increasing your peace.7. Be Watchful. Sometimes things may seem to be resolved, but rage still lingers residually, in the form of irritability, insomnia, or even depression. Increasing your mindfulness through your awareness in the moment of your thoughts and feelings and the triggers that seem to cause them can serve as an early warning system for future conflicts. It can also help you determine if your anger is due to something deeper that could benefit from talking to a professional.Here are 25 ways you can control your anger and try to put these skills in place through the 7 step process listed above.1. Count downCount down (or up) to 10. If you’re really mad, start at 100. In the time it takes you to count, your heart rate will slow, and your anger will likely subside.2. Take a breatherYour breathing becomes shallower and speeds up as you grow angry. Reverse that trend (and your anger) by taking slow, deep breaths from your nose and exhaling out of your mouth for several moments.3. Go walk around can help calm your nerves and reduce anger. Go for a walk, ride your bike, or hit a few golf balls. Anything that gets your limbs pumping is good for your mind and body.4. Relax your musclesProgressive muscle relaxation calls on you to tense and slowly relax various muscle groups in your body, one at a time. As you tense and release, take slow, deliberate breaths.5. Repeat a mantraFind a word or phrase that helps you calm down and refocus. Repeat that word again and again to yourself when you’re upset. “Relax,” “Take it easy, and “You’ll be OK” are all good examples.6. StretchNeck rolls and shoulder rolls are good examples of nonstrenuous yoga-like movements that can help you control your body and harness your emotions. No fancy equipment required.7. Mentally escapeSlip into a quiet room, close your eyes, and practice visualizing yourself in a relaxing scene. Focus on details in the imaginary scene: What color is the water? How tall are the mountains? What do the chirping birds sound like? This practice can help you find calm amidst anger.8. Play some tunesLet music carry you away from your feelings. Put in earbuds or slip out to your car. Crank up your favorite music and hum, bop, or sashay your anger away.9. Stop talkingWhen you’re steamed, you may be tempted to let the angry words fly, but you’re more likely to do harm than good. Pretend your lips are glued shut, just like you did as a kid. This moment without speaking will give you time to collect your thoughts.10. Take a timeoutGive yourself a break. Sit away from others. In this quiet time, you can process events and return your emotions to neutral. You may even find this time away from others is so helpful you want to schedule it into your daily routine.11. Take actionHarness your angry energy. Sign a petition. Write a note to an official. Do something good for someone else. Pour your energy and emotions into something that’s healthy and productive.12. Write in your journalWhat you can’t say, perhaps you can write. Jot down what you’re feeling and how you want to respond. Processing it through the written word can help you calm down and reassess the events leading up to your feelings.13. Find the most immediate solutionYou might be angry that your child has once again left their room a mess before going to visit a friend. Shut the door. You can temporarily end your anger by putting it out of your view. Look for similar resolutions in any situations.14. Rehearse your responsePrevent an outburst by rehearsing what you’re going to say or how you’re going to approach the problem in the future. This rehearsal period gives you time to role-play several possible solutions, too.15. Picture a stop signThe universal symbol to stop can help you calm down when you’re angry. It’s a quick way to help you visualize the need to halt yourself, your actions, and walk away from the moment.16. Change your routineIf your slow commute to work makes you angry before you’ve even had coffee, find a new route. Consider options that may take longer but leave you less upset in the end.17. Talk to a friendDon’t stew in the events that made you angry. Help yourself process what happened by talking with a trusted, supportive friend who can possibly provide a new perspective.18. LaughNothing upends a bad mood like a good one. Diffuse your anger by looking for ways to laugh, whether that’s playing with your kids, watching stand-up, or scrolling memes.19. Practice gratitudeTake a moment to focus on what’s right when everything feels wrong. Realizing how many good things you have in your life can help you neutralize anger and turn around the situation.20. Set a timerThe first thing that comes to mind when you’re angry likely isn’t the thing you should say. Give yourself a set time before you respond. This time will help you be calmer and more concise.21. Write a letterWrite a letter or email to the person that made you angry. Then, delete it. Often, expressing your emotions in some form is all you want, even if it’s in something that will never be seen.22. Imagine forgiving themFinding the courage to forgive someone who has wronged you takes a lot of emotional skill. If you can’t go that far, you can at least pretend that you’re forgiving them, and you’ll feel your anger slip away.23. Practice empathyTry to walk in the other person’s shoes and see the situation from their perspective. When you tell the story or relive the events as they saw it, you may gain a new understanding and become less angry.24. Express your angerIt’s OK to say how you feel, as long as you handle it in the right way. Ask a trusted friend to help you be accountable to a calm response. Outbursts solve no problems, but mature dialogue can help reduce your stress and ease your anger. It may also prevent future problems.25. Find a creative channelTurn your anger into a tangible production. Consider painting, gardening, or writing poetry when you’re upset. Emotions are powerful muses for creative individuals. Use yours to reduce anger.The bottom lineAnger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, if you find your anger turns to aggression or outbursts, you need to find healthy ways to deal with anger. I hope that these skills have been helpful for you in your struggles you have been facing at this time. I am going to give you my information if you are wanting to start to process through and work on your struggles going forward, please reach out to Betterhelp and ask to be matched with Crystal Westman. If we were to work together we would work on more skills and tools to help you when you are struggling and get back to a positive space.  I encourage you to reach out for support at this time to help you get to the best version of yourself.
Answered on 10/18/2021

I'm depressed and get angry all the time. Why is this?

Dear Jimb,   Thank you for your message.   Anger is a response we have when we don't feel understood, don't feel listened to, don't feel respected. At first we might just feel disappointed or irritated, however it escalates often when others add fuel into it by saying words that are hurtful, misunderstanding and dismissive. We then become even angrier and at last we turn our anger into rage.   To control anger we must understand how anger works within us. Anger is almost like a volcano when it erupts, it releases a large amount of energy and often is destructive. However these energy is often accumulated for a while before it erupts. If we can understand what accumulates these energy with us, and find ways to release it, then we can be assured that our volcano will not erupt.   Anger is the natural emotion created in a fight-or-flight situation by the physiology of your mind and body. When you sense a threat your mind generates fear and anger.  The fear you generate is part of a flight response from your physiology. Anger is the emotional energy you generate for the fight against that perceived threat.    What can be confusing is that your mind creates fear and anger even when the threat is just imagined.   Emotions like anger are natural and real.  Even if the threat is imagined the anger you create is just as real and powerful. However, the reasons you generate anger aren't always real. If you aren't aware of how your mind is imagining scenarios of hurt your anger will appear irrational.   Real vs. Imagined Anger   It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a real threat from an imagined threat because they can happen at the same time.  For example, someone is cutting you off on the freeway and a car briefly maneuvers in a way that could cause an accident and possibly injure your body.  There's a natural fight-or-flight reaction to your emotions and you create a combination of fear and anger. The reality of this harm usually passes very quickly and so do your emotions.   However, your imagination may take over and create worse scenarios.  You begin to consider that you or someone in your car might be hurt or killed. You might recall similar events from your past, project those into your mind, and add more emotion.  After the real physical threat passes your mind still projects scenarios in the imagination. Your emotions then respond to those imagined scenarios.   Even later that day when you replay the event in your mind, your emotions respond to the imagined version. The emotions you create from your imagined scenarios are no longer based in anything real.  Because of the natural response of emotions to what you imagine you can amplify fear and anger to the degree that they become out of control. However the fear and anger are natural consequence of the imagined scenarios. The problem is that the imagined scenarios in the mind are out of control and no longer based in reality.   Awareness   If you are not aware of how your imagination is projecting these scenarios you will blame other people unnecessarily for your emotions.  Understanding how your mind dreams images and scenarios of outcome is critical to understanding your anger and other emotions.   The initial moment of fear and anger resulted from a very real scenario that could have caused you harm.  However, most often the anger and fear people generate are sourced from their uncontrolled beliefs and imagination.   Anger is Rational   Anger is the natural emotional response designed to protect us from danger. It is part of our instinctual system for protection and preservation.  Notice how a dog growls and bares its teeth in response to a threat to its territory.  A mother bear will also go into ferocious anger if you were to come near her cubs.  Anger is a force of energy that we project in order to push away or combat a threat.  However, anger ceases to be a form of protecting your life and becomes a means of destroying your life and relationships when the threat isn't real.   Your emotions respond the same whether a threat is real or part of your imagination. Anger itself is a completely rational emotion to have when you perceive the thoughts and scenarios in your mind. There is nothing irrational or wrong with the anger from imagined scenarios and beliefs. Your emotional response system is working properly. The problem is with the thoughts, beliefs, and scenarios in your mind that generate an anger response.  The scenarios the mind projects are often not rational at all.   Other problems are created when you do not have the awareness and will power to refrain from outbursts of your anger.  These reactions and consequences often distract us from the root cause of the problem.   It's easy to assume that your anger is the problem because it is what you notice.  It is the outbursts of anger that we see and that cause destruction.  The assumptions and interpretations in the mind are less noticeable amidst this emotional drama.  However your emotions of anger are just a natural response to what the mind imagines.  If you perceive and believe what the mind imagines you will create emotions as a natural response.   If you accidentally touch a hot stove and burn your hand you will feel pain.  Naturally you would want to pain to stop, but the pain in your hand isn't the problem.  The pain is just a natural response to touching a hot stove.  The physical touch on the stove is less noticeable, but yet it is the real problem.  Touching the hot stove is the cause of that pain. The pain won't go away until you take your hand away from the hot stove.   The same is true for your emotions such as anger.  You may want to stop your anger, but anger is just a reaction to something else. Anger is the natural emotional reaction to what the mind and imagination are doing.  The way to overcome anger is to change how the mind imagines stories and how much you believe them.  When the mind imagines painful scenarios you naturally produce anger.  To reduce and eliminate the anger it is necessary to shift the stories that the mind imagines.   To effectively reduce or eliminate the anger in our life, we can practice changing the core beliefs, assumptions, and interpretations of the mind.    The Reaction to Emotional Pain   Your mind can generate anger and fear even when there's not a physical threat of pain. Your emotional response mechanism can generate anger just as easily by imagining a scenario involving the threat of emotional pain. When your mind is out of control imagining scenarios of emotional pain, your anger goes out of control. For anger to happen the emotional pain doesn't even have to occur. If you just imagine that you will be hurt in the future, you can become angry before anything has happened.   Understand is the first step towards managing. We can't control what we don't understand.   Looking forward to talking with you more, Jono
(MSW, LICSW, LMHC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

Should i work on my self so i can save my relationship are should I let go?

Hello, It sounds like you should definitely work on yourself, and a good start may be by getting individual counseling for yourself.  Anger is a natural emotion that we, as human beings, are wired for as a survival reflex; thus, our ability to anger is innate.  However, anger becomes a problem when it gets out of control in the way that you’ve described, and it harms you and/or the people around you.  When you regularly express your anger through negative verbal comments and/or destructive behaviors, you anger is having a negative impact on your overall mental and physical health as well as your relationships. In case you’re wondering if out-of-control anger is considered to be a mental disorder, the answer is yes.  Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episode of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation at hand.  If this is you, then you should seriously consider counseling to help you learn how to better manage your anger in order to prevent damaging your reputation and/or your important relationships. Over time, out-of-control anger does not get better; it tends to worsen without intervention.  According to some research studies, intermittent explosive disorder is thought to be a long-term condition that can last 12 to 20 years or even a lifetime. The diagnostic criterion for intermittent explosive disorder is specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as recurrent behavioral outbursts representing a failure to control aggressive impulses as manifested by either of the following: 1.   Verbal aggression (e.g., temper tantrums, tirades, verbal arguments, or fights) or physical aggression toward property, animals or other individuals occurring twice weekly, on average, for a period of 3 months. The physical aggression does not result in damage or destruction of property and does not result in physical injury to animals or other individuals. OR: 2.    Three behavioral outbursts involving damage or destruction of property and/or physical assault involving physical injury against animals or other individuals occurring within a 12-month period. Intermittent explosive disorder can have a very negative impact on your health and life.  It can lead to trouble in personal relationships and marriages.  It can negatively impair a person’s relationships and judgment on the job and at school.  People who have intermittent explosive disorder are more likely to have other mental health disorders, abuse alcohol and drugs, and engage in self-harm.  They are also at a higher risk for some medical conditions such as stroke, diabetes, chronic pain, ulcers, and high blood pressure.  For these reasons, it is also advisable to seek medical attention if you think you or someone you know may have intermittent explosive disorder.  If you are diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder, you can learn a variety of coping techniques in therapy that can help prevent episodes. Intermittent explosive disorder may best be treated by a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which consists of relaxation training, cognitive restructuring (changing the ways you think), coping skills training, communications skills, learning to change your environment and leaving stressful situations when possible, avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs and/or medications. A combination of cognitive therapy and medication is known to be highly effective for successfully managing this condition. I hope this helps you in deciding what the best action is to take as it relates to successfully managing your anger. Best wishes.
(PhD, LCMHC, LCAS)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do I control anger issues in my relationship

Hello and thanks for reaching out to Betterhelp with your question. I am wondering if prior to your boyfriend mentioning that you have anger issues, if you were aware that this was a struggle for you? Some people don't have the self awareness that their behaviors are destructive and can compromise the relationships that they have worked hard to establish. Anger concerns can take years to manifest and then it is hard to start making the life changes needed to combat them. First step is always self awareness and trying to determine why you react the way that you do. If you show him that you are willing to work on yourself then maybe he will give you the opportunity to do so. However, working through anger should be done for yourself to make you feel more confident and able to adapt in the world.  Anger management is truly a process. It is helpful to consider your triggers and what irritates you the most. Do these triggers match the reactions that you are giving to them? If not, then focusing on implementing some processing time would be a great place to start. When you notice your body experiencing physical symptoms of anger approaching, implement a mindful pause and remove yourself from the situation to deescalate. We want to determine if the anger stems from inability to express yourself, insecurity, envy, etc.  Some great coping skills for anger are slow and controlled breathing (where you get yourself to a calm place and inhale for 3 counts, exhale for 3 counts repetitively for a bit) This can lower your heart rate, help you regain control and start to think clearer. Another great idea is to journal or write down what you are experiencing in that moment rather than taking your emotions out on the people that you care about. The hard part to accept is that if you project your anger onto others (not necessarily family related, but more specifically friends and significant others) they don't have to keep you in their life and eventually they will become tired of it.  I would suggest to participate in therapy if you have the financial means and resources to in order help keep yourself accountable for working to make these changes and talk through what angers you. All the best! 
(LMHC, CRC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

mood swings

Hello Me, I am glad you reached out for support at this time.  I am sorry you are struggling in this moment.  I would encourage you to start to work with a therapist to help you learn skills to help you overcome your struggles.  If we were to meet I would first talk to you about the counseling process through our site and how together we could help you obtain your goals going forward, how I work as a counselor and how I would try to help you through the counseling process.  I would also take the first session to get to know you by asking you a few questions to get a better understanding of your struggles, so that I am able to focus on a plan and goals to work on going forward. I want you to know that you are not alone during this time even through you may feel like you are alone at this time.  During the therapy process you can have support 100% of the time as you are able to reach out and talk to a therapist 24 hours a day 7 days a week. A few of the questions I would ask would include the following:Can you tell me more about your past history?How long have you been struggling with your mood swings?What do your aggressive mood swings look like?I am going to send you some skills and tools to help you during this time of struggle you are having.  If we were to work together we would be going over these and more tools to help you through our struggles and be able to ask for support from others. I wanted to send you some skills to help you learn Ways to Calm Yourself DownWe all worry and get upset from time to time. It’s a normal part of life, right? But what happens when that anxiety or anger takes over, and you can’t calm down? Being able to calm yourself in the moment is often easier said than done. We may have all experienced that.  That’s why having a few strategies you’re familiar with can help you when you’re feeling anxious or angry or even upset. Here are some helpful, actionable tips you can try the next time you need to calm down or take a break for a minute.1. BreatheBreathing can be the number one and most effective technique for reducing anger and anxiety quickly.  We all breathe but are you breathing the way you should when trying to manage your stress and anxiety.When you’re anxious or angry, you tend to take quick, shallow breaths. This sends a message to your brain, causing a positive feedback loop reinforcing your fight or flight response that’s why taking long, deep calming breaths disrupts that loop and helps you calm down and take in more oxygen. Take a deep breath in hold it for a couple of seconds and let it out slowly can really help to manage your stress and anxiety and anger. There are various breathing techniques to help you calm down. One is three-part breathing. Three-part breathing requires you to take one deep breath in and then exhale fully while paying attention to your body.Once you get comfortable with deep breathing, you can change the ratio of inhalation and exhalation to 1:2 (you slow down your exhalation so that it’s twice as long as your inhalation).Practice these techniques while calm so you know how to do them when you’re anxious.2. Admit that you’re anxious or angryAllow yourself to say that you’re anxious or angry or upset. When you label how you’re feeling and allow yourself to express it, the anxiety and anger you’re experiencing may help to decrease. Putting a name to your feelings is the right step to recognize them. 3. Challenge your thoughtsPart of being anxious or angry or upset is having irrational thoughts that don’t necessarily make sense at the time. These thoughts are often the “worse-case scenario or we overgeneralize or catastrophes .” You might find yourself caught in the “what if” cycle, which can cause you to sabotage a lot of things in your life.When you experience one of these thoughts, stop and ask yourself the following questions:Is this likely to happen? Is this a rational thought? Has this ever happened to me before? What’s the worst that can happen? Can I handle that?After you go through the questions, it’s time to reframe your thinking. Instead of “I can’t walk across that bridge. What if there’s an earthquake, and it falls into the water?” tell yourself: “There are people that walk across that bridge every day, and it has never fallen into the water.”  I can manage this.  I will be okay.  I can cope with this it will not last forever.  4. Release the anxiety or angerDehorty recommends getting the emotional energy out with exercise. “Go for a walk or run. [Engaging] in some physical activity [releases] serotonin to help you calm down and feel better.”However, you should avoid physical activity that includes the expression of anger, such as punching walls or screaming.“This has been shown to increase feelings of anger, as it reinforces the emotions because you end up feeling good as the result of being angry,” Dehorty explains.5. Visualize yourself calmThis tip requires you to practice the breathing techniques you’ve learned through practice. After taking a few deep breaths, close your eyes and picture yourself calm. Try to visualize a place that you feel comfortable not just emotionally but also a place that provides comfort to you.  Identify the things you see, hear, smell, taste and feel.  This is visualization see yourself in this calm space by using your five senses.  See your body relaxed, and imagine yourself working through a stressful or anxiety-causing situation by staying calm and focused. By creating a mental picture of what it looks like to stay calm, you can refer back to that image when you’re anxious, stressed or angry.6. Think it throughHave a mantra to use in critical situations. Just make sure it’s one that you find helpful. Dehorty says it can be, “Will this matter to me this time next week?” or “How important is this?” or “Am I going to allow this person/situation to steal my peace or rent space in my head?”  I can manage this.  I can overcome this.  This allows the thinking to shift focus, and you can “reality test” the situation.“When we’re anxious or angry or stressed, we become hyper-focused on the cause, and rational thoughts leave our mind. These mantras give us an opportunity to allow rational thought to come back and lead to a better outcome,” Or also create a phrase that you can say to yourself.   Such as I can manage this.  I can overcome.  I am stronger than this.  7. Listen to musicThe next time you feel your anxiety or anger level cranking up, grab some headphones and tune in to your favorite music. Listening to music can have a very calming effect on your body and mind.  Music can transform you emotionally into a different space that can be more relaxing and peaceful.  Find a playlist that works for you.  Do this when you are not anxious or angry or stressed this way you can have it on hand when you are stressed anxious or angry.  Share on Pinterest8. Change your focusLeave the situation, look in another direction, walk out of the room, or go outside.  Splash water on your face or hands.  Carry around a calming stone or rock that you can rub when you are anxious or angry or stressed.  This exercise is best to use so you have time for better decision making. “We don’t do our best thinking when anxious or angry or stressed; we engage in survival thinking. This is fine if our life is really in danger, but if it isn’t life threatening, we want our best thinking, not survival instincts, which often tends to lead towards flight or flight response.  9. Relax your bodyWhen you’re anxious or angry or stressed, it can feel like every muscle in your body is tense (and they probably are). Practicing progressive muscle relaxation can help you calm down and center yourself. And help to reduce the stress that often times manifests in ones body.  To do this, lie down on the floor or bed with your arms out by your side. Make sure your feet aren’t crossed and your hands aren’t in fists. Start at your toes and tell yourself to clench your toes count to 10 and then release them. Slowly move up your body, telling yourself to release each part of your body until you get to your head.  Then tense your whole-body count to ten and then release it.  Also, why you do this also focus on your breath breathe in and out slowly.  10. Write it downIf you’re too angry or anxious or stressed to talk about it, grab a journal and write out your thoughts feelings, behaviors and attitudes and beliefs down. Don’t worry about complete sentences or punctuation — just write. Writing helps you get negative thoughts and feelings out of your head and down on paper or through the typing.You can take it one step further and make an action plan to continue staying calm once you’re done writing or typing.11. Get some fresh airThe temperature and air circulation in a room can increase your anxiety or anger or stress. If you’re feeling tense and the space you’re in is hot and stuffy, this could trigger a panic attack.  You can also wash your hands with cool water or splash some water on your face.  This can also help.  But if you can get outside and take in some fresh air then do it.  Remove yourself from that environment as soon as possible and go outside — even if it’s just for a few minutes. Look around what do you see, what do you hear, what do you smell.  Take in a deep breath and let it out slowly.  Not only will the fresh air help calm you down, but also the change of scenery can sometimes interrupt your anxious or angry  or stress thought process.12. Fuel your bodyIf you’re hungry or not properly hydrated, many of these techniques won’t work. That’s why it’s important to slow down and get something to eat — even if it’s just a small snack and take a drink of water. Fueling your body helps to fuel your soul.  13. Drop your shouldersIf your body is tense, there’s a good chance your posture will suffer. Sit up tall, take a deep breath, and drop your shoulders. To do this, you can focus on bringing your shoulder blades together and then down. This pulls your shoulders down. Take a few deep breaths hold it for a second and then release your breath slowly. You can do this several times a day. Often times one will hold stress and anger in one’s shoulders.  Drop them. 14. Have a centering objectWhen you’re anxious or angry or stressed, so much of your energy is being spent on irrational thoughts. When you’re calm, find a “centering object” such as a small stuffed animal, a polished rock you keep in your pocket, or a locket you wear around your neck or any other object you can connect with.  Tell yourself that you’re going to touch this object when you’re experiencing anxiety or frustration or anger. This centers you and helps calm your thoughts. For example, if you’re at work and your boss is making you anxious or angry or stressed, gently rub the locket around your neck or the stone in your pocket15. Identify pressure points to calm anger and anxietyGoing for a massage or getting acupuncture is a wonderful way to manage anxiety and anger and stress. But it’s not always easy to find time in your day to make it happen. The good news is, you can do acupressure on yourself for instant anxiety relief.This method involves putting pressure with your fingers or your hand at certain points of the body. The pressure releases the tension and relaxes your body.One area to start with is the point where the inside of your wrist forms a crease with your hand. Press your thumb on this area for two minutes. This can help relieve tension.We all have experienced anger, stress and anxiety from time to time but you can manage it.  Practice the principals above live a life with less stress anxiety and anger.  You got this. I hope that these skills have been helpful for you in your struggles you have been facing at this time. I am going to give you my information if you are wanting to start to process through and work on your struggles going forward, please reach out to Betterhelp and ask to be matched with Crystal Westman. If we were to work together we would work on more skills and tools to help you when you are struggling and get back to a positive space.  I encourage you to reach out for support at this time to help you get to the best version of yourself.
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do I deal with Mom Rage?

Hello DD, I am glad you reached out for support at this time.  I am sorry you are struggling in this moment.  I would encourage you to start to work with a therapist to help you learn skills to help you overcome your struggles.  If we were to meet I would first talk to you about the counseling process through our site and how together we could help you obtain your goals going forward, how I work as a counselor and how I would try to help you through the counseling process.  I would also take the first session to get to know you by asking you a few questions to get a better understanding of your struggles, so that I am able to focus on a plan and goals to work on going forward. I want you to know that you are not alone during this time even though you may feel like you are alone at this time.  During the therapy process you can have support 100% of the time as you are able to reach out and talk to a therapist 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I am going to send you some skills and tools to help you during this time of struggle you are having.  If we were to work together we would be going over these and more tools to help you through our struggles and be able to ask for support from others. Anger has power, but there are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with that power, from letting it control you to wielding it in a way that spurs you on to something positive. Some people are prone to rage more often than others, but anger is a feeling that many of us could use a bit of help in handling. The choices we make when angry can often come back to haunt us, but the cycle can be hard to break. Here's how to tame your inner raging bull. And if you find that you are often mired in negative thinking.1. Own It. Pretending you're not angry—especially while exhibiting nearly cartoonish physical signs of anger—does no good for you, the target of your anger, or your blood pressure. Many people think that to acknowledge anger is the same as acting inappropriately on it. That's simply not true, and the difference between those two concepts is huge. Admitting that you are upset, whether to yourself, or as calmly as possible to the person you're in conflict with ("I admit I seem to be getting upset here. I want to resolve this and not do anything I regret, so I am going to try to slow down.") can validate your feelings. This, in turn, can help you feel more empowered toward working toward a solution, and it will also diminish the conflict within yourself.2. Break It Down. So you're still simmering after your yearly review? If you jot down some of your thoughts, whether with prehistoric pen and paper or with an app du jour, you'll gain some clarity as to how they're serving as the antecedents to your feelings. In the process, you can sort out why you're upset and what steps you can take to work through the situation. Perhaps most important, putting your feelings into words can make them feel more tangible, and therefore more manageable—which can eventually help them work their way out of your system.3. Move It Out. As physical signs go, anger can look very similar to other forms of arousal, like anxiety or even excitement. Calming those physical impulses, or giving them someplace useful to go, can help you get your anger under control. Slow down your breathing through several long, deep breaths. Loosen your muscles through clenching and unclenching your fists and slowly doing a neck roll. If you can use that arousal for good rather than for clocking someone in the face, you'll be better off. So channel that rage into an activity that can release tension: running, kickboxing, dancing, jumping rope, or even just beating your fists against your chest like a gorilla. A primal scream can be helpful if you are blessed with the space. Instead of letting your frustration burn you up, you can burn it off. And if it comes out in the shape of tears or even demonic laughter? Just let it.4. Find The Big Picture. If you're still feeling steamed from that interaction with your colleague or that snarky tone from the person in line at the coffee shop, it might be time to make a list of the things you're grateful for. Gratitude meditations, or just sitting and focusing on what's right in your life, will make what you're angry about seem more molehill than mountain. You might also choose to think about the person whom you think has wronged you, and imagine what unique challenges they may be reacting to. Think about the ways that they could use some empathy, and try to mentally give it to them—that can often neutralize anger.5. Share—carefully. If there is a friend or loved one you trust, sharing your feelings with them can sometimes be cathartic. But be aware that not everyone is equipped to hear difficult feelings in a healthy, supportive way. Some might just not be good listeners and could just try to bottle up your emotions for you. Others might try to fan the flames, like audiences in a gladiator match.6. Act. If someone drove poorly on the freeway, you'll simply move on, eventually. But if you're part of a toxic relationship or the victim of a serial aggressor, you'll need to do what you can to chart out steps to improve the situation. A specific plan of action with methodical goals and the pathways to get there can lend a very important sense of control, reducing your stress and increasing your peace.7. Be Watchful. Sometimes things may seem to be resolved, but rage still lingers residually, in the form of irritability, insomnia, or even depression. Increasing your mindfulness through your awareness in the moment of your thoughts and feelings and the triggers that seem to cause them can serve as an early warning system for future conflicts. It can also help you determine if your anger is due to something deeper that could benefit from talking to a professional.Here are 25 ways you can control your anger and try to put these skills in place through the 7 step process listed above.1. Count downCount down (or up) to 10. If you’re really mad, start at 100. In the time it takes you to count, your heart rate will slow, and your anger will likely subside.2. Take a breatherYour breathing becomes shallower and speeds up as you grow angry. Reverse that trend (and your anger) by taking slow, deep breaths from your nose and exhaling out of your mouth for several moments.3. Go walk around can help calm your nerves and reduce anger. Go for a walk, ride your bike, or hit a few golf balls. Anything that gets your limbs pumping is good for your mind and body.4. Relax your musclesProgressive muscle relaxation calls on you to tense and slowly relax various muscle groups in your body, one at a time. As you tense and release, take slow, deliberate breaths.5. Repeat a mantraFind a word or phrase that helps you calm down and refocus. Repeat that word again and again to yourself when you’re upset. “Relax,” “Take it easy, and “You’ll be OK” are all good examples.6. StretchNeck rolls and shoulder rolls are good examples of nonstrenuous yoga-like movements that can help you control your body and harness your emotions. No fancy equipment required.7. Mentally escapeSlip into a quiet room, close your eyes, and practice visualizing yourself in a relaxing scene. Focus on details in the imaginary scene: What color is the water? How tall are the mountains? What do the chirping birds sound like? This practice can help you find calm amidst anger.8. Play some tunesLet music carry you away from your feelings. Put in earbuds or slip out to your car. Crank up your favorite music and hum, bop, or sashay your anger away.9. Stop talkingWhen you’re steamed, you may be tempted to let the angry words fly, but you’re more likely to do harm than good. Pretend your lips are glued shut, just like you did as a kid. This moment without speaking will give you time to collect your thoughts.10. Take a timeoutGive yourself a break. Sit away from others. In this quiet time, you can process events and return your emotions to neutral. You may even find this time away from others is so helpful you want to schedule it into your daily routine.11. Take actionHarness your angry energy. Sign a petition. Write a note to an official. Do something good for someone else. Pour your energy and emotions into something that’s healthy and productive.12. Write in your journalWhat you can’t say, perhaps you can write. Jot down what you’re feeling and how you want to respond. Processing it through the written word can help you calm down and reassess the events leading up to your feelings.13. Find the most immediate solutionYou might be angry that your child has once again left their room a mess before going to visit a friend. Shut the door. You can temporarily end your anger by putting it out of your view. Look for similar resolutions in any situations.14. Rehearse your responsePrevent an outburst by rehearsing what you’re going to say or how you’re going to approach the problem in the future. This rehearsal period gives you time to role-play several possible solutions, too.15. Picture a stop signThe universal symbol to stop can help you calm down when you’re angry. It’s a quick way to help you visualize the need to halt yourself, your actions, and walk away from the moment.16. Change your routineIf your slow commute to work makes you angry before you’ve even had coffee, find a new route. Consider options that may take longer but leave you less upset in the end.17. Talk to a friendDon’t stew in the events that made you angry. Help yourself process what happened by talking with a trusted, supportive friend who can possibly provide a new perspective.18. LaughNothing upends a bad mood like a good one. Diffuse your anger by looking for ways to laugh, whether that’s playing with your kids, watching stand-up, or scrolling memes.19. Practice gratitudeTake a moment to focus on what’s right when everything feels wrong. Realizing how many good things you have in your life can help you neutralize anger and turn around the situation.20. Set a timerThe first thing that comes to mind when you’re angry likely isn’t the thing you should say. Give yourself a set time before you respond. This time will help you be calmer and more concise.21. Write a letterWrite a letter or email to the person that made you angry. Then, delete it. Often, expressing your emotions in some form is all you want, even if it’s in something that will never be seen.22. Imagine forgiving themFinding the courage to forgive someone who has wronged you takes a lot of emotional skill. If you can’t go that far, you can at least pretend that you’re forgiving them, and you’ll feel your anger slip away.23. Practice empathyTry to walk in the other person’s shoes and see the situation from their perspective. When you tell the story or relive the events as they saw it, you may gain a new understanding and become less angry.24. Express your angerIt’s OK to say how you feel, as long as you handle it in the right way. Ask a trusted friend to help you be accountable to a calm response. Outbursts solve no problems, but mature dialogue can help reduce your stress and ease your anger. It may also prevent future problems.25. Find a creative channelTurn your anger into a tangible production. Consider painting, gardening, or writing poetry when you’re upset. Emotions are powerful muses for creative individuals. Use yours to reduce anger.The bottom lineAnger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, if you find your anger turns to aggression or outbursts, you need to find healthy ways to deal with anger. I hope that these skills have been helpful for you in your struggles you have been facing at this time. I am going to give you my information if you are wanting to start to process through and work on your struggles going forward, please reach out to Betterhelp and ask to be matched with Crystal Westman. If we were to work together we would work on more skills and tools to help you when you are struggling and get back to a positive space.  I encourage you to reach out for support at this time to help you get to the best version of yourself.
Answered on 10/18/2021

Will severe rage go away by itself? Do I need professional help

Dear Russell,   Thank you for your message.   Anger is a response we have when we don't feel understood, don't feel listened to, don't feel respected. At first, we might just feel disappointed or irritated, however, it escalates often when others add fuel into it by saying words that are hurtful, misunderstanding, and dismissive. We then become even angrier and at last, we turn our anger into rage.   To control anger we must understand how anger works within us. Anger is almost like a volcano when it erupts, it releases a large amount of energy and often is destructive. However, this energy is often accumulated for a while before it erupts. If we can understand what accumulates this energy with us, and find ways to release it, then we can be assured that our volcano will not erupt.   Anger is the natural emotion created in a fight-or-flight situation by the physiology of your mind and body. When you sense a threat your mind generates fear and anger.  The fear you generate is part of a flight response from your physiology. Anger is the emotional energy you generate for the fight against that perceived threat.    What can be confusing is that your mind creates fear and anger even when the threat is just imagined.   Emotions like anger are natural and real.  Even if the threat is imagined the anger you create is just as real and powerful. However, the reasons you generate anger aren't always real. If you aren't aware of how your mind is imagining scenarios of hurt your anger will appear irrational.   Real vs. Imagined Anger   It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a real threat from an imagined threat because they can happen at the same time.  For example, someone is cutting you off on the freeway and a car briefly maneuvers in a way that could cause an accident and possibly injure your body.  There's a natural fight-or-flight reaction to your emotions and you create a combination of fear and anger. The reality of this harm usually passes very quickly and so do your emotions.   However, your imagination may take over and create worse scenarios.  You begin to consider that you or someone in your car might be hurt or killed. You might recall similar events from your past, project those into your mind, and add more emotion.  After the real physical threat passes your mind still projects scenarios in the imagination. Your emotions then respond to those imagined scenarios.   Even later that day when you replay the event in your mind, your emotions respond to the imagined version. The emotions you create from your imagined scenarios are no longer based on anything real.  Because of the natural response of emotions to what you imagine you can amplify fear and anger to the degree that they become out of control. However, fear and anger are natural consequences of the imagined scenarios. The problem is that the imagined scenarios in the mind are out of control and no longer based on reality.   Awareness   If you are not aware of how your imagination is projecting these scenarios you will blame other people unnecessarily for your emotions.  Understanding how your mind dreams images and scenarios of outcome is critical to understanding your anger and other emotions.   The initial moment of fear and anger resulted from a very real scenario that could have caused you harm.  However, most often the anger and fear people generate are sourced from their uncontrolled beliefs and imagination.   Anger is Rational   Anger is the natural emotional response designed to protect us from danger. It is part of our instinctual system for protection and preservation.  Notice how a dog growls and bares its teeth in response to a threat to its territory.  A mother bear will also go into ferocious anger if you were to come near her cubs.  Anger is a force of energy that we project in order to push away or combat a threat.  However, anger ceases to be a form of protecting your life and becomes a means of destroying your life and relationships when the threat isn't real.   Your emotions respond the same whether a threat is real or part of your imagination. Anger itself is a completely rational emotion to have when you perceive the thoughts and scenarios in your mind. There is nothing irrational or wrong with the anger from imagined scenarios and beliefs. Your emotional response system is working properly. The problem is with the thoughts, beliefs, and scenarios in your mind that generate an anger response.  The scenarios the mind projects are often not rational at all.   Other problems are created when you do not have the awareness and willpower to refrain from outbursts of your anger.  These reactions and consequences often distract us from the root cause of the problem.   It's easy to assume that your anger is the problem because it is what you notice.  It is the outbursts of anger that we see and that cause destruction.  The assumptions and interpretations in the mind are less noticeable amidst this emotional drama.  However, your emotions of anger are just a natural response to what the mind imagines.  If you perceive and believe what the mind imagines you will create emotions as a natural response.   If you accidentally touch a hot stove and burn your hand you will feel pain.  Naturally, you would want to pain to stop, but the pain in your hand isn't the problem.  The pain is just a natural response to touching a hot stove.  The physical touch on the stove is less noticeable, but yet it is the real problem.  Touching the hot stove is the cause of that pain. The pain won't go away until you take your hand away from the hot stove.   The same is true for your emotions such as anger.  You may want to stop your anger, but anger is just a reaction to something else. Anger is the natural emotional reaction to what the mind and imagination are doing.  The way to overcome anger is to change how the mind imagines stories and how much you believe them.  When the mind imagines painful scenarios you naturally produce anger.  To reduce and eliminate the danger it is necessary to shift the stories that the mind imagines.   To effectively reduce or eliminate the anger in our life, we can practice changing the core beliefs, assumptions, and interpretations of the mind.    The Reaction to Emotional Pain   Your mind can generate anger and fear even when there's not a physical threat of pain. Your emotional response mechanism can generate anger just as easily by imagining a scenario involving the threat of emotional pain. When your mind is out of control imagining scenarios of emotional pain, your anger goes out of control. For anger to happen the emotional pain doesn't even have to occur. If you just imagine that you will be hurt in the future, you can become angry before anything has happened.   Example of Misplaced Blame   Here's an example to help you understand the anger. Jack and Jill are in a dating relationship and have been for a while. During an evening out to a business party, Jill observes Jack interacting with other women. There is no physical threat or harm to Jill in this situation. There is not even a direct emotional threat. However, through indirect mental scenarios, Jill can still generate fear and anger.   In Jill's mind, she might compare herself to one of the other women Jack is talking to. In that comparison, the voices in her head might conclude that she is not as attractive, not as thin, not as funny, or not as smart. In her mind, she creates a mental image of being less than, or not being good enough in some way.  Jill's mental stories are self-judgments that attack her self-image.  These self-criticisms result in hurtful emotional pain. One of the possible reactions to this type of emotional pain is to create anger to push away the cause.   If Jill isn't aware of how her mind creates self-judgment and emotional harm, she could easily blame Jack.  She might assume that Jack has hurt her feelings by disrespecting or insulting her by giving attention to other women.   Jill notices that Jack is laughing and talking to someone else and that she feels hurts. Her mind draws a simple relationship between Jack's action as the cause and her pain as the effect.   Without awareness, Jill overlooks the emotionally damaging self-judgment her mind created and only notices the trigger of Jack's behavior. In order to push away the cause of her pain, Jill directs her anger at Jack to punish him for his behavior.  Not only could this potentially end the relationship, but it doesn't address the real cause of the pain. Even if Jill goes on to another relationship she will bring her self judgment with her and create her pain again.   Anger In Each Person   There are other possible sources of Jill's anger. Instead of creating a self-rejection, Jill imagines a scenario of Jack running off with someone else. In her mind, she will likely interpret this as a rejection and imagine a scenario in which she will end up alone. By imagining these scenarios and believing they will happen Jill can generate painful emotions of abandonment and loneliness. The natural response to this threat of emotional pain is to create anger as a defense and push the cause away.   Without self-awareness, Jill is likely to misconstrue the cause of her pain. She could make the assumption that Jack's behavior or possible behavior is hurtful and threatening her emotionally.  The result is that she becomes angry at Jack.  Jill might also become angry at other women Jack interacts with depending on her assumptions. . These conclusions ignore the fact that Jill's mind is generating the threatening scenario of abandonment and painful loneliness.  This dynamic of jealousy can completely destroy her relationships and happiness.   With self-awareness, Jill has the opportunity to see that the cause of her pain lies in the stories of her imagination and what she believes about herself. As Jill gains awareness of the core beliefs behind her stories lf and changes them she can overcome the real cause of her anger.   Understand is the first step towards managing. We can't control what we don't understand.   I am curious to learn if these words have been helpful in guiding us to a better understand of anger, and reduce our fear towards it. After all, it is something that can be controlled and changed. :)   Looking forward to talking with you more, Jono
(MSW, LICSW, LMHC)
Answered on 10/18/2021

How do I go about talking to someone?

Good afternoon and thank you for reaching out to Betterhelp for support during this challenging time. Reflect on if this is a new experience for you when it comes to struggling to appropriately and effectively communicate or if this is something that you have been experiencing for a while. If it is new for you, then something could have triggered the extreme anger and rage which is impacting all that you are doing currently. If this has been an ongoing battle, then it is still beneficial to learn some new coping strategies to better support yourself. When we are angry enough to the point of blacking out, it confirms that our ability to express is compromised. We either feel not so confident in what we want to say, we struggle to feel like we will be taken seriously or we are unable to fully find words to convey the feelings we have.  This is an opportunity to tap into your feelings and have an internal check in with yourself. What are you feeling in that moment and how can you implement a pause or time out to better collect your thoughts? Impulsivity is relevant when it comes to anger and we are so quick to react that we don't take time to process what we hear or want to say. I would suggest adding a mindful pause into your dialogues to build up routine with this and allowing yourself to think through the words and how they can be interpretted. If you have access and means, therapy and ongoing support are also suggested for working through anger. We need that constant reinforcement and support to challenge our current practices, and learn new ways to convey the feelings we have. It could mean that you are passionate in certain areas of life and just need to see these situations through a variety of perspectives to determine how you are coming across to others.  There is always hope for working through anger. Anger is often hurt and sadness turned outward though which means to consider the previous traumas in your life as well as any stressors that have contributed to getting where you are now.    Best wishes to you and feel free to reach out! 
(LMHC, CRC)
Answered on 10/18/2021