Temperament Answers

How can I manage my emotions? How does one not be so reactive and defensive?

Hi T, thank you for your question, it can take courage to express how you are feeling so openly as you have done.   Emotions, thinking and acting/reacting are all linked.  It sounds like you often act in a way that later on you think perhaps you could have done it differently.  Communicating how we are feeling is difficult if we do not do it enough.  Having the right vocabulary for the moment is hard.  Knowing what to say and how to say it can seem impossible at times.  I think there are a few things to bear in mind.   1. Our brains are wired in such a way to keep us safe.  You react quickly because of a perceived threat and you need to defend yourself from it.  Perhaps you have been hurt in the past and do not want to be hurt again.  This part of our brain works way quicker than we give it credit for.  To slow this down takes effort, but can be done.  Try and slow down in others areas of your life.  Make a conscious effort to stop before you react.  This will give a chance for the rest of your brain to catch up and so you can respond appropriately.  This takes practice, so practice it in other areas of your life, in situations you are in control of, taking a cool, calm and measured approach.  Building this routine can help when you are in more difficult situations. 2.  Talking about emotions and how we are feeling can be hard.  Practice by speaking up when you need or want something, gaining confidence in explaining to someone else what you need will build confidence as will expressing to others how you feel.  Perhaps after a film you could say 'That film made me feel really happy/really sad!'  Practice doing this at least once a day. 3.  As you become more confident in communicating your feelings and it becomes more natural to you, you will build the vocabulary and self-awareness and will have a great insight into your own behaviors and they will change for the better. Because our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are all linked, if we can change one thing in the cycle it will change the outcome overall.
Answered on 02/03/2023

How do I keep my feelings from affecting my work, relationship, and mood for the rest of the week?

Feelings.  They exist without our say-so. They come in like a wrecking ball and totally disrupt what would otherwise be a very intelligent and well-thought-out response. When we lose something, get tired, experience extra stress at work due to pressures also unknown to us, we live on their highs and lows and yet we cannot seem to do anything to fix them. These emotions, as it turns out, are ours and we had better get accustomed to them in our life, otherwise, we will end up spending the rest of our days wanting to rid a part of ourselves that is very necessary.  Emotions are necessary, and often when we think of emotions that get our attention by the destruction they cause. Often it is when we feel hurt, frustrated, sad, guilty, shameful, and angry, even if we experience too much happiness. Yes, any one emotion lived out to its extreme will cause disruption in life. Here are some rules to follow to manage emotions:  1. Practice listening to what your mind is telling you. Notice your thoughts, your interpretations, and judgments of things; these are what get your attention and either come from an emotion or are the result of an emotion causing you to react. Your mind knows things you will never be consciously aware of. So, when triggered, it isn't about stopping the emotion or thought, but learning what to do when they show up. What are these thoughts and emotions trying to get me to do? 2. You've heard this before, but give it two seconds before you do anything. I am saying that you can do whatever you feel like doing, but give it two seconds before you do. There may still be destructive behaviors due to emotions, but that little bit of time allows the higher portions of the brain to kick in with their logic. The lower parts, the midbrain, limbic system, amygdala, and so on, are all about reaction. So, when you are triggered, the quicker you respond, the more likely it is a lower-level response.  3. Do not try to fix your thoughts or what the thoughts tell you. Instead, allow them to come to you and allow them to pass. You do not need to remedy the content of the thoughts. All you have to do is notice they exist, they are captivating, and let them go by. This, too, shall pass. So let it.  4. Your thoughts do not define you. You have thoughts, but they do not represent the total you. You are not the content of your thoughts nor are you a bad person for having bad thoughts. You have a brain that releases thoughts, and then you judge or hold on to them. You judge yourself for having them and never pay attention to what they say or what you are really thinking. Be honest with yourself, notice the thoughts as they really are, and imagine they pass by on unicorns (or clouds, anything really).  5. Beliefs. Beliefs are the foundation of emotions and thoughts. Beliefs are what we tell ourselves about ourselves and what we make every decision in service to. Beliefs need to be identified to see if they still hold up. These beliefs were often formed early in childhood and never addressed again (such as self-worth). If these beliefs aren't true, then act as though what you believe is true. If you are enough, then make the decisions as someone who is enough would make.  These are some ideas to get you started, but here is a video to help:  https://youtube.com/watch?v=z-wyaP6xXwE&si=EnSIkaIECMiOmarE  It's a great metaphor.  Emotions come from thoughts triggered by beliefs. We can notice this, and instead of participating in this constant routine of turmoil, we can step back and watch ourselves notice thoughts. Notice you notice these thoughts, and the emotions can subside as well. 
Answered on 01/27/2023

How do I calm myself down?

Hello H! Thank you for reaching out to BetterHelp with your question regarding anger and getting annoyed easily.  Anger is certainly a natural human emotion; however, when it feels constant and becomes difficult to control, it may be a sign that something more is going on (such as stress or even anxiety). I want to preface this by saying that it is okay to get angry! Let's be real, life does not always happen the way that we want, and anger or irritability is a natural response. I want to offer you a few strategies that can hopefully help reduce your anger so you can feel better and more at peace. I think a good place to start is by acknowledging when you are feeling angry. You don't have to announce that you are feeling irritable to everyone, but simply acknowledge it to yourself. Take it a step further and rate that anger on a scale of 1 to 10 when you feel it. Once you have acknowledged that you are feeling anger and rated the intensity, then you may want to try and determine if there is a clear cause for this emotion. Sometimes it may be very obvious and at other times, you may feel frustrated without really knowing why. Taking a minute to self-reflect may help you recognize that you're stressed out, anxious, hungry, or that you haven't been spending time taking care of your mental health as you should be. If you can determine the source, you might be able to better solve the problem. I'm going to encourage you to take a few deep breaths in the moment. I know it seems like generic advice, but it is very beneficial. Deep breathing can calm your physiological response. When your body gets calmer, your brain tends to get calmer too. Try inhaling slowly to the count of three through your nose. Hold your breath for a brief pause and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Do this 3 or so times and see if you feel better. It's also important to reframe your negative thoughts when dealing with unpleasant feelings. If you become aware that you are thinking about an unfair situation or how much you dislike something, try to reframe it. Stick to the facts, rather than your judgments and emotions surrounding those facts. Simply asking yourself, "am I basing this thought on fact or feeling?" or "Is this thought helping me or harming me?" can be a good place to start. I will conclude by saying that extreme anger or constant frustration can be a sign of a mental health issue, like depression, anxiety, or a mood disorder. So if this continues to linger, I will encourage you to seek professional help such as a licensed counselor or a doctor. Remember that adding a little more self-care into your daily routine might be all it takes to bring you to a healthier state of mind.
(M.A., LPC)
Answered on 01/25/2023

How do you control your anger and not let your anger control you?

Thank you for reaching out for help to understand the feelings of anger that you are experiencing. I am sorry that you are going through these feelings. It's important to see that there is help that can make a difference. Learning how to control emotions will help you control and express your feelings, which can also include sadness, fear and disappointment. The way you describe your anger it sounds like this way of expressing your feelings could come after a build up of emotions. Exploring the reasons behind why you are unable to discuss these in a calm way will help you to break the behaviour of getting angry   Anger allows for all emotions to be expressed, even if the feelings being experienced include other emotions. (as listed above)The risk is that to the other people involved, they only see the anger and nothing else and this can bring feelings of not really being heard   Becoming angry, although helps to say how you feel, it is a very stressful way of coping with your feelings and is likely to have an effect on your mental health as It can take so much out of you. The recovery time after an outburst can have a negative impact, such as, leading to feelings of guilt, anxiety as well as feelings of being understood, which can lead to depression. Learning new ways of coping with your emotions will help you to feel present with your feelings and will encourage validation that your feelings are important and necessary to be heard. Alongside therapy, writing a journal is a good way of releasing your feelings and it helps you to become in tune with what emotion you are feeling at the time. Writing provides your future self with the coping strategies that you have learned work and you show you that there is often a different way of approaching things that are more positive for you.  Talking through your experiences with a counsellor will give you the support for you explore your memories of your life's experiences, to help you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself. This will help you to identify the triggers that cause the anger and allow you to learn new ways of coping with your emotions in a more positive and calm way. 
Answered on 01/13/2023

What are some steps I can take to become more of an approachable and understanding person?

Hi, thank you for asking this question. So many others are on this journey with you and experience difficulties with being limited by their mindset and feeling overwhelmed, unable to manage intense emotions. It is clear you have insight to a goal for personal growth. I appreciate how you are observing something about yourself and connecting it to how its impacting your life and interfering with your goals in relationships. We may not have caused all of our own problems but we have to solve them anyways for our own sake. You brought up similarities with other relatives, there are many paths to how we get to be who we are and to explain our behaviors. Some people have a biological disposition to be more reactive, this would be the hot-headed nature you have described. We also have models for emotional expression, what did we see other relatives do with their emotions? Emotions also have to be experiences and tended to. We need to allow space for them, they have an important function in our lives. There is hope in that with recognition and developing skills, we can then learn to manage emotions and minimize consequences from the emotions we experience. In addition to this, we can also work to reduce our own susceptibility to experiencing negative emotions by taking care of our health since emotions are biological responses to our environment. We can improve our resistance towards anger by eating healthy, exercising, avoiding substance use, sleeping and making sure we are getting routine medical care and managing health concerns. Everyone has beliefs that influence and drive our behaviors. The my way or the highway mindset sounds inflexible, and we know rigidity can lead to us feeling less happy. There are so many things in life we don't have control over, adaptability leads to experiencing more moments of joy. It's important to re-examine the beliefs we are raised with that have been passed down and modeled for whether or not they lead us to the life we want to live. All or nothing thoughts also lead to unproductive behaviors, and high levels of distress as well.  You sound very motivated to make some of these changes, this is the first step. The next step is to identify what exactly your goals are and how your emotions and thoughts fit into reaching your goals. It helps to practice self-compassion, sometimes it's more about bringing awareness, practicing acceptance and reframing our thinking to better control our responses, than it is changing who we are. Congratulations on taking the first step by inquiring about how to make progress towards this area of growth for yourself. I hope this information is helpful for you to start taking more steps towards your goal.
Answered on 01/12/2023

I need assistance to stop being angry and be gentler

Thank you for the interesting question. Your question shows that you already have awareness and insight...two key components to changing our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. No one is perfect, and to some extent we are all trying to improve on areas of ourselves that we wish were better. I like to call these areas our "shadows". We all have shadows, or shortcomings, that with a little effort and commitment, we can improve on.  We all have shades of narcissism. There are times when we simply must put ourselves first above all others. While in many cultures and families of origin this trait is frowned upon, in others it is praised as "independence" "go getter attitude" or "ambitious". We all need to be a little narcissistic to have our needs and wants met. If we find that we constantly put our interests before others and it starts to create problems in our relationships, then it might be time to make some changes. It may be helpful to ask yourself these questions:  - Have many people told me I am narcissistic or selfish? Or is it just one person? Just my family? Just myself? - Am I focused so much on my own wants and needs that it is damaging my relationship(s)? - What messages/beliefs does my family of origin have about 'putting myself first'? Sometimes when people have experienced a traumatic event or multiple traumas, they develop certain coping mechanisms (even if they are maladaptive) in order to protect themselves in the future. People who have experienced trauma may have difficulty trusting others, may worry often, have difficulty with concentration and completing tasks, and are quick to become angry/irritated. This may not be applicable to your question, however if you have trauma in your past, it may be worth considering if this plays a role in how you are feeling.   Regarding anger, I often tell my clients that anger is a "secondary" emotion. Underneath anger, there is usually something else going on. For example, if someone has a big deadline coming up that they are worried or anxious about, they may find themselves shorter tempered or irritable with their coworkers, friends or family. Sometimes we show anger to others when we are actually hurt or sad about something. For example, if everyone else is invited to a social gathering except me, I might say something in anger to the party host. Underneath the anger, I am feeling very excluded and hurt by not being invited. Try considering the following question: - What am I angry about? What is underneath my anger? Sadness, hurt, guilt, anxiety? To be gentler and calmer in your responses to people, it is important to first reflect on why you are feeling upset. I recommend journaling to gain more insight. Other suggestions to reduce high emotional reactivity with others include: - Wait at least an hour before responding - Run your response past a trusted friend - Practice deep breathing or guided meditation - Go for a walk to clear your head I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful. Even just making one small change can lead to more change and eventually, progress. Keep up the good work on your mental health journey!
Answered on 12/28/2022

Where do I start as far as coping so that I'm able to control my anger and hurt

Hi Kristyn.  Thank you so much for taking that first step and reaching out for help.  I know this can be a hard thing to do.  There are coping skills you can implement to manage anger, mood, and decrease stress and anxiety. Meditate and relax by sitting quietly in a room.  Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.  Focus on breathing cool air in through your nose and exhaling warm air through your mouth.  This type of relaxation will calm your mind and body. Journal to self reflect and identify your thoughts. This will allow you to understand triggers and realize unhelpful and irrational thoughts. Spend time outdoors in nature, get sunlight.  Go for a walk to increase endorphins.  This will help boost mood and decrease anxiety.   Practice mindfulness and gratitude.  You will notice the positives in life and appreciate the small things.  This will reduce negative thoughts, helping to heal your mind, body, and spirit. Manage anger by naming your feelings.  Validate your thoughts and emotions.  Anger can be constructive.  Anger is a natural, healthy emotion.  Respond rather than react to a person or situation.  Channel that energy to uncover what makes you feel passionate and strong.  Take a moment, breathe to process what is causing anger. It's important to process past trauma.  The results of unresolved trauma can include anxiety, misdirected anger, health issues, chronic stress, suppressed emotions, poor coping skills, difficulty communicating, and conflict in interpersonal relationships.   A trained, experienced trauma counselor can help you identify triggers and isolate where the anger is stemming from.  You will meet with your counselor virtually in a safe space free of judgment.  You will develop healthy coping mechanisms.  Your counselor will establish rapport and build trust with you so you can feel safe to explore your past and work to process and resolve the trauma you have experienced throughout your life.   Please keep reaching out for help and support.  By recognizing the trauma and working towards healing you will learn how to move forward on a path to mental well being and emotional stability.  There are resources and supports out there for you.  
Answered on 12/21/2022

I get mad so easily over the smallest things

Hi Dre.  Thank you for taking that first step to reach out for help.  Anger is an organic way to respond to a threat.  There are several kinds of anger, anger is expressed differently in each one.    When we are passive aggressive, we may silently harbor angry feelings. By holding in our anger, it will manifest in different ways and not always in response to the person or thing that makes us angry.  Open aggression is an outward expression often involving verbal and/or physically aggressive behaviors. We say and do things that we cannot easily take back. Assertive anger is a controlled way to respond to anger and address what is the cause of our angry feelings with open communication.  Uncover anger triggers.  Anger can be triggered by feeling attacked, having our feelings invalidated, frustration, lack of control, depression, anxiety, stress, environmental and social factors.  We can control anger by responding, not reacting in difficult situations. When we respond, we take a minute to process and speak.  It's ok to put the pause on a conversation to compose yourself, take a deep breath and formulate your response.   Suppressing anger can result in misplaced, unresolved feelings.  We need an outlet. Finding healthy expressions of anger is important.   Express and openly communicate how you are feeling using "I" statements. "I am feeling upset and stressed."  Take time out for yourself.  Write down your thoughts.  Take a walk.   Don't bottle your feelings.  Take frustrations out by working out.  The endorphins you generate will calm you and boost your mood.   It's ok to feel angry.  Anger is a natural human response.  We need to feel our feelings and validate our emotions.  Anger becomes a problem when we don't deal with it and let it affect ourselves and hurt those we are close to. You can learn to express your anger in an appropriate and healthy manner.   Work one on one with a trained mental health professional.  You will be able to explore your feelings, identify triggers, role play, and learn healthy coping skills in this safe space.  Wishing you all the best on your self discovery journey.  Keep reaching out for help and work towards your goals of healthy expression. 
Answered on 12/19/2022

I’m always snapping at everyone for no reason. I feel stressed all the time and overwhelmed. Why?

Hi Riri.  That's for reaching out for help.  We all experience anger.  It's a healthy emotion. It's how we express anger that defines whether it's problematic.  When we become impulsive and aggressive, anger affects our relationships and how we feel about ourselves.  Suppressing anger and not expressing our emotions can lead to irritability, anxiety, depression, and anger towards others.  There are healthy ways to express anger and manage emotions.  This can be accomplished by paying attention to the situations and circumstances in which we get angry, learning to convey our feelings and communicate our emotions.  Once we identify these triggers we can adjust accordingly.  For example, take a step away, set healthy boundaries, and do some deep breathing.  There is a difference between responding and reacting.  Taking a few breaths and pausing before responding can help us from being reactive.  Grounding exercises, mindfulness, and calming strategies help relax us and can be the tools we need to respond thoughtfully. Being self aware and insightful helps us manage our emotions effectively. Reflecting on the situations and issues that cause anger can help us be better in tune to our feelings and emotions. How is anger affecting your life and those around you?   We can utilize "I" Statements to express our emotions and validate our feelings.  Rather than judging others and blaming them for our behavior, we can respond by saying "I'm feeling overwhelmed, I need a few minutes to process this.  Can we take a break and continue this conversation a little later " Journaling is a helpful tool to relieve stress and self reflect. It's a great tool for a space free of judgement to get your thoughts out.  Therapy can help us identify those triggers and situations that lead to stress, anxiety, and anger.  Through cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), a therapist can help teach us coping skills and anger management techniques.   Reaching out for help is a great first step.  This means we are ready to take action to learn to manage our emotions and develop healthy coping skills.  Wishing you all the best on your journey to improved mental health and wellness. 
Answered on 12/08/2022

How can I deal with anger better?

Hi Manny!  A pleasure to have you here; I am glad you are opening up yourself to becoming a better version of yourself and you are here to seek support. My name is Lorena Klahr and I am licensed marriage and family therapist. I am curious to know more about your personal situation. Anger is an expression to an unmet need; so to say, it is a defensive coping mechanism for humans beings to express themselves when their expectations are not being met. It is important to know some of the symptoms and what they mean to us and the outside world as well to know what treatment to get. Questions to understand your anger? 1) in the past week, what has triggered your anger? 2) what are ways in which people around you notice that you are angry? 3) think about when you experienced anger? what was the outcome? 4) thinking about your anger, what are healthy coping mechanisms that help you work through this? I will give you a hint! * Create a list of triggers and review them daily. * The best way to deal with a trigger is to avoid it; this may take you to make changes to lifestyle, routine, friends, etc. * because it is impossible to avoid all triggers, have a plan in case you face one. * practice deep breathing; this is an excellent technique for managing emotions (inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4). * keep an anger log: what was happening before the episode, what was in your mind, were you hungry, tired, moody? * describe what happened and how you reacted? what events triggered your anger? *what were your thoughts and feelings during the episode? looking back now, do you see anything differently vs the heat of the moment? * utilize diversions to buy yourself time: play games, walk, eat healthy, sleep, be with friends, go out, etc. * take a time out: which means taking a time off from exposing yourself to a moment where your anger will be triggered. * know your warning signs: how do you know you are feeling anger? what are some of the emotional/ physical symptoms you are getting? The reason why I am describing all of these techniques and questions is because this will let you navigate some of the things that are affecting you in the moment. In therapy we would go through this very carefully and I will also send some worksheets that do a very good job in explaining anger. Lastly, I wanted to ask about your disability. How is this affecting you and how has this impacted your life? Manny, I am here for you and to assist you through the process. I am very open to any follow up question/ feedback/ concern you may have. Please let me know how I can help further.  Respectfully, Lorena Klahr, LMFT
Answered on 11/28/2022

How can I control my anger? I've been getting really frustrated lately

Hi! I hope you're having a good day so far! I appreciate you for sharing your concern on your cat and how sometimes it can feel a little bit irritating having someone/ something relying on you. I wonder if this is your cat and if you made the conscious choice of having a pet in the house. if the answer is yes but you still feel a bit overwhelming having to continuously take care of them, I would take this as a new experience where you can feel what raising someone feels like. If the answer is no, I wonder why it is your role taking care of the cat. Tell me a bit more about your anger; what triggers it, what makes it peak, how do you usually control it, what coping mechanisms do you use? As it happens to you, sometimes we vent or let our emotions out with who we feel closest too, perhaps this can be your family. Can it also be that you are trying to seek their attention somehow and show them your frustration and how overwhelmed you are feeling? Coping mechanisms and defense mechanisms can be helpful, but my recommendation would be to find one that is traditionally appropriate. I would try to rely on exercise, walking outside, eating/ sleeping enough hours, and doing whatever makes you feel good. Another coping mechanism that may help can be getting into yoga/ meditation/ mindfulness/ and visualizing a positive experience (try to think about something that makes you relax and imagine that until it becomes real). Another exercise that may be helpful can be counting from 100 to 0 until you feel calm; again, it is okay to feel angry just try to let it out in an appropriate way. Lastly, of course, therapy :) talking through things, learning about coping mechanisms and decompressing can be helpful. I encourage you to give therapy a try, see what it feels like and perhaps your issues will be solved faster than you think. I am sure that by getting the appropriate techniques and using some breathing methods you will reach what you want to reach. I am available for any follow ups! good luck!
Answered on 11/09/2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do I stop letting my emotions go uncontrolled?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have huge anger issues. I was wondering what would be some exercises I can do to help me out

Dear Coco  I'm happy to hear you are ready to make a change and work on feeling less angry. Being angry takes a lot of our energy and time, so learning how to manage or eliminate it means you get more time to enjoy life and the experiences life has to give us.  Anger is what I call a surface level emotion, meaning that it is bubbling at the top but it is not the actual emotion. Emotions that lie beneath anger are usually more vulnerable -- sadness, anxiety, fear, hurt, embarrassment, worry. If you think about some recent times that you have been angry, I would encourage you to try and identify what other (more vulnerable) emotions you are feeling. Anger is never felt by itself. And when people come to me saying they have an anger problem, I usually ask "So tell me why are you so sad". This often confuses people but I then explain what I wrote above - that anger is really about feeling vulnerable and not wanting to show that. Getting to the root cause of the anger is important to then we know how to fix it. Imagine if you had mouth ulcers all the time. You could apply a numbing gel and a mouth rinse. You could research medicines. But those are just masking the pain of the ulcer. Wouldn't you want to know what was causing them in the first place? If you found out you were allergic to dairy and that was causing the ulcers, now you can avoid dairy and no longer need to deal with the ulcers at all. This is a lot like working with anger. I can teach someone coping skills, breathing techniques and impulse control - but that just masks the anger and doesn't help us determine where the actual problem is.  It would be important for you to explore your childhood as to what true emotions you are feeling. Where did you learn how to express anger? Who expressed anger in unhealthy/healthy ways around you growing up? What has your anger gotten you in life? Exploring this further and identifying the true emotion, gets you closer to relieving the symptom (i.e. anger).  Many people feel anger as a result of feeling out of control or powerless. Anger is a mechanism to help us feel more powerful and more in control. Were there times you didn't have control over your circumstances? Or a time where you felt powerless? Working through these feelings will get you the best chance at managing your anger.  Hopefully this gives you a new look at anger and where it stems from. We so often want to learn coping skills to deal with the anger in the moment, but really, that's just the bandaid. Get to the root of the problem! Best of luck!
Answered on 05/18/2022