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.