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depression anger | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

 

Anger is a big part of depression. Unfortunately, depression anger often gets overlooked. After all, when you’re usually listless or don’t care about anything, people might welcome anger as you actually showing something other than depression. Or, people might mistake anger as irritability, anxiety, or fear and shrug it off.

Anger is a real part of depression

Depression anger can be described as the flight or fight response. Unfortunately, your body can’t separate itself from your mind. So the body reacts, while the brain shuts down. When your body flays in an attempt to fight depression, it may actually physically hit someone or something. When your body tries to flee the situation, it may self harm or engage in destructive behaviour.

If your loved one has depression anger, you probably feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time. But always remember that you’re not to blame for your loved one’s anger. There’s never an excuse for physical or verbal abuse. You have a right to be treated with respect and to live without fear of an angry outburst or a violent rage.

Five tips for dealing with depression anger

While you can’t control another person’s anger, you can control how you respond to it:

  1. Set clear boundaries about what you will and will not tolerate.
  2. Wait for a time when you are both calm to talk to your loved one about the anger problem. Don’t bring it up when either of you is already angry.
  3. Remove yourself from the situation if your loved one does not calm down.
  4. Consider counselling or therapy if you are having a hard time standing up for yourself.
  5. Put your safety first. If you feel unsafe or threatened in any way, get away from your loved one.

 

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cool your anger | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

How to cool your anger is a good question. Once you know how to recognize the warning signs that your temper is rising and learn to anticipate your triggers, you can deal with your anger before it spins out of control. There are many techniques that can help you cool down and keep your anger in check.

Tips to cool your anger

Focus on the physical sensations of anger. Its the first step to cool your anger. While it may seem counterintuitive, tuning into the way your body feels when you’re angry often lessens the emotional intensity of your anger. How does your stomach feel? Are muscles tense? Stretch or massage areas of tension. Roll your shoulders if you are tensing them, for example, or gently massage your neck and scalp.

Take some deep breaths. Deep, slow breathing helps counteract rising tension. The key is to breathe deeply from the abdomen. Get as much fresh air as possible into your lungs. Breathing can bring your thoughts back into the present moment, away from guilt, the past, or future anxieties. Pranic breathing can be used as a meditative tool. Use aromatherapy to enhance your breathing exercises. Lavender is great for calming one’s nerves.

Exercise. A brisk walk around the block is a good idea. It releases pent-up energy so you can approach the situation with a cooler head. Lift those weights or hit a punching bag. Jog. Anything that moves your muscles and limbers you up. After all, your body is in a fight or flight reaction. Physical activity is what your muscles are screaming for at the moment.

Use your senses. Take advantage of the relaxing power of your sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. You might try listening to music or picturing yourself in a favorite place. Burn incense. Light a candle and focus on the flame, settling the chaos of your mind by focusing on something (the flame) that is steady and unflinching.

Slowly count to ten. Focus on the counting to let your rational mind catch up with your feelings. If you still feel out of control by the time you reach ten, start counting again. Give yourself a reality check. When you start getting upset about something, take a moment to think about the situation. Ask yourself:

  • How important is it in the grand scheme of things?
  • Is it really worth getting angry about it?
  • Is it worth ruining the rest of my day?

Find healthier ways to express your anger. 

If you’ve decided that the situation is worth getting angry about and there’s something you can do to make it better, the key is to express your feelings in a healthy way. When communicated respectfully and channeled effectively, anger can be a tremendous source of energy and inspiration for change.

Pinpoint what you’re really angry about

Have you ever gotten into an argument over something silly? Big fights often happen over something small, like a dish left out or being ten minutes late. But there’s usually a bigger issue behind it. If you find your irritation and anger rapidly rising, ask yourself “What am I really angry about?” Identifying the real source of frustration will help you communicate your anger better, take constructive action, and work towards a resolution.

Take five if things get too heated. If your anger seems to be spiralling out of control, take five minutes for yourself to calm down. Remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes or for as long as it takes you to cool down. A brisk walk, a trip to the gym, or a few minutes listening to some music may let you calm down, release pent up emotion, and then approach the situation with a cooler head.

Always fight fair. 

It’s OK to be upset at someone, but if you don’t fight fair, the relationship will quickly break down. Fighting fair allows you to express your own needs while still respecting others. Maintaining and strengthening any relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint.

Focus on the present. Once you are in the heat of arguing, it’s easy to start throwing past grievances into the mix. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the present to solve the problem.

Choose your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. If you pick your battles rather than fighting over every little thing, others will take you more seriously when you are upset.

Be willing to forgive.

Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives.

Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.

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quotes-about-anger-management-therapy

If you have depression, you can add anger to your list of symptoms. Anger is a normal emotion to feel when you’re under stress or anxious. But the anger in depression is a more vague, self focused emotion. Your anger doesn’t always seem to have a reason. It just exists. How you deal with anger in depression is as important as how you deal with the sadness in depression.

Anger is a cover-up

Anger can be a cover-up for other emotions when you’re depressed. While sadness and anxiety are in your face emotions, there are other emotions lurking beneath the surface. Guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear, a sense of vulnerability and hurt. Your temper might be covering up these other emotions that are battling to be heard.

Instead of dealing with the issues that cause these emotions, your psyche may be protecting you from emotional overload by muting them and replacing them with anger. If you’ve faced trauma, anger is covering up an ocean of pain and issues that need individual attention and healing.

Be aware of your anger warnings and triggers

Your body tries to warn you before you explode in anger or rage. But depression keeps you unfocused, too tired, and overwhelmed so you won’t pay attention to any other emotion. If you’re a man, anger can help you seem masculine because the emotional explosion makes sure you won’t have to explain how you feel.

Pay attention to your body

Listen to your body:

  • knots in your stomach
  • clenching your hands or jaws
  • feeling clammy or flushed
  • breathing faster
  • headaches
  • pacing or needing to walk around
  • seeing ‘red’
  • trouble concentrating
  • tense shoulders

Depression doesn’t excuse anger, but understanding how depression affects you can help you take control of your environment and avoid unnecessary aggravation. Look at your regular routine and try to identify activities, times of day, people, places, or situations that trigger irritable or angry feelings. Maybe there’s a certain time of the day that seems to bother you. Maybe you get into a fight every time you go out for drinks with a certain group of friends. Or maybe the traffic on your daily commute drives you crazy. Then think about ways to avoid these triggers or view the situation differently so it doesn’t make your blood boil.

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embrace forgiveness | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

How to Forgive

We all experience love in one form or another. We all experience hurt and pain. It’s part of the human condition. For some, resentments are difficult to release. The tighter the hold, the harder it may be to let go.

When left over a period of time, a resentment can become a grudge. If negative feelings are left unresolved, they can lead to unhappiness, bitterness, and permanent unforgiveness. Research has shown that prolonged anger can have devastating effects on health and longevity.

Although you may feel justified in your anger, what can you do to stop feeling the pain and upset feelings that the hurt has caused? Not everything requires forgiveness. However, if the hurt is personal, profoundly deep, and seems unjust, the following ideas may help you begin to release your anger and bring back a sense of peace and joy.

1. Decide to Forgive Yourself

Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can at any given moment. It can be harder to forgive yourself than to forgive someone else. Try not to replay the “what-ifs.” Validate your feelings by acknowledging your anger and pain. Anger is a helpful emotion that signals to something is wrong and needs to be corrected.

When you are ready, make a conscious choice to release the anger and hurt and let go of the past. Be kind to yourself and set yourself free from hurt. Being able to forgive solves many problems.

2. Decide to Forgive Others

Everyone is imperfect and flawed. Everyone makes mistakes every day. Everyone is doing the best they can given their personal life history and the impact that history has had on them.

Make a conscious decision to let go of offensive words and behavior. Decide to not let what others do or say have power over you. Stand firm in your truth.

3. Redirect Your Thoughts

What we believe may become true for us. Thoughts are powerful, either positive or negative. Dwelling on past hurts only serves to reinjure ourselves.

Challenge your negative thoughts and reframe them in a positive and more balanced way. Bitterness can cloud your vision and alter your perspective. Be truthful to yourself and allow yourself to be aware of how you may have hurt others in similar ways.

4. Change Your Perspective

Allow yourself to see things from a more positive perspective. Try being able to see the person or situation in a new light. Look for things that the person is doing right rather than emphasizing their flaws.

5. Live in the Present

Realize that the past is in the past. You only have the present moment to live in. Focus on what is going well right now, and try not to allow negative thoughts about the past to creep into your consciousness.

Our existence provides us both positive and negative experiences. Life offers us numerous opportunities to be hurt and offended by others. It can be difficult to let go of the past, forgive ourselves, forgive others, and try to experience life differently. But the benefits of forgiveness far outweigh the benefits of unforgiveness. Working toward creating a happier, more peaceful existence through forgiveness is worth the price.

original article by Ellen Schrier

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