This is a pretty niche topic, and I’m not really sure how many people actually suffer from this, but I know I do.
When I get really anxious, my anger issues come out to play. Anything and everything annoys me, and I could rip the heads off my loved ones even though they didn’t necessarily do anything to me. A lot of the time this is triggered by crowds. If I am in a crowded grocery store and people are crowding me, I get angry. This isn’t just because I don’t want people around me, but because the crowded area triggers my social anxiety and that, in turn, comes out in anger.
If you struggle with impulsivity and make rash decisions, your anxiety may manifest as anger as well. Here’s some tips to bring yourself down when you find yourself balling your fists.
Take a deep breath
Obvious, yes. Effective? Absolutely. While this seems extremely straight forward, there is some magic in taking a nice deep breath. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Before jumping down someone’s throat or saying something you don’t mean, shut your eyes and take a deep breath. When you’re done you may have a clearer mind.
This is something that can be difficult to do in crowded spaces but if you are somewhere you can take a minute to do this exercise it can be totally worth it.
In your head, try to point out 5 things you see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. While this may seem stupid, it is amazing for bringing you back down to earth when you feel like your head is in the clouds. It works great for anxiety in general, but especially well for anxiety induced anger.
Feel it and move on
I am all about feeling your feelings. What I am not about, however, is dwelling on them. If you feel angry, feel angry. Then let it go. This can be difficult when you have anxiety because you can’t always just “let go” of anxiety. But it’s worth a try.
If you feel angry because people are crowding you in a grocery store or your significant other is chewing too loud, acknowledge that you are feeling this irrational emotional response, and remind yourself that it is anxiety playing tricks on you. Feel it, then move on.
Voice your concerns
Okay, I’m not talking about yelling at a manager or starting a fight with your significant other. I’m talking about letting your partner know they are chewing loudly and asking them to be more conscious of it. While this seems minor, it is a tip I need to put here because it’s actually something I struggle with. True story: I was eating dinner with my partner and he was chewing loudly. It started to annoy me because my anxiety was high that day. Instead of asking him to try to chew quieter or letting him know what was on my mind, I let it aggravate me more and more until I flew off the handle for something tiny later on in the night. Voicing your concerns right there and then can help you to avoid this problem later on.
Understand why this is happening
If you are angry because you had a bad day, or because a friend or significant other didn’t do something they promised to do, it’s a little different than feeling angry because of your mental illness. There are different ways to approach these situations because mental illness can’t always be fixed with a deep breath or walking away from the situation.
If you can tell that the reasoning behind your anger is related to an anxiety disorder or borderline personality disorder, bipolar, etc. It may be worth it to have a plan put in place so you don’t do anything you might regret in the future. Here is mine:
I have an issue with loving and then hating my partner. I struggle with impulsivity, making rash decisions, and my anger. When I can tell that it isn’t just something mundane upsetting me and it is, in fact, my mental illness coming out to say hello, and it is aimed at my partner, I do the following:
– Go to a room by myself (if you struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts, this may not work for you)
– take a deep breath
– remind myself of all the reasons I love my partner
– remind myself not to say anything I wouldn’t want to hear myself
– Remind myself that hurting him will not make me feel any better
– ground myself (5,4,3,2,1)
– Scream into a pillow, ball up my fists, stomp around, go for a walk (to release energy)
-Take AS MUCH time as I need, whether it’s 5 minutes, or an hour.
– Remember, it will pass in time.
**If your anger becomes too much and you cannot bring yourself down, seek professional help.**
I hope these easy tips helped you to cope with anxiety induced anger and as always,
Take care of yourself