There are days when I just find myself angry for no apparent reason (or because of insignificant things). They can be really tough to navigate. Especially when I put so much effort into understanding the why and hows. Today I’ll take a look at how my anger manifests and what I do to help alleviate the frustration. I should mention that today is one of those days. I’m hoping that by writing this, I can make some sense of things, or at the very least distract myself from my frustration.
So how does my anger manifest itself? There are a number of ways, depending on the cause of the frustration. Two specific types of manifestation that tend to appear. There is the urge to hit myself repeatedly or cause damage to household items. This can reach a point where not doing so causes me physical and mental distress (right now, for example, my body is tense, and I feel a pain in my neck because I am not letting my body do what it wants to do). The second is more insidious. It manifests as a quiet voice in my head, constantly reminding me of all the things I’ve failed to do, or repeatedly telling me that I have no place in this world. The act of not paying attention to the voice drains me in ways that I can’t even begin to explain. For those who are concerned, I should explain that while I do have negative and even suicidal thoughts at times, I don’t act on them. At least not since I quit drinking.
I have noticed that in many cases, the anger develops because of something that is out of my control. A delayed parcel, a timeframe for a repair that is half the day, items being out of stock at the local supermarket. That said, there are also cases when I am directly the cause. Not doing the dishes, feeling tired because I’m trying to keep it all in, losing interest in things that were always my comfort things. At least with the latter, I have some ideas of how to manage these things. The problem comes when it is something that I have no control over.
While my reactions to things out of my control may seem extreme, being in control is important. I don’t have a schedule set in stone, but things like deliveries and repairs do give me something to plan around. When they don’t go as expected, it throws me out and causes me distress, and in turn anger. I can hear some of you yelling at the screen, “Ciaran, it’s out of your control. Take a moment to breath and relax.” It isn’t that simple. If it were, I wouldn’t find myself writing this. The main reason for this is that I try to find logical reasons for things. In cases where I am able to control the issues (even though they have gone wrong), this means I will spend ages going over past mistakes and trying without success to figure out how I could have done things better. When the issue is not one I control, I find myself looking at how it could be better handled (the best example is with a delivery that I am no longer able to track as it’s been handed to another courier). Both methods are not really that great. They both involve hyperfocusing on problems or things that aren’t within my power to change, and tend to leave me more frustrated than before.
My current approach to managing things like this is to either go to bed (sometimes it’s not an option to remain awake after the physical drain on my body) or try to distract myself with games. Not ideal approaches, but they are tried and tested. Do you have any coping methods that you use when you find your anger getting the best of you? Leave them in the comments below.