Five Ways to Write About Your Anger

Five Ways to Write About Your Anger

By: Lael Johnson

Most people have mixed feelings about feeling and expressing anger. Various influences suggest everything from practicing extreme self-control, holding it all in (end result: stoicism) to showing no boundaries about sharing anger at all(end result: anarchy). Finding the middle ground is the place where you can communicate feelings and the facts of a given situation, without hurting or blaming the other party, and vice versa. When this first scenario occurs, you are creating more space for positive communication changes to occur. When communication is less than ideal, continuing to express anger in old ways will reinforce old habits., aggravating an already difficult situation.

I’m recommending the following journal exercises to assist you in finding more positive ways to express your anger, and become a better communicator. When I have shared my feelings, and the other party has been receptive, I’ve been surprised at how calm I became, compared to how uncomfortable, I felt prior to sharing my feelings. I also have had some situations where I either didn’t receive a response or the other party remained silent. What is most important in any situation, is that I reached out and began the process.

Here is your exercise list:

ANGER SCRIBBLE:
When you have a strong reaction to a situation, start to pray and write about it. Remember to include a detailed description of your strong feelings including the facts of the situation. Remember to use as much space on a page as you can when you scribble. After filling a page, choose one scribble, and start drawing a specific shape over your scribble. Continue to scribble over the shape until you are finished. (e.g. You may feel tired or relieved. Your words may slow down or you may run out of time to write.) When you notice any of these reactions, it’s time to stop writing. Wait a few minutes for everything to settle, then move to the next exercise. (Note: You may substitute any ritual here if praying isn’t a good fit for you.)

UNSENT LETTERS:
This exercise is an effective way to communicate feelings and information to yourself or to someone else. You can write unsent letters, when it might otherwise be hurtful to speak directly to the other party(ies) You can also write unsent letters on any topic (positive or negative). Unsent letters also provide a great place to practice your lines. Whether you write a series of unsent letters or one letter, your feelings will become less intense. Then you can prepare to have a calm conversation with the other party. You can write as many unsent letters as you want. When you write your unsent letters, you give yourself permission to feel the intense emotions that surface around a specific event. At some point either during, immediately or after you’ve written your letter, you will gain clarity about your part in the situation. You will also learn to evaluate your responsibility as well as the other party’s responsibility in the same situation. When you are calm again, you will be more prepared to make changes, including asking for a more specific communication change from the other party. You can continue to follow-up your unsent letters with prayers of blessing for the other party. As you continue to bless the other party, room is made for positive changes to happen in yourself and the other party. When you write an unsent letter, it demonstrates your courage and willingness, to make serious changes in a difficult situation.

WRITING A DIALOGUE:
Writing an imagined or real conversation you had with the other party, can help let out some of your anger. It’s useful to put words or images to your feelings. Start your dialogue with two voices, the letter “A” (for your voice) and “B” (for the other person’s voice). Be sure to allow both voices time to speak.

Don’t worry about writing a perfect dialogue. Use as much detail as you can. Your descriptive skills will improve with each unsent letter that you write. For example, if I feel my anger burning like fire, then I would want to say “I’m burning up over this situation.” If I am feeling a sense of resentment (something deep, quiet and very intense, that never quite goes away, then I might say, “I’m really frustrated about _______ now, can we talk about it for a few minutes?” Remember that no intense feeling is worth ignoring. It’s much better to express your feelings a few at a time, than to pay the price of those same feelings causing problems for you in the future.

“I AM FEELING” STATEMENTS:
Writing sentences that begin with “I am feeling .” is a good way to verbalize all of your feelings about a difficult situation. I want to remind you that may express other feelings along with your anger. When you start your journaling, focus on your anger first, then write about your other feelings. I suggest that you write a minimum of ten feeling statements. Put the list away. Move on to the next exercise.

DRAW A PICTURE:
Draw several pictures of your anger. All types of drawing are allowed. Remember what I said about “My anger is burning.” Write a visual image of your anger. I want you to use as many senses in your picture as you can. (Note: you may also use this exercise to visualize other strong feelings)

COMBINE WORDS AND PICTURES:
Now look at your list of “I am” sentences. Match as many of your picture(s) with your “I am feeling.” sentences as you can. (For example: I am feeling angry about.put a picture of a fire next to the written statement. When you are finished, circle one or two combinations that best describe your current feelings. Be sure to write a summary sentence about your two choices.

STARTING CLOSURE:
Let’s stop and review the work you’ve already done. You have written an initial unsent letter about your ang
er. You’ve explored some of your feelings in detail. You’ve summarized your feelings using a combination of drawing and writing. Now write one action you could have taken to keep the earlier situation from accelerating. Write another sentence describing one action that the other party could have taken. Write down one positive action you are willing to take to change your anger expression now, remember to include a specific completion time and date. If you pray, start praying for good to come to the other party. I would recommend that you pray for at least a few times a week working up to praying daily for a month or until your strong negative feelings disappear.

Take your time working through these exercises. If you find yourself, unable to move on to the next exercise. Then write a short paragraph why you don’t want to move on. Take a break and start the new exercise the next day. Look forward to celebrating your freedom from past buried feelings.

Author Bio
Lael Johnson, owner of Writer’s Eye Advisory Service, offers creativity coaching services and additional writing resources. Visit www.writerseye.com for more information.

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Dealing With Aggression

Dealing With Aggression

By: David Ferruolo

Sometimes life can be very confusing. We strive to walk a spiritual path, being accepting and forgiving. We smile and send blessings unselfishly to all that cross our path. We meditate and pray, but how do we deal with negative people when their wrath is directed at us?

We are all still human, and we have feelings, and yes, egos. When aggressive, angry people confront us, it is sometimes hard to keep that ego in check. Dealing with someone who is acting out of fear and insecurity can also be very tough. How do we gently thwart an abusive aggressor and still hold true to our beliefs and spirituality? It is a hard road, but I can offer some basic suggestion, which have helped my tremendously over the years.

Let spirit guide you.
Always trust your higher self to guide you to the correct course of action. Listen to your inner voice and discern what your emotions are telling you. Separate ego thoughts of retaliation and defense from those loving, caring emotions of your soul. Remember the ego will always defend by attacking or withdrawing, so we must know and curb our ego and settle into our spiritual higher selves. When we think and act out of love, we will always pick the correct actions.

Try to See and agree with their point.
We sometimes can understand the motives behind peoples actions if we give thought to their situation. Remember there is no right or wrong, there is only different points of view and opinion. So seek to see the other side of the disagreement. If you know the abuse towards you is unwarranted, and you cannot see the truth or motivation behind the situation, just calmly listen to what they have to say. You don’t have to agree with them, but do strive to know why they are acting the way they are. Listen intently to what they are saying. You can rebut with something like; “I understand that you are felling a certain way, and that I perhaps did something to provoke these feeling, but I did not intend to cause this situation. That was not my intention and I apologize. I hope that you feel better soon, and if there is something I can do to help, please let me know” Simple as that.

Let them speak, and be truly interested in what they say.
The ego is a simple thing to understand. Give it your undivided attention, and it is happy. If you are sincere when listening to others, it satisfies the basic need of attention and they will be less aggressive (most of the time, anyway). Like I said before, sometimes people just want to be heard and noticed. So listen and let them know you see them and are truly interested in their plight, even if the problem is with you. When responding, always use their name in the sentence. This makes them feel important, and may lessen their anger even more. Responses like. “Lisa, I understand what you are saying.” Or maybe; “I can see where you are coming from, Lisa.” And remember eye contact! Nothing says you are interested in what someone says more than direct eye contact.

Accept responsibility for your actions.
If you actually did do something to create the problem, and the complaint is legitimate, take responsibility for your actions. Apologize. Offer reciprocity or ask them if you can do anything to make them feel better. Most of the time, people just want to be heard and apologized to.

Do not accept their gift of anger-keep your cool.
One of my favorite Buddha stories goes like this: One day a disciple came to the Enlightened One. This student was angry and confronted the Buddha. The Buddha sat quietly in meditation while his student raved on. Finally, the student asked the Buddha if he could hear him and way was he not reacting with anger? The Buddha opened his eyes and politely said; “If I do not accept your gift of anger, does it not still make it your own?” By keeping your cool and acting calmly during an angry confrontation, you will not give fuel to the fire. It takes two to tango, so if you do not armor up, the potential confrontation is merely one person venting. When in this situation, remember the other points in this article.

Defuse their anger…
By apologizing and letting them know that you understand that your actions led them to this stress. If someone is about to push you, you can either back away or confront their advances. Confronting their advances only deepens the well of discord and creates a fight, but by intelligently backing off, their aggression is immediately defused. By removing the motivation for their advance, you can defuse the situation before it gets out of hand. When you feel your anger rising in defense of your ego, immediately take a deep breath and find your center. Know that the anger and negativity within your attacker is only a reflection of what is inside of them, and not inside you. You are not the negative things this person says about you. This only makes your abuser a person that needs to be negative out of insecurity and inner fears. Forgive them, for they know not what they do or how to act in accordance with universal law.

Knowledge is power.
Know they really feel they have a reason for their negativity and aggression, but they do not know how to maturely convey the message to you. Thank them for letting you know how they feel. Let them know you appreciate them having the courage to let this matter out. Respond accordingly, but always reply out of love and respect and not retaliation, protection and fear.

The things people say may hurt our feeling, but as spiritual beings we can choose our actions to these negative situations and let it go. Your ego may want to let the person know they hurt you, but this is not the time. After the situation has been defused, you will have the chance at a later date to speak your truth. If the person is someone you whish not to speak with, a letter written from a place of love a
nd compassion is a great tool to honor what you believe.

As we walk a spiritual path, we are not immuned from the negativity of the world, but we can choose to act in accordance with spiritual law. We will always be uplifted when we choose the right action and not retaliate in defense of our egos. The Bible says the meek will inherit the earth. A Course in Miracles expands that thought by saying that the meek will take over the earth with their passive inner strength. So remember these words and the above suggestions the next time you are confronted with aggression and anger. Be passive-take the high road, and let your spirit and inner strength rule the situation.

Author Bio
Dave Ferruolo is the Author of “Connecting with the Bliss of Life: Powerful Lessons for Living a Peaceful and Happy Life.” He is a former Navy SEAL an inspirational and motivational speaker, success coach, consultant and spiritual counselor. www.daveferruolo.com

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The Fallout From Mental Health Stigma

The Fallout From Mental Health Stigma

By: Sonia Devine

What is Stigma?

Stigma is the use of stereotypes and labels when describing someone, and it is often attached to people who suffer from mental health issues. We don’t fully understand how the brain works yet, but one thing we DO know is that it is an organ. Yet our society doesn’t readily accept brain disorders the way we accept other organ disorders. Why is this so?

Stigma is a harsh reality for people who have mental health problems, because it prevents them from enjoying a normal and productive life. So many people today feel uncomfortable about mental health issues, despite the fact that there is growing evidence that more and more people are developing these problems. In fact, many people are so uncomfortable with the stigma that they would rather suffer in silence than get help they need.

Here are a few of the most common misconceptions about mental health problems:

  • Mentally ill people have a weak character
  • Mentally ill people are potentially dangerous.
  • People with mental illness should just “snap out of it”
  • Mentally ill people are violent

The media has only further fuelled our distorted beliefs about mental health issues. Frequently, characters on television and in the movies that have a mental illness are depicted as dangerous, unpredictable and violent.

What Are the Effects of Stigma?

If you became ill you would go to a doctor. Once you got better, you would expect to get on with life as usual.
But it’s not that easy for people who suffer from mental illness. Often, they can suffer from persistent rejections and exclusions by ill-informed members of the community. Some people have been denied loans, health insurance and jobs because of their history of mental health issues. Consequently, these people lose their self confidence and may develop further anxiety or depression, on top of the issues they are already facing.

I witnessed this first hand many years ago, when my brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The majority of his friends deserted him; they weren’t able to comprehend or cope with his altered personality and erratic behaviour. Within months he went from being a popular, vivacious and outgoing young man to a shattered, isolated loner. Over the following months, I watched my brother sink deeper into debilitating depression, which ultimately became so unbearable that he took his own life.

What Can We Do?

All of us have times when we feel depressed, anxious or angry. We might even have a series of bad days, where we think that nothing will ever go right for us and the world is against us. For a mentally ill person, these feelings do not go away.

So the answer lies in education and understanding. If you know someone who seems very emotional, down or upset, then lead by example; show compassion and understanding, and encourage them to seek help. And if you’re suffering silently yourself, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone and that there is hope.

Author Bio

Sonia Devine is a qualified professional hypnotherapist and success coach with a caring and committed approach to healing, who lives in Melbourne, Australia. You can find more of her information on mental health, self image, love, relationships, phobias and much more on her website Manifest Your Success

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