(Taken from Therapistaid.com, 2012)
Recognize your Anger Early: If you’re yelling, it’s probably too late. Learn the warning signs that you’re getting angry so you can change the situation quickly. Some common signs are feeling hot, raising voices, balling of fists, shaking, and arguing.
Take a Timeout: Temporarily leave the situation that is making you angry. If other people are involved, explain to them that you need a few minutes alone to calm down. Problems usually aren’t solved when one or more people are angry.
Deep Breathing: Take a minute to just breathe. Count your breaths: four seconds inhaling, four seconds holding your breath, and four seconds exhaling. Really keep track of time, or you might cheat yourself! The counting helps take your mind off the situation as well.
Exercise: Exercise serves as an emotional release. Chemicals released in your brain during the course of exercise create a sense of relaxation and happiness.
Express your Anger: Once you’ve calmed down, express your frustration. Try to be assertive, but not confrontational. Expressing your anger will help avoid the same problems in the future.
Think of the Consequences: What will be the outcome of your next anger-fueled action? Will arguing convince the other person that you’re right? Will you be happier after the fight?
Visualization: Imagine a relaxing experience. What do you see, smell, hear, feel, and taste? Maybe you’re on a beach with sand between your toes and waves crashing in the distance. Spend a few minutes imagining every detail of your relaxing scene.
My 7 and 5 year old boys, just began school after an unprecedented year following covid and the pandemic. Days before starting, they were in tears at times, anxious and worried saying, "I just want to be at home with mommy and daddy and play with my toys."
Change and transition is hard for all of us, especially after such a challenging year coupled with the uncertainties that lay ahead. But one thing that I've noticed in my boys is what I can remind myself of during hard times, resilience.
It's amazing that my boys are learning to express their feelings whether good or bad, that they can still choose to take one step ahead although there is fear. They do go through their tantrums and over-exaggerations, but like all of us, they're simply trying to manage and cope with their stressors and worries. As I try my best to support them and remind them that mommy and daddy are there for them, I think they're reminded that they're not alone. And it is that added strength that moves them to gravitate towards the uncertainties of who the other kids will be in their class, or what they'll eat for lunch, or if their teacher will be nice. And soon, after a few days of adjusting to change and testing the waters, they're doing it, they are building resilience.
Seeing my boys encourages me to see the challenges that confront me each day as an opportunity to build resilience. They remind me to be vulnerable to admit my struggles and express how I'm feeling. They remind me to seek out support when needed. Most of all, they remind me to simply take things one day at a time.
There is so much research you can do on the topic of depression. As a mental health professional, I wanted to just highlight a few things in case you are needing help navigating depression for yourself or a loved one.
1) Depression isn't just a biological issue--sure there are scenarios where your chemical imbalances can play a role in effecting mood but often doctors will be quick to mention this as a way to encourage the use of anti-depressants. But unfortunately, there is no magic pill in treating depression. I have recommended certain clients in the past to look into the use of anti-depressants but ONLY when their daily functioning is severely impacted by their mood.
2) The social and cultural factors that impact one's mood is a core reason many suffer with depression. This can be multifaceted but there are many contributing factors such as childhood upbringing, narratives and beliefs we come to believe about ourselves, etc that need to be resolved in order to help one's symptoms of depression to be relieved. This is where counseling plays a significant role in helping.
3) By nature, we are created to be individuals with purpose and hope. Someone who is struggling with depression often suffers with having a lack of purpose and hope--that is not to say that this is a weakness on their part. But through counseling, one can navigate why/how they have arrived at the point they are at today.
Book a free consult today for yourself or a loved one to get started in receiving the help needed.
Simone Biles has had tremendous success in her gymnastics career, known as being the most decorated American gymnast in history. In 2021, she is becoming known for her bravery and courage outside of the sport by prioritizing her own mental health. As a result, she is making world-wide impact on continuing the journey of breaking down the stigma of mental health care.
-using the word "but" as it can invalidate a sincere apology. (I'm sorry that I...but")
-using the word "if" as it can suggest that a hurt never happened. (I'm sorry if you felt hurt...)
-justifications and explanations as it can muddy up an apology and cause confusion.
-generalizing with vague wording as it can sidestep taking responsibility.
-first listen to the person's hurt and understand it from their perspective. Repeating is a great way to communicate that you understand and can also clear up any misunderstandings. (I heard you say....)
-own up to your wrong doing and assume responsibility.
-be specific in your apology for the action and words that offended the other person.
-make proactive attempts to rectify a conflict if you are in a position to do so by "making up" for the wrong doing.
Having two boys is exhausting! Not only do they have bounds of energy which make it difficult to keep up with, I've noticed that they don't always do what I ask them to do. No surprise there, yet it often catches me by surprise as if they are ALWAYS supposed to be nicely kept, obedient boys. Of course discipline and boundaries are an essential part of parenting, but what doesn't need to be mixed within, is frustration, anger and anxiety.
Operating from a place of calm is often the hardest challenges I face as a parent. I realize that I can often be bound up by my own anxieties and frustrations, which can easily spill into the way I parent. That results in control issues, yelling more than I should, and tearing down with my words as oppose to building up in correction.
Recalibration is something I always have to do--and for me, my faiths acts as that recalibration for me as it allows me to see myself and my kids in a way that allows me to be the best parent I can be.
Simply put, gaslighting is a technique that someone uses that can make you question your perception of reality. It is a form of psychological abuse whether the person intends to do this consciously or unconsciously. As a result, you can leave a conversation second guessing yourself and how you feel. They may say things like, "you're so insensitive," or "it's not that big of a deal," or "how could you think such a thing."
If you have experienced being gaslit, remember that you're not being too sensitive, and that more than likely you've just not felt seen, heard or understood. Remind yourself that you're not overreacting but that more than likely you've been triggered by a wound or a past trauma.
Thank you doesn't suffice but what else can we say as we recognize the tremendous sacrifice made to those who serve our country. If you are a veteran or family member of a veteran, please check out Recovery Resource Council at https://recoverycouncil.org/. They provide fantastic help at no cost to Veterans and they have counselors who are highly trained.
When a dam is breached, there's nothing that can hold back the water. Conflict can resemble a breached dam as tension can escalate rather quickly. Learn personal triggers and communicate to your partner to take a pause before things get out of reach.
What we need is for someone to listen to us, to hear us, and to make us feel that we are understood. And before anyone is willing to allow you to speak into their life, if they don't feel you "get them," all your words will fall to the waist-side. The most effective thing that you can do to help someone who is going through something difficult is to love them. Love is not just to prescribe something, or to tell them what they need to do and not to do, it is simply to be present. It is to have listening ears and a sympathetic heart. Next time, instead of making a statement, ask a question. Because how can you love someone if you don't first know or understand them? Ask questions because that is one tangible way that people can feel loved.