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Taking Control of Irritability & Anger

We all get irritable from time to time.  We can’t always be in control.  It’s only natural when something doesn’t go our way, we feel rejected, critiqued, or judged.  Feeling irritable can also be a sign of depression, and may also commonly occur in anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and when withdrawing from substances

Accepting that we all can and do get frustrated, and acknowledging that this will happen from time to time is a good first step towards managing your anger.  In addition, self-awareness is key towards behavior change.  Do you notice when you’re feeling irritable?  What kinds of signs (e.g., physical, emotional cognitive) do you recognize?  What are the consequences if you continued feeling angry?

How we interpret situations can shape our irritability and anger.  Often taking a moment, and thinking through the “self-talk” that we experience can change our perspective.  For example, rather than turning immediately towards frustration following a negative event, see if you can identify the evidence to support and refute your belief?  When we analyze our world based upon the facts, it’s more likely that we change our initial belief into one that is more balanced and less critical and judgmental.

Additional Tips:

  1.  Take some deep breaths
  2.  Know that irritability and anger is common
  3.  Distract yourself
  4.  Talk to someone
  5.  Listen to music
  6.  Say an affirmation
  7.  Engage in physical activity
  8.  Journal about your experience
  9.  Think about how you’ve previously managed your frustration
  10.  When ready, return to the situation and express how you feel