HOW TO LET GO OF ANGER AND DEPRESSION
Why are you Angry, Mad or Sad?
I have not yet met a person who has never felt down, angry, frustrated, upset, or mad. We all feel negative emotions occasionally, but it does not mean that we are negative or bad people. This is what I call life and those emotions are part of our lives and who we are.
Do you ever think WHY you get angry or mad, and what or who causes those emotions?
I am sure you can think of a situation… a friend said some things that made you mad, you got disappointed when you could not close a deal, you got upset when your significant other did not act the way you wanted them to, or maybe you felt frustration when your boss made you feel unappreciated, etc. Any of these situations, if not addressed, can escalate your emotions beyond anger or sadness and that is just an easy way to depression.
Try remembering the details of that situation, and describe it for yourself the way you saw it and how it made you feel. Do not forget the essential part – the story you told yourself when you were feeling those emotions because this story is what makes you feel irritated, angry, mad, etc.
There is YOU, a SITUATION, and there is something in between these, your words and thoughts inside of you – the story that you constantly tell yourself in every situation. Is the story you tell yourself always true?
Let’s say you had an argument with your husband, and he did not share or support your opinion in front of your friends. I could bet that your reaction or thoughts might be: “oh, he does not support me” or “he does not love me”. Did it happen to you?
What if you asked yourself “is this really true what I am thinking”?
“Oh, he does not support me” – that is probably not true, I am sure he has supported you and probably really cared about what you had to say in the past.
“He does not love me” – It is very likely that he has told you and expressed in some other way that he loved you, and he has probably been there for you when you needed him in the past, so that is probably not true either.
Chances are that at least half of our negative emotions that come from automatic thoughts are not true, and all you need to do is analyze them from a slightly different angle. The conclusions we arrive at are usually based on emotions created by our thoughts, and they may not always reflect the reality, and just because you think something, it does not mean they’re true. In this example, it is likely that he may just disagree on a subject or have a different opinion.
So what to do about that?
Whenever you feel angry, sad, mad, or whatever other negative emotion, I want you to write down exactly what goes through your mind, write down every single thought no matter how stupid or silly may seem to you. This will show you the “story” you tell yourself.
Now see if what you’re thinking is really true (“Is this really true what I am thinking?”), question, challenge or event talk back to your thoughts (“Why am I thinking this way, is it helping me? Is there a possibility I might be wrong? Is there any other possible explanations? What would I do if it really were that bad?”). No, talking back to your thoughts will not make you a crazy person, you do it already anyways (and if you say no, you may not notice or don’t want to admit that 🙂 ).
All I am saying you can “train” your thoughts to be positive and hopeful or you can just allow them to be negative and upset you. If you’d like to change your thoughts and how you feel, read this article on how to feel good.
I strongly believe that most of our negativity comes from within. You may be telling yourself the wrong story, perceiving things differently or there is a possibility that your emotions are strongly influenced by your beliefs, how you view the world and especially how you view and feel about yourself. If you are insecure or lack self confidence, it is very likely that you will try to sabotage your image even more and will find reasons why someone would not treat you well.
Expectations are another big thing. The only person you have a control over is you, so why would you want to set your expectations so high that it is hard to meet them? Wouldn’t you be setting yourself for disappointment? You can hope for things, but once you set an expectation for another person, you’re headed towards the control of others and their behavior.
Always start with you. Once you’re honest with yourself, happy with who you are and accept yourself the way you are, the people and situations around us start influencing us and our emotions less and less.