In recovery, you will learn a lot of new coping skills and tools for a new way of life. During this time, you’ll learn a lot about how to deal with emotions and live a healthier, more satisfying life. This feeling, however, can seem toxic when you first get into recovery. After all, anger can be powerful, cause us to act in ways that aren’t rational, and even lead us to hurt others that we blame for our emotions. It’s important to learn to deal with anger early on.
Owning Your Anger
Many people, when angered, feel like another person causes their anger and it’s out of their control. Stinking thinking like this can cause you to act angrily towards others and harbor resentments if you blame your emotions solely on another person. Anger, after all, is your emotion, not theirs. And there is a lot more going on in your mind than what you believe you are angry about.
Another person is not responsible for taking control of your emotions or controlling you feelings, even if you feel hurt. In recovery, it’s up to you to sort through your feelings and prevent them from controlling your actions.
Why Are You So Angry, Anyway?
If you’re angry, it may be because you don’t like somebody else’s behavior, which makes sense, of course. If you’re cut off in traffic, feel ignored at work, or unappreciated at home, you’re probably unhappy about these events. But being angry about these things doesn’t change things, and acting out on your anger will make matters worse for yourself. After all, anger is a powerful emotion that can be a trigger to use.
When you get angry, try to identify what is at the core. You may not realize it, but anger is not a primary emotion. Instead, anger is a feeling that is a reaction to another feeling. A lot of anger is hurt, disappointment, or fear. And sometimes anger is something you direct at another person, but you’re angry with yourself.
Coping with Anger
When you’re angry, try to concentrate on the root (primary) emotion that caused your feelings. Allows yourself to feel that feeling and talk about it with your sponsor and share about it at 12-step meetings.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with anger, try one of the following techniques.
- Close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Do this again repeatedly, as you count back backward until you reach the number one.
- If you are in the middle of an argument, take a deep breath, and tell the person you are upset with, “I’m feeling a bit angry right now. Can we talk about this tonight, at 8 o’clock, when I’ve cooled down?” Make sure you keep this commitment.
- Go for a brief walk – 10 to 15 minutes long, and pay attention to the sights and sounds along the way.
- Take a lot bath or shower.
Getting high or drunk isn’t the answer to being angry. Recovery is a process, not a destination. A sober living situation can help you reclaim your life. We offer a variety of treatment programs for people who have specific individual needs. Please get in touch at 1-866-227-1437 to learn about how we can help.