Man…. if I could tell you about every time I let my anger get the best of me you would not believe I was the same person writing this post. My teenage years and early 20s were as if I had a tiny fuse that would explode for the smallest reasons.
I was ridiculous and childish when it came to anger. Looking back is painfully embarrassing. While I know and understand I was reacting out of learned behaviors, childhood trauma, and my own perceptions of the world at the time, it is still hard to look back and remember the ticking time bomb younger me.
Remember in movies, the ones with the quiet person who when provoked was like a hurricane of destruction, disrupting everything in their path? Yeah… that would be one way to describe my teens and early 20s. Especially, when I would let my anger build and then explode. Then I would self-harm to relieve the guilt, which then would turn into depression. A cycle of self-destruction I did for years.
Why admit this to the internet world? One so people who may experience similar reactions can learn better tactics, two for those too afraid to admit their anger is out of control, three so people who have anger-related problems see that with time and patience they can overcome emotional triggers and react to anger in a better way.
I’ll gladly embarrass myself and put myself on a chopping block if it can get others to see they do not have to be stuck in a disruptive pattern.
After all, the best therapist I ever had was one who had experienced similar childhood trauma and did similar things to cope. She showed me people with a rough upbringing can have hope and give hope to others. That is why I don’t mind using my blog as an open diary to help others.
Anger is a normal part of life, it’s how one reacts to the feeling of anger, that is when it becomes questionable. Some people punch pillows, paint, exercise, ride through the emotions, etc… While others who are more on the extreme react by yelling, being disruptive, breaking things, name-calling, becoming violent, etc…
All behavior is learned. Behavior is just a pattern that you learn by watching others react to certain things, the things you were exposed to, your own perceptions, and your understanding of the world.
If you grew up in a home where the reaction to anger was yelling you may be more prone to yelling at others when angered or being quiet and letting people walk over you, not wanting to disrupt the peace.
There are people who recognize the negative impact of their environment and develop coping skills that are beneficial to them, that’s what we want to do. Turn the anger into something that can help us, not hinder us.
It’s easy to give in to anger, especially as a teen or young adult. I personally believe that is why there are so many domestic violence cases. It baffles me when I hear people say things like, “you would think children would learn to express emotions in a healthy manner in a loving home…” or “they should know better…” which is unrealistic in today’s world.
Usually, both parents work, or a single parent is raising a child, there are millions of broken homes with drugs, violence, abuse, etc… So children learn the best they know how to, and that is by watching those around them.
Those children grow up to be adults… More times than not they are usually very heartbroken and lost, trying to cope with life by doing what they’ve done their entire life. Then they have children and the cycle either continues or is broken.
Or their home life was fine but the crowd they got involved with was disruptive and reacted to anger with violence. Either way, it is unrealistic to look at the world and think “shouldn’t they have learned better growing up?” How can one learn better if that is what they are taught or learned? They cannot. They have to get to a point of self-realization where they see their behavior as disruptive and not helping them.
The Starting Point
I learned through self-realization after having my son, that if I did not want him displaying my negative actions then I had to do something to change. While my anger was a lot better than it was as a teen, I still had a lot of work ahead of me to gain better control over my reaction to the feeling of anger.
I started by doing self-help workbooks. Therapy costs an arm and a leg, so I did what I could afford. Workbooks and self-determination were my starting points.
I wanted to write a short review of a workbook that helped me gain better clarity and control over my own anger outbursts. I will go ahead and say, this workbook is Christian based, and while I do believe there is a source of creation, God, I’m not too keen on religion. However, this anger workbook had many great points, coping skills, and different perspectives to learn from.
This workbook is called The Anger Workbook an Interactive Guide to Anger Management by Les Carter, Ph.D., and Frank Minirth, M.D. As mentioned above, it is a Christain-based workbook. It does not mention this when buying the book, which is why I am letting you know.
Here are some of the things that have personally benefited me from doing this workbook:
- Seeing the different types of anger reactions
- Expanding my knowledge on the subject of anger helped me come to my own conclusions and build better coping skills.
- The realization many people go through anger outbursts, seek help to better themselves, and live fine productive lives, even with anger. They just learn how to channel their energy better.
- I was able to see my own disruptive reactions to anger and where they stemmed from, giving me the opportunity to start healing from the root of the problem.
Personally, I’m glad I spent the $12 on this book. The received value was a lot greater than the money I spent. It was a bit uncomfortable to get past many of the Christian-based lessons, but it did have great points. If you are a Christian this workbook is highly recommended, if not then it’s best to find another workbook or try to widen your perspective if you do indeed buy this book.
Please understand, that I believe no two people perceive God in the same way, even if they do follow the same religion. I am someone who accepts all religious and nonreligious views of the world.
I have my own beliefs just like you and every other person out there, whether taught or self-realized. I will not force my beliefs on someone, and I ask respectively not to force yours in the comment section, as religion is a very touchy subject.
Everyone is different and everyone will receive different messages with anything they do in life, including this workbook. For some people this workbook may help them overcome many areas in their life, for others, it could cause them to become even more frustrated.
Everyone is different. However, I do know if you keep going forward and keep working on your inner self you will find what you need to have a breakthrough. You just have to keep moving forward and trying to better the areas you, yourself (not others) dislike.
You are the narrator of your life, grab the pen, and start writing your own story. Overcome challenges, grow through life lessons, and if you want to help others to achieve the same, then give it all you got.
Life is hard, it downright SUCKS sometimes, but I promise you do have what it takes to overcome anything life throws your way, you just have to believe it and work towards the life you want, even when it’s hard.
I am not sponsored or affiliated with this workbook. I am just giving a recommendation for a workbook that helped me with getting through my own anger outbursts, in hopes of helping others who are looking for recommendations.
If you enjoyed this post I have a post where I wrote about breaking down anger and overcoming outrages.