Anger Antidotes: Tips to Tame Your Rage

Anger can feel overwhelming when it suddenly “erupts.” Here are some expert tips to tame your rage, get rid of regret, and prevent ruined relationships.

anger rage bipolar disorder triggers solutions managing

1 Set Boundaries.

This is a nuanced skill, according to Brock Schludecker, PsyD, of Columbus, Ohio. But it’s important for “protecting one’s time and space and autonomy in a way that doesn’t set oneself up to feel taken advantage of, exploited or used.” Each of which is a feeling that can trigger anger. Schludecker suggests tackling this skill and discussing the specifics with your therapist.

#2 Track Down Your Triggers.

An important step to tamping down on “anger attacks” is to identify the source. When you’re in a place that’s calm and private, take some time to reflect and record. Ask yourself questions like the following: What kinds of interactions consistently leave you angry? Are there “little things” that tend to build up until you feel like you’re about to lose your cool? If so, what are they? Does your anger crop up during certain moods or seasons or parts of your routine? and so on. Write down your answers so you can dig a little deeper.

#3 Get to the Roots of Your Rage.

After you’ve reflected and recorded your answers to the trigger-tracking questions, look for patterns within your responses. Are they associated with certain emotional states, such as feelings of rejection, criticism, or abandonment? Are they connected to, or limited to, certain mood episodes or times of year? Finding the roots of your triggers can help you reduce future regrets.

4 Find a Relaxation Guide.

Look for guided imagery programs on Spotify or YouTube that will help lower your heart rate and regulate breathing when feeling in a heightened state. “There are scripts you can follow that will say, ‘Tense this muscle first,’ or they’ll walk you through visualizing a forest or beach scene,’” says music therapist Meegan Hussain. “They help change that narrative in the mind from rumination and agitation—that negative space—into something positive.”

#5 Schedule Ways to De-Stress.

“Few of us have to do everything we think we have to do,” notes psychiatrist Ben Christenson, MD. He advises placing a higher priority on restorative activities like reading a book, going for a walk or watching a movie while balancing non-negotiable responsibilities.

#6 Put Your Feet Down.

Shaley Hoogendoorn, who co-hosts a vlog/podcast called “This is Bipolar,” tries to release her rage in a healthy way by taking off her shoes and socks—preferably outside—and focusing on the ground beneath her. “Sometimes I close my eyes and tell myself, ‘You’re safe. You’re grounded. There’s an emotion behind this, and it’s not going to last forever.’”

Be Proactive, Not Reactive.

After you’ve gotten to the roots of your anger response and found a way to de-stress, it’s important to become proactive rather than reactive, says Michael Pipich, LMFT, a psychotherapist in Denver and author of Owning Bipolar: How Patients and Families Can Take Control of Bipolar Disorder. He also suggests asking yourself these questions: What do I want to tell the people I care about so that they don’t trigger me? What would be the right thing for me to hear if they’re worried that I’m going into a manic episode? How can they be supportive of me—and how can I be supportive of them? “And then,” he says, “take the cooler moments, not the heated moments, to talk about these things with loved ones.”

From bipolar support groups forum. Jan support

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