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Anger and Depression:
7 Steps For Ditching Anger

The link between anger and depression is very strong and very real.  In fact, anger is one of the symptoms of depression.

Sounds incredibly unlikely, doesn't it? Yes, I thought so too until...

Some time ago, during a therapy session, I was asked a strange question: "Would  you say you're angry?"

My immediate thought was, Where the heck did you get your degree lady? Me, angry? I'm depressed and I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. There's no room for anger. 

I furrowed my eyebrows, pursed by lips and gave her a clipped, "No."


Anger and Depression:7 Steps For Ditching Anger
Anger and Depression:7 Steps For Ditching Anger

Image Credit: Pixabay


A few weeks passed, and it dawned on me.  Maybe I was angry from time to time.

Like when I beat myself up for having a panic attack.

Or when I fell into those deep pits of depression, and I found myself feeling angry at God for allowing me to suffer.

Or when I got angry at my family and friends for not understanding, or caring what I was going through.

Any of this sound familiar?   

How has anger and depression impacted your life & your relationships? Share your story and help other visitors battling anger and depression.

Click here to share your story!

I put together the pieces and sought out ways to break the link between anger and depression.

Here's what I found.

7 Steps For Ditching Anger

1. Admit to Anger

The first step is to admit that there's a problem in the first place.

Do you get ticked off over things that otherwise wouldn't bother you?

Or maybe you pick fights with those you love for no good reason.

2. Keep a record of angry moments

What triggers your anger? Identifying your triggers empowers you to develop ways to stop anger before it can escalate. 

3. Stop anger in its tracks

-When anger starts to bubble up, think loudly in your head STOP.

-If possible, get away from the thing/person that triggered your anger in the first place.

-Immediately use relaxation techniques like deep breathing and EFT.

-Slowly count to 50.

-Find a healthy distraction. Play your favorite song, go to a movie, read a good book, or chat with a trusted friend.

4. Take care of yourself

I found that I was more prone to anger when I neglected to take care of my mental well being. This included getting enough sleep, eating properly, and doing the things I enjoyed doing. 

Exercise is also an excellent way to melt stress because it floods the body with feel good chemicals.


5. Active listening

Miscommunication often leads to frustration and anger. The better you're able to communicate with someone, the lower the likelihood that things will escalate out of control.

One way of doing this is by improving active listening skills.  It's quite simple.

This short video tells you more about active listening.

From Mind Tools Youtube Channel



6. Laugh at the thing that made you angry

It's good to realize that laughter can diffuse negative thoughts and emotions. So find ways to laugh at the things that tick you off.  

How?

By catastrophizing the situation.

Now, catastrophizing is one thing I usually advise against.

After all, this is the very thing that feeds the flames of worry, anxiety, and depression.

But when it comes to anger, catastrophizing can actually help, if you do it right. 

See, the trick is to create a completely ridiculous scenario in your mind. Build it up so big that you end up laughing at the thing that made you angry in the first place.

Example: Say your partner, or best friend, didn't show up for an important event you've spent months planning.

You're irritated to the point of anger.

Now build up an over the top scenario in your mind. 

True Scenario: My so-called best friend Louise didn't show up to the event I've spent eight months planning. Heck, she didn't even call to tell me she couldn't make it!

I'm so mad, I could spit fire! 

Now wait.

Before you tell her off, take a breath. 

Maybe something like this happened.

Over-the-top scenario: Well, maybe the car she was driving got caught up in a tornado and she was transported to a time before cell phones were invented.

Then she got lost because the event site wasn't built yet.

Too bad I don't have a time machine.  I could bring her back to the present.  

See how incredibly fun this activity can be? 

Now you try. When something pushes your buttons, use this technique.      

Use your imagination.

Make the scenario big, make it hilarious, make it over the top absurd. Have a laugh.

7. Start resolving those emotional issues

One of the reasons for my anger was unresolved emotional issues.  Once I began chipping away at these issues, my anger and depression began to lessen.

Do you have any unresolved emotional issues?

It would help to speak with a trained professional who can help you identify and work through what's bothering you. 

Anger and Depression: Additional Resources

Controlling Anger Before it Controls You – By the American Psychological Association.  This post explores the origins of excessive anger, provides some tips on how to cope, and when to get help. 



I hope this article helps you on your journey towards better mental health.

Bright Skies Are Ahead,




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How Has Anger and Depression Impacted Your Life?

Anger and depression often go hand in hand.

Have there been times when you've lost your cool, only to feel guilt and even more depression afterward?

You're not alone!

So, how has anger and depression impacted your life, your relationships with the people you love, your work life?

Do you have any tips that will help others control anger in the face of depression?

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› Anger and Depression



Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!




Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!