Existential Psychology

On The Verge Of Exploding

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People who are trying to control their anger sometimes feel like powder kegs, like they’re always on the verging of exploding. They realize that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s relatively small frustrations that tip them over the edge, but this insight doesn’t help much in the moment against that steam pressure already built up to the point of bursting.

Actually for those working to rein in that volcanic anger, the surprise shouldn’t be that it breaks free so often but that they’re able to hold it in check for so long. And the idea to take away if you’re working on controlling your anger is that you can recognize and celebrate the successes rather than always harping on the failures, because there are lots of legitimate successes when you think about the tremendous effort it takes to keep that explosive anger under wraps.

Hone in on what is happening for you during the times where you’re able to keep your anger in check instead of letting it loose. What set of external variables are most conducive to your being able to control yourself? What self-soothing strategies usually get the best results and why? How do you feel directly after being able to keep your anger from bursting and is this feeling worth striving for more often?

When your anger does burst forth despite your best efforts use it as a learning tool. Are there certain people, situations, or topics that tend to set you off? How can you increase your immunity to these people, situations, and topics in the future? If you can stay positive by remembering to celebrate your successes while raising your insight about the circumstances surrounding your failures you’ll move yourself a step closer to an outcome you can be happy with.