Do you feel yourself easily shouting at someone who skipped you in a queue? Snapping at family members or your partner because they forgot to do something? Losing your temper more easily with your kids?
These are normal reactions for someone full of pent up frustration and anger due to the unbelievable times we’re living in. Facing a pandemic can cause everyone’s emotions to become heightened.
Maeghan Rice, a therapist based in Colorado, told Talkspace that “it’s certainly common to feel irritable when the environment around us shifts in such a dramatic way.” We also found ourselves being isolated from our external support network, having to handle the shift in work from physical to online or there are those who even lost their job. This disruption in our usual routine is the main cause of people feeling frustrated and angry. Most people tend not to do well with change and unpredictable times. Besides this, being stuck at home, doing the same thing every day can also easily cause irritation and anger.
Anger is a way for us to express our distress, and as well, our suffering. It is a vital emotion for survival as it allows others not to overstep our boundaries and allow us to fight for what we believe in. If people don’t experience anger, they would remain passive with no reason to fight for what they want. Anger can’t be ignored, but rather, we need to be open to expressing it in a controlled manner. If we don’t do this, we will end up feeling even tenser and frustrated which would cause our anger to eventually explode.
While feelings of anger are acceptable and we should allow ourselves to feel them, it is not the same for our actions. We are held accountable for all the actions that we take, and we need to bear the responsibilities of the results of those actions. That is why it is important to learn to manage our anger.
The following are ways you can manage your anger more effectively;
- Take a moment to pause in your hectic life and check in with yourself. Be aware of your thoughts, feelings and stress. Then, acknowledge those feelings as normal reactions to the stress you are facing.
- Check in with your loved ones. Sometimes the pandemic does make it difficult to meet our social support system but reach out to them through a text message or a phone call. By checking in, you can learn how they are managing their stress, while also providing each other with support. Making use of social connections is vital for both our physical and mental well-being.
- Talk to a therapist about what you’re feeling. Having a professional to talk to can also be a form of support. The therapist can help you find better ways to manage your anger and stress in a more effective way.
Anger can be a challenging emotion to manage, especially in the times we’re living in. Try any of the above suggested ways to help you cope with your feelings better!
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Mandy Brincat is a Gestalt psychotherapist who enjoys working therapeutically with adults on various issues, such as general mental health and wellbeing. She also has experience working with anxiety, stress, relationship problems, victims of domestic violence and eating disorders.
- Travis D. Westbrook, T. (2020). Why is COVID-19 making me so angry? Retrieved from https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/why-so-angry-covid
- Wiley, C. (2020). If You’re Feeling Irritable During the Pandemic, You’re Not Alone | Talkspace. Retrieved from https://www.talkspace.com/blog/coronavirus-irritable-irritability-pandemic-mental-health/