During Thanksgiving we may become crowded into a room full of people we barely wish to see. Admit it, there are only one or two we really get along with. You might feel the anger bubbling away beneath the surface, but you try to deny it. So what to do with this anger? Overeating and drinking is not a great option. Try this -
First, target your anger. Don’t try and pretend you are not angry, don’t try and shake it. Really focus on it, and admit to yourself that you are angry. I am not advocating confrontation. You do not have to speak of the anger, you simply have to be aware of it, inside your own head and heart. If we try and distort it into something else, hidden anger can lead to unhelpful experiences such as passive-aggression, depression, and procrastination.
Once you are clear that you are angry, and why, identify any accompanying emotions. Usually you are not just angry, you are hurt or scared, or you feel there has been an injustice. Why are you hurt? Why are you scared? What injustice do you perceive?
To identify the accompany emotions often gets to the heart of the anger, and helps you to see what needs to change. You may need to do nothing, and simply acknowledging the anger, and the accompanying feeling, may lessen the intensity. Even if it does not go away entirely, you can at least experience a little relief from it to enjoy the holiday.
Hope this helps.
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Chris Warren-Dickins LPC , Licensed Professional Counselor in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Sessions are available in-person, or online