June 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm #89661
BillMemberJune 2, 2011 at 2:22 pmPost count: 227
Just wanted to pass on a trick that I was taught to deal with strong emotions. It works well when I’m boiling over “in the moment” and can get by myself for a minute.
I close my eyes and let myself feel how I’m feeling. It’s not relaxation exactly, just acknowledging that the feeling is there. Then I visualize it. I ask myself what colour it is, what shape, what size, what texture? Is it close or far away (usually very close)? Then I imagine draining all the colour out of it. I shrink it down to something tiny and throw it as far away as I can. Then I relax for a few seconds and open my eyes. At that point the feeling is still there intellectually (i.e. I know why I was mad / frustrated, etc.), but it no longer has any power over me and I can decide what to do in a cool, rational manner.REPORT ABUSEJune 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm #104611
all4tiggerParticipantJune 2, 2011 at 6:20 pmPost count: 3
I will have to try that… deep breathing sometimes works, but trying to learn a new job has been very… very frustrating… Thanks for your information!REPORT ABUSEJune 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm #104612
ZitaMemberJune 2, 2011 at 7:03 pmPost count: 27
I’ve learned through therapy to recognize the physical signs I get right before I get worked up. When I feel my face heat up and I start to sweat a little I know it’s time to take a time out. I just need a few minutes to calm down and collect my thoughts.
There’s also a breathing exercise I like to do to calm down, hold one of your nostrils closed and take a deep breath in through your nose, now before you breath take your finger off of the closed nostril and put it on the other one, then breath out. I find it clears my head a little, I’m able to look at the situation clear headed with out all the distorted thoughts.REPORT ABUSEJune 2, 2011 at 8:11 pm #104613
BibliophileMemberJune 2, 2011 at 8:11 pmPost count: 169
But what if your temper rises extremely quickly? Say in milliseconds from a state of calm to complete agitation. What do you do when there simply isn’t time to calm oneself down, count to 10, etc.? Part of being ADHD (combined type) is a lack of emotional regulation so how can you be in a calm enough state to talk yourself down once you get going?REPORT ABUSEJune 2, 2011 at 10:35 pm #104614
BillMemberJune 2, 2011 at 10:35 pmPost count: 227
Librarian_chef, are there any signs that your temper is about to rise? Do you know what tends to trigger your emotions?REPORT ABUSEJune 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm #104615
ZitaMemberJune 3, 2011 at 12:11 pmPost count: 27
If that’s the case librarian_chef remove your self from the situation, I know it’s hard to walk away when you just want to explode, or are in the middle of an explosion, but you’ll be glad you did!!REPORT ABUSEJune 3, 2011 at 12:16 pm #104616
ZitaMemberJune 3, 2011 at 12:16 pmPost count: 27
There are always physical signs that you are about to loose your temper, or that you are getting agitated, it’s just a matter of being able to recognize them, it took me years of therapy to learn how to identify them, but now that I can I’m able to remove my self from the situation, or at least warn the people (usually my husband and/or kids) that I’m about to loose it and they better settle down!! Or I’ll send them to their room, that works too.REPORT ABUSEJune 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm #104617
BibliophileMemberJune 3, 2011 at 12:36 pmPost count: 169
I really can’t see how someone with ADHD could manage their anger as you are suggesting. I am very emotionally impulsive and find it difficult to regulate emotional state.
I find that when a situation is not going as I had mapped it out in my head, any situation at all, I am very quick to anger. This includes waiting in lines, someone under performing, a deviation in an agenda, someone taking too long to speak, etc. My anxiety builds. My temper rises way too quickly for me to stop and say, “I am getting angry”, with essentially two states Agitated and extremely angry, with nothing in between. My anger though does not persist for very long as it spikes and returns to an agitated state in seconds. My need to know how things should be progressing stems from a coping strategy for managing my ADHD whereby I use preconceptions of activities to ensure that I map out how I will approach things in order to minimize wasted time.
For a good talk on ADHD and emotional regulation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cw8jHUkHiAREPORT ABUSEJune 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm #104618
AnonymousInactiveJune 3, 2011 at 1:03 pmPost count: 14413
I_C, I hear you man. I have had years when my ‘temper’ would fly ‘out of no where’ and I’d go off on a rant or a temper tantrum. It’s more of a habit or reaction learned over time then a decision made in the moment. The thing is you can relearn this. For me I had to start to notice when I wasn’t in a great mood. Then thinking about my attitude about the situation and my real reasons for feeling the way I did. As someone learning to be a service dog trainer and animal behaviorist, I likened myself to a dog that barks at everything that moves and gets in to an aggressive state. The dog isn’t barking out of aggression, it’s frustration from fear, lack of exercise, lack of experience….For a dog you counter condition the behaviour by offering something else to focus on like exercise, a toy, anything positive that isn’t barking and going crazy. Eventually they learn new ways to be in an environment and be happy about it simply by focusing on what we want not what we don’t want.
So focus on being in a good mood and taking a few seconds to respond to any question. Think about the question and what you are going to say, if it isn’t suitable for a 5 year old to hear, think some more.
Learning to be patient is a HUGE key to ADD.
Have a great weekend.REPORT ABUSEJune 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm #104619
AnonymousInactiveJune 3, 2011 at 1:03 pmPost count: 14413
I know exactly what you mean, librarian. I’m exactly the same way. I get very anxious and upset when things don’t go the way I had anticipated the way they would go and from there I quickly boil over. I could go from normal to temper tantrum in a matter of seconds.
Interestingly enough, I found myself in one of those situations yesterday. I was fixing a porch light and one of the screws (naturally) bounced away and through a crack in the decking. This would usually drive me to dispair, but I recognized what my emotions were doing and was able to use that knowledge to keep them from taking over.
So I went to get a hammer and a crowbar to pull up the board so I could get the part from underneath when I stepped on my shoelace, causing my shoe to come untied – an annoyance that drives me crazy and would normally have pushed my desperation over the edge and into tears. I was able to once again use the knowledge to realize that the emotion wasn’t accurate and fixed my shoelace, gathered my tools, found the screw, and finished the job with the lamp – all without going into a spin and throwing and breaking things.
I know it’s a small victory but I feel good that I know I can do this and with a bit of practice I can do it more often.
Also, I’ve recently been taking something for my anxiety and I think that it, along with my ADHD treatment and therapy have been very helpful.REPORT ABUSEJune 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm #104620
BibliophileMemberJune 3, 2011 at 1:21 pmPost count: 169
@callmecrazy I disagree with you that temper is something learned over time. It is more autonomic. I don’t feel myself getting angry. It is just an automatic response to undesirable stimulus. I hear you on trying to reduce the state of anxiety and that is something I can work on. The problem is that the reaction to the stress is almost always out of proportion to what is necessary or would be considered acceptable in most cases. When you work so hard to complete a task, anything that disrupts the completion is a major annoyance and a stressor, especially given how hard it is to get back to a state where you can work the task again.
@TheGameGuy congratulations on not losing it. I know what you mean about the little things. My biggest problem usually involves dealing with people as I find it easier to calm down or just scream an expletitive and get on with it if doesn’t involve a social aspect. What are you doing for your anxiety? Medication? Behavioural mod therapy?REPORT ABUSEJune 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm #104621
AnonymousInactiveJune 4, 2011 at 2:56 pmPost count: 14413
Librarian, I’m taking some meds, because anxiety seems to be my constant companion. However, I think the meds should come with an instruction manual – not about taking them, but how to take advantage of their effect so you can begin to unlearn your bad habits and rewire your brain circuitry. Why is it that no one tells you these things? They just sit you down, get you to talk about what’s bothering you and then tell you that’s not really so – even though your mind refuses to believe it. Sheesh.REPORT ABUSEJune 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm #104622
AnonymousInactiveJune 4, 2011 at 6:22 pmPost count: 14413
I have the same problem with anger/temper/agitation. Two things that have worked for me are, First, my doctor put me meds for the agitation. I take Lamictal and Respiridone (U.S. names). These really help me with “catching myself” before the explosion. I can take additional Respiridone prior to a situation (spouse) that I know there is a good possibility of losing my cool. My wife can tell if I have not taken my meds in the A.M. or if I need to take another dose of the Respiridone, then wait 30 – 45 minutes to resume the “discussion”. Second, when I am still losing my temper, I visualize myself as water. I imagine that after going over the waterfall, I am the calm pool below. I close my eyes,take some deep breaths and relax while thinking of that flat calm and soothing water.REPORT ABUSEJune 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm #104623
BillMemberJune 6, 2011 at 7:45 pmPost count: 227
If a behavior happens repeatedly, you can learn from it. My counselor had me go back an analyze my behavior and what triggered it. We talked a lot about how I can choose to respond and how I’d like to respond. The second step (and it’s a big one) was to get to the point where I could recognize that I was in the middle of the behavior and work to mitigate the effect. The third step was to recognize that the behavior was about to happen or that I was in a situation where I could be triggered and work to ward off the behavior by exiting or doing something else.
I agree with Librarian. You can’t just jump to being able to walk away. It takes applied effort and self-analysis.REPORT ABUSEJune 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm #104624
sdwaParticipantJune 6, 2011 at 7:58 pmPost count: 363
My reactions can be hair-trigger or reflexive, as Librarian Chef describes. It’s a real problem.
One thing that has helped is to meditate three times a day, just take that time out to be alone. Another thing that helps is to eat protein in the morning, which keeps my energy more even and my moods more balanced. For me, noise in my environment puts me on edge, so I’m much more likely to lash out if I already feel irritated. Ear plugs are good for that. Being interrupted when I’m working tends to annoy me, but I think that could be helped with a lock on my office door. Theoretically aerobic exercise every day would also help, although I don’t usually do it.
My next experiment will be to post around my house various wise and inspirational sayings which might inspire me to cool my jets. It’s hard to scream at someone when Buddha or somebody like that is advising kindness, compassion, or letting go. The stuff doesn’t stay in my head, no matter how many times at the end of the day I tell myself I wish I hadn’t been so caustic. If it’s in my face in every room of my house, maybe I’ll see it and put on the brakes.REPORT ABUSE
Dealing with Anger / CrankinessBill2011-06-02T14:22:10+00:00
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