You Compare Yourself To Others
The more we define ourselves by what other people have, how they look, or what they have achieved, the sadder we become.The constant longing for something different and the feelings of jealousy that comparison creates will agitate you and make you feel unhappy.
How often do you compare yourself? Pay attention to this sadness and begin to drop this bad habit.
You Have A Victim Mentality
You may have had some traumatic or difficult situations in your past situations that merited feeling unhappy and depressed.
But your trauma around those events has infected your life for years or even decades. Youve become so attached to being a victim that youve forgotten how to take control of your life and create the conditions for the happiness you long for.
It may take some work with a therapist to overcome this roadblock, but you can heal and step into your own power to make your life what you want it to be.
Develop A Journaling Practice
People write not only to express what theyre feeling, but to discover what theyre feeling. For many people, privately writing about emotionally charged events is a way to process complex emotions and regain a sense of perspective.
Regular journaling gives you a personal space to vent, review, and consider what you want or need.
Some physicians have reported that theyve prescribed writing to help people develop a sense of control over their futures and insight into their feelings.
If you develop this habit now, when a conflict arises, youll be aware that you have a safe place to go that belongs entirely to you.
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Why Am I So Irritable
In times of uncertainty, it can be easy for emotions to fray and you may feel like you have a short fuse. Stressful situations, like the Covid-19 pandemic, the social justice movement, or political controversy, can trigger feelings of anger, fear, and anxiety, and that can also increase your risk of irritability.
But sometimes, feeling irritable may have nothing to do with life situations. Everything from a lack of sleep to certain medications could be to blame. So, the next time you ask yourself why am I so irritable? realize there may be medical reasons behind your bad mood.
We spoke with medical experts who reveal some surprising causes of irritability.
Irritability And Anger In Men And Women
I believe men and women may express this experience differently. Many men feel a great deal of pressure not to cry or express vulnerability, so when they get depressed, anger can be a more acceptable way to experience the emotional pain theyre feeling. Men may also feel more pressure to not feel anything, and so turn to drugs and alcohol when theyre in emotional pain to try to numb themselves. So while we associate crying with depression, men may not cry and yet be just as depressed as those who do. I believe this is the main reason women are diagnosed with depression nearly twice as often as men are: many men who are depressed arent getting the help they need.
When men are depressed and express it as anger, violence, or addiction, the consequences may further distract from getting the help they need. These consequences can be extreme, like jail or chasing a high, but they may also take the form of loneliness and isolation after alienating people. Self-hate may grow inside as depression festers, and the consequences of anger create more and more to hate.
Women are certainly not immune to experiencing depression as anger. Often in women it comes out as irritability, particularly with their children. This too may go undetected because sometimes, only their children see it, and children rarely call a therapist for their mother.
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Tip : Explore Whats Really Behind Your Anger
Have you ever gotten into an argument over something silly? Big fights often happen over something small, like a dish left out or being ten minutes late. But theres usually a bigger issue behind it. If you find your irritation and anger rapidly rising, ask yourself, What am I really angry about? Identifying the real source of frustration will help you communicate your anger better, take constructive action, and work towards a resolution.
Is your anger masking other feelings such as embarrassment, insecurity, hurt, shame, or vulnerability? If your knee-jerk response in many situations is anger, its likely that your temper is covering up your true feelings. This is especially likely if you grew up in a family where expressing feelings was strongly discouraged. As an adult, you may have a hard time acknowledging feelings other than anger.
Anger can also mask anxiety. When you perceive a threat, either real or imagined, your body activates the fight or flight response. In the case of the fight response, it can often manifest itself as anger or aggression. To change your response, you need to find out whats causing you to feel anxious or scared.
Anger problems can stem from what you learned as a child. If you watched others in your family scream, hit each other, or throw things, you might think this is how anger is supposed to be expressed.
Anger can be a symptom of another underlying health problem, such as depression , trauma, or chronic stress.
When Does It Happen
Dr. Eilenna Denisoff, clinical director of CBT Associates in Toronto, says there are several situations when people with anxiety can turn to anger.
If someone has an obsessive compulsive disorder, for example, and they follow a very strict routine, any kind of disruption from others could lead to anger.
When that gets activated, they will respond in a way to try to convince other people to follow their ritual, and if they dont, they get angry.
And often, when someone is scared or worried about something, they could turn to anger to feel more in control of their situation.
In relationships, she adds, those with social anxiety can also start arguments with their partners, knowing they could get out of social situations.
We all have anxiety systems that are natural and normal, but when it interferes with their quality of life, work or relationships, you need to do something about it.
And ignoring it, Nash says, is worse.
Unprocessed anger can also lead to medical issues and most especially relationship issues. Unaddressed anger festers in the body mind. It sits there waiting to be unleashed. It either does get unleashed, causing chaos in the persons life and/or leads to addiction issues.
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Simple Anger Management Ideas
Step 1: identify your anger The first step to managing your anger is to notice the early signs. Its really important to know and say that youre angry, even if its just to yourself. For example, This is making me angry or I can feel myself getting angry here.
Step 2: try to calm down Once you notice the early signs of anger, you can do a few things to start calming down.
Here are some ways to calm yourself in the moment, especially if you cant step away your child:
- Try to slow your breathing. Breathe in for two seconds and breathe out for four seconds. Do this a few times until your heart rate slows down.
- If your child is being very loud, try blocking your ears or putting on noise-cancelling headphones for a moment. Then take a few deep, slow breaths.
If you can take time away from your child, here are some ideas to try:
- Do something that soothes you, like listening to some music, flicking through a magazine or just looking out the window.
- Go outside for a run or walk.
- Take a warm shower.
- Talk to a friend about how youre feeling.
Make sure your child is in a safe place before taking time away. You might be able to ask someone to watch your child while you go somewhere quiet for a few minutes.
Signs that youre calming down include your heart rate slowing down and your muscles relaxing.
- How important is this? Why was I so upset about it?
- How do I want to sort out this situation?
- Do I need to do something about this, or can I just let it go?
How Is Anger Linked To Stress And Anxiety
Anxiety is usually associated with shyness and a general struggle to be social and around people, and in some cases this is true. However in other people it can cause feelings of anger and aggression.
Some of the reasons anger is linked to stress and anxiety are:
Flight or Fight Response: Anxiety is the activation of the fight or flight response. Its a response designed to keep you safe from danger, and it is supposed to only occur when youre faced with fear. Anxiety occurs when the response is malfunctioning. While the fight/flight response doesnt necessarily cause fighting, it does prime the body for a fight, so that those that are slightly more prone to fighting feel more anger and aggressive.
Irritability: Anxiety causes irritability and this type of irritability usually causes people to close off or become passive aggressive, but in some people, that same irritation can cause them to react more strongly and possibly show aggressive behaviours.
Anxiety Causes Stress: While some evidence suggests that the hormone released by stress reduces aggression, stress itself has been linked to an increase in aggression. Once again, this tends to be more common in those with naturally aggressive tendencies, but not necessarily. If you experience anxiety , your body may essentially be priming for anger.
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Top Reasons Behind Anger
Now that you have a better understanding of what rage is and how being angry feels,here are five common reasons that may be causing you to feel angry:
Another common cause of rage is powerlessness. This feeling is often associated with a loss of control and feelings of helplessness. If you’re suffering from issues with your health, struck in a bad relationship, or just feeling trapped, you might feel especially upset.
Whenever you find yourself feeling powerless, remind yourself, “I’m responsible for my own life. I’m worthy of respect. My skills and abilities have brought me here today, and I can use them to deal with this negative situation in a healthy way. I’m going to go on a run to cool down, and then I’ll come back to this situation with a clear head.” If you feel like you are losing control of your own life, then you may want to consider seeking professional help or guidance on how to make changes.
According to the ADAA, over 40 million adults in the United States alone suffer from anxiety, about eighteen percent of the total population. Although anxiety and rage might seem like two different mental health issues, they are often deeply intertwined. When faced with challenging circumstances, people with anxiety may try to express their stress and frustration through rage.
Past Events or Trauma
How Do I Stop Being So Unhappy
In addition to eliminating conditions from your life that foster unhappiness, you can also begin to add conditions that have been proven to boost our happiness levels.
In her book, The How of Happiness, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky reveals her research on what makes people feel happy. Here are some of the happiness-fostering strategies she outlines.
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Tip : Find Healthier Ways To Express Your Anger
If youve decided that the situation is worth getting angry about and theres something you can do to make it better, the key is to express your feelings in a healthy way. Learning how to resolve conflict in a positive way will help you strengthen your relationships rather than damaging them.
Always fight fair. Its okay to be upset at someone, but if you dont fight fair, the relationship will quickly break down. Fighting fair allows you to express your own needs while still respecting others.
Make the relationship your priority. Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than winning the argument, should always be your first priority. Respect the other person and their viewpoint.
Focus on the present. Once you are in the heat of arguing, its easy to start throwing past grievances into the mix. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the present to solve the problem.
Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if youre unwilling or unable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives.
Take five if things get too heated. If your anger starts to spiral out of control, remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes or for as long as it takes you to cool down.
Do You Often Wonder Why Am I So Unhappy
Maybe you feel happiness is a random and fleeting feeling. Only when something really good happens in your life do you feel happy. Your happiness is totally dependent on outside events.
But we all know that sustained happiness comes from within. At least thats what weve heard.
When you are in a state of near constant negativity and dissatisfaction with life, its hard to believe that happiness comes from within.
- How can it come from within when within you feel so unhappy?
- How can you make yourself feel happy when you arent?
It may not be possible to make yourselffeel happy. But you can set up the conditions that foster happiness and you can eliminate the conditions, thoughts, and behaviors that foster sadness and feeling miserable. Lets look at these for a minute.
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How To Change Negative Thought Patterns
No matter what the cause of your persistent negative thinking, you can learn to challenge your negative thought patterns by refuting the cognitive distortions as they arise. This involves identifying negative thoughts as they enter your brain and offering another perspective to shut them down. Frances McIntosh from Intentional Coaching LLC advocates literally talking to your negative thoughts to counteract them:
Let your internal voice say, Im recognizing a negative thought its a story Im telling myself, and its not true.
If you are able to find a quiet spot, it can be useful to meditate on these words with your eyes closed for a few minutes to let them sink in. Although repeating these words may feel silly, know that you are working hard to challenge the automatic thoughts you’ve spent a long time going over.
Is It Ok To Be Unhappy
Everyone is unhappy from time to time and often with good reason. Life is fraught with conflict, disappointments, and challenges. Being unhappy about these situations is natural and is often a motivator to make positive and necessary change.
You dont need to feel guilty about being unhappy or pretend to be happy when youre not. Social media, in particular, can make you feel like youre the only person who doesnt have an amazing, joy-filled life. And this makes you feel even worse.
However, remaining unhappy for weeks or months is not healthy. It can lead to inertia, loneliness, and depression. Use your unhappiness as a clue to whats going on in your inner world that is stealing your joy.
Then take action to address the root cause of your discontent. Practice some of the strategies outlined above to begin to turn your mood around and get unstuck.
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What Makes People Angry
Anger is different for everyone. Things that make some people angry don’t bother others at all. But there are things that make lots of us feel angry, including:
- being treated unfairly and feeling powerless to do anything about it
- feeling threatened or attacked
- other people not respecting your authority, feelings or property
- being interrupted when you are trying to achieve a goal
- stressful day to day things such as paying bills or rush hour traffic
Anger can also be a part of grief. If you are struggling to come to terms with losing someone close to you, the charity Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland can help.
Anxiety Can Cause Mild To Severe Depression
Anxiety, as a distinct disorder, can affect your social life, your work life, and your ability to find joy in activities. It also puts a great deal of stress on your mind and body.
Anxiety may reduce your involvement in activities that would usually give you pleasure and fulfillment. If this continues over time, it can lead to depression. In fact, depression is often a comorbid diagnosis with anxiety. In many cases, anxiety comes first and contributes to the development of depression.
Anxiety may not necessarily cause long-lasting depression, but the stress on your brain and the feelings of constant fear and fatigue can often lead to a temporary low mood and, thus, crying.
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How To Manage Anxiety And Anger
Badali says there are three things you can do to manage your anxiety, adding that cognitive behavioural techniques also work.
Tip 1. Challenge anxious or hostile thoughtsThis is also called helpful thinking or realistic, rational or balanced thinking, Badali says, because often when people are angry and anxious, they may feel frustrated or threatened.
This strategy involves learning to see yourself, others, and the world in a balanced and fair way, without being overly negative or focusing only on the bad.
Tip 2. Learn to relax and be mindfulCalm breathing, muscle relaxation and mindfulness are key, Badali says. You can also try apps to help you meditate or chill out.
Dont expect these to change your emotions when you are already anxious or angry. Think of them like exercise, start practicing them daily, you will see your skills building over time.
Tip 3. Think before you act If you are feeling angry, before yelling or fighting, ask yourself, Will this action help make things better or worse? Am I going to feel better now but feel worse later?
And Nash says at the end of the day, its not about coping with anxiety, but rather understanding your condition in full.
When we learn to connect directly with our anxiety, it doesnt morph into anger, so theres no anger to cope with. Instead, we fully admit the fear were feeling and address it head on.
Where to get help