DBT Golden Nugget: Coping Appropriately with Feelings of Anger and Irritability

Due to feeling disappointed and sad that my irritability continues, I decided to take a deeper look at what’s troubling me.  In that search, I realized that I feel sad, hurt, irritated, and angry that my “punishment” for being a whistleblower at work is that I am working from home, isolated and alone.

I find being alone all day like this very difficult emotionally.  I miss my coworkers.  I miss my office.  I miss the conversations.

I’ve been a major grumpalump all weekend and have hung up in frustration on both my mother and boyfriend this morning. I’ve since called back to apologize and have realized that I must ACCEPT that I am experiencing uncomfortable emotions, that emotions have cause, are here to teach us and motivate us to self care, and that they sometimes last much longer than we’d expect or would like. 

In Wise Mind, I am also acknowledging that part of my anger is a result of believing that things SHOULD be different from what they actually are.  When I trace back what led to me working from home at this time, I see that things are just as they should be.  Nonetheless, I am experiencing distress as a result of my current situation.

Times like these are when Distress Tolerance and Emotion Regulation come in handy.

In this case, I’ve turned to the section on Emotion Regulation in my DBT Binder (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and found this section on using Opposite Action for the emotion of Anger.
Some #DBT Opposite Actions for Anger #DBT are:

1. Gently Avoid the person you are angry with (rather than attacking.) Take a time out and breath in and out deeply and slowly.
2. Do something a little bit nice (rather than mean or insulting.)
3. Do the opposite of angry urges.
4. Imagine understanding and empathy for the other person.
5. Change posture.
6. Change body chemistry (breathing, counting breaths, run)

(The above items are adapted from page 50 in Dr. Marsha Linehan’s Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder.)

I am actually going to work my way down each item on the list and then have a nice lunch to self-care. I have confidence it will help, as I know from much experience that, for me, DBT works!

Thanks for reading.
More Soon.
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