Katie Brooks Says...
It sounds as if you have quite a bit of insight into your problem. You are right; if you do not deal with anger it will bottle up and distract you from getting your work done. It works this way with all feelings. I think it would be beneficial for you to see a therapist in order to work on coping with your anger. It might take a few trial and error practices to get the right skills that work for you. The main idea though is to get the anger out in a healthy way that will not hurt anyone else or yourself.
Being in class complicates things though. Once you feel the anger welling it up it is best to deal with it as soon as possible. If you are able to talk at this point, you may want to walk up to the teacher and ask for help. Explain, "I am really frustrated and angry at myself because I think I am doing the problem wrong." Trust that your teacher can help you. You can also ask another student that you trust, but make sure that the anger is not too big at this point.
In addition, writing in a journal can be effective. Write about your anger and where it is coming from. Then pretend you are your own best friend and write down some words that are comforting like, "I can do this." "Sometimes math is hard, but if I ask for help I can keep working on it.” If the anger has gone on too long and you think that you may not have self-control you can ask to go to the bathroom. Once outside you can use a number of techniques: call a friend, scream into your jacket, jump up and down or even kick a tree (one of my patients finds this effective). As soon as you use one of these skills the excess energy is out return to class and try to ask for help again.
The last method that my patients find helpful is the hardest to use because you have to be willing to do it. It is called opposite action. Once you have identified that you are tired of being any negative emotion, do the exact opposite of the emotion that you are feeling. Obviously your anger will not want you to do anything but be angry, but it helps the emotions to change. Distract yourself with something or someone funny. Keep a funny joke, pictures/ videos with you, so when you go to the bathroom listen to or watch something funny. I know it sounds silly, but it works!
Anger is a really uncomfortable emotion to deal with so I just want to appreciate your bravery in asking for help. Please contact me if you have any further questions at GoodTherapySanDiego.Com.
Page last updated Jun 27, 2013