Your guide to anger and pain management

Everyone experiences anger and discomfort at some point, but it is never a pleasant experience. Perhaps you feel so influenced by these sensations in your daily life that you are rendered incapable of maintaining healthy relationships or a balanced routine. If you or a loved one is struggling with anger or pain management, try these simple tips. 

  1. Create a morning routine

Pain and anger management has to do largely with your mental state. Creating and maintaining a morning routine can help to cultivate a positive headspace for the day, empowering you to meet conflicts and challenges from a centered place. 

  1. Minimize your stress levels through effective planning

Stress can be a catalyst for explosive episodes. Likewise, stress can exacerbate physical discomfort, not to mention the numerous negative effects that stress, lack of productivity and feelings of overwhelm can have on the mind and body. 

Spend some time at the beginning of each week to schedule your work commitments, time for healthy activity and relationship building. Avoid procrastination and be prepared for changes and last-minute adjustments. 

  1. Exercise

Sometimes in anger management, it is natural to feel like you have energy bottled up inside of you. Regular exercise can be a means of expressing this energy. Aside from the general health benefits of exercise, doing something physical such as going for a run can help to bring you back to a healthy state of mind and prepare you to engage with others again. 

Yoga can also be a helpful form of exercise as it places a large emphasis on relaxation and connection of both mind and body. Learning to maintain a peaceful mental state within these exercises can translate directly to managing anger in the heat of the moment. 

If you are suffering from chronic pain, speak to your doctor about what kinds of activities are best for you. Depending on your ailment, it may be that something less strenuous, like simple stretching and a daily walk, will best suit your physical needs. 

  1. Disengage

If you are wondering how to manage anger issues in periods of intense emotion, disengagement is likely the first step. If you feel rage coming on, it is best to walk away and take some time to cool down before engaging with other people again.

Long-term discomfort and pain can also be the catalyst for a downward mental spiral and even lead to depression and anxiety. If you feel this coming on, try to interrupt the pattern immediately and do something that will help you change gears.

  1. Practice fasting

There are many things you can do to avoid reaching a point of intense anger, and these things require self-discipline and self-control. Similarly in pain management, your ability to place “mind over matter” may be the difference between a good and bad day, even if the pain level you are experiencing remains unchanged.

Fasting is an ancient practice that has been used to cultivate virtue and self-mastery for centuries. Be it from a certain food or drink, or from an activity or habit, fasting can strengthen the “muscles” needed to exercise this emotional regulation and restraint. 

You could try choosing something new each week to fast from, or stick with the same thing for a longer period of time. Whether this is the first time you have tried this practice or you have been fasting for years, be sure to choose something that is manageable and realistic. This can prevent setting yourself up for failure.

Here are some ideas of things you can try fasting from: 

  • Alcohol
  • Sweets
  • A certain food or beverage (can be random, like potatoes or coffee)
  • Complaining
  • Gossip
  • Social media
  • Television or other screen time platforms like Netflix
  • Unnecessary spending
  • Listening to music
  • Eating at restaurants

Be prepared for setbacks in this practice. Like any new skill, there is generally a learning curve associated with fasting. It will not be perfect from Day 1, but everything worthwhile generally requires a bit of work.

  1. Discover the root of your pain / anger

It is commonly held by psychiatrists that anger is a secondary emotion – underlying is usually feelings of hurt, betrayal or disappointment. As a way to cope with these vulnerable emotions and as a defense mechanism against incurring further wounds, we resort to anger. 

The first step in learning how to deal with anger management is oftentimes simply identifying the root of your anger: you can’t address the problem properly until you identify it. This can be accomplished through counseling, journaling or speaking to a trusted confidant. You might also try keeping a log of your anger, in order to identify commonalities between episodes and pinpoint potential triggers. 

Similarly, chronic pain or discomfort usually doesn’t happen overnight. If you have found yourself wondering how to manage discomfort, assuredly you have wondered what the root cause may be. If conflicting diagnoses or confusing information from the medical field has left you scratching your head, it may be worth consulting a functional medicine doctor. 

While general practitioners might focus on treating the symptoms, functional medicine doctors will run a full panel on your whole system to get to the bottom of why you are feeling so poorly. Oftentimes, dietary changes or vitamin supplements can work wonders in kickstarting your overall well-being. 

  1. Talk to someone you trust

Regardless of whether you are dealing with how to manage your anger or your pain, there will likely come a point when you realize you cannot do this alone. As the saying goes, “It takes a village.” Other people can serve as our mirrors, to help us see things in ourselves that we might have missed on our own.

Friends, parents, siblings or mentors can all be sources of invaluable insight. Seek out people who strive for values in life that you hope to cultivate – people you respect and want to imitate. It can be helpful if they know your life story, where you came from and where you want to go, because they can view your experiences from a different perspective. 

Counseling is a resource that can be helpful for every single person, regardless of their background or particular struggles. Counselors are trained to ask pointed questions to gently navigate the oftentimes tumultuous waters of your experiences and memories.

If you or a loved one are struggling with anger or pain management, Mazzitti & Sullivan Counseling services are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your appointment, or call 1-800-809-2925 to begin a healthier life, one decision at a time.