Anger – The Misunderstood Emotion

Anger is an emotion that I am very familiar with. Anger is defined as “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” It is usually an emotion used as a defense mechanism to prevent anymore harm or wrongful action towards you. This can be whether or not there is an actual threat to you, as the emotion serves as a preventative measure. It can be a very powerful emotion, capable of changing your whole mindset temporarily. It can provoke the “fight, flight, or freeze” response depending on the situation. It can be an overwhelming emotion as well, as it can rob you of logical thought and interpretation. Anger is a normal, almost everyday emotion, but compounded with other issues/concerns, it become quite the detriment to your life. For a time, Anger was a driving force behind a lot of the things I regret in my own life.

My anger was crazy. I did all the usual things one does when anger gets out of control. Throwing objects, punching walls, screaming at the top of my lungs, you name it. Anger, at least at the climax, felt good to me in the moment. I was able to get out all the pent up energy through my very less than optimal means. Unfortunately, my very negative and toxic methods of releasing my anger got me labeled as crazy, psycho, lunatic, etc and that doesn’t feel good for anyone. I would say and do things I did not mean to do in the heat of the moment. I was fully conscious, but my understanding of the situation could not be swayed so I went off. Afterwards, I would feel extremely remorseful and physically weak. At what cost did I get out my anger? I always asked myself, “Why am I like this?” I was too proud to go to therapy or talk about my issues, so they built up and then I would explode. The anger would get worse, and this may sound interesting, but it would also get more and more complex. It was like my mind would find new ways to misinterpret situations, thus trapping me in angry cycles. It took me some time (and therapy) to figure out the root of my anger, and my right to have the emotion. I just did not have the right to display my anger the way I did.

I say that anger is a misunderstood emotion. Some see anger as meaningless, as it can imply a sense of emotional discord and volatility. Nevertheless, it is a very basic emotion that EVERYONE feels at one point or another. It usually manifests as a cover up for other emotions the person is feeling. Thus, I feel like it needs to be expressed. It needs to be allowed to manifest in order for you to return to a sense of clarity that you can live with. I feel anger gets a bad name due to the more “popular” expressions of it that we see (the punching walls, throwing objects, physical assault, etc) and thus it is a shunned emotion. Therein lies the problem, we need to learn more positive methods of anger expression. The anger will exist and trying to will it away just breeds even more anger down the line. You do feel a sense of relief when it is expressed and everyone can benefit from the clarity of a positive show of it.

As I have said before, anger needs to be expressed. It can usually breed from a misunderstanding or misconstrued slight, so direct communication can stop it in it’s tracks. I feel if people are more direct with how they feel (without being directly disrespectful), then the more physical aspects of anger can be prevented. People need to be able to communicate differing opinions and values without resorting to emotional outrage and out of control behavior. Anger also breeds from mental health imbalance as well. Depression, anxiety, sadness, all of these emotions can use anger as a scapegoat for protection. Therapy, meditation, even venting to a trusted confidant can help relieve some of the “over emotion” that might be building up inside of us. Someone somewhere will want to listen to you and that can help to pre-empt a negative angry expression. Through therapy specifically, you can learn the ever powerful technique of mindfulness that keeps you grounded even through angry expression so that your feelings can be broadcasted without any negative annotation. Exercise can also really help use up energy that might have went towards a negative angry expression. You can channel all of that energy to becoming a better you, mentally and physically!

Anger is not the enemy. It is not a solely negative emotion and I feel it is very necessary for us to be able to express it when we feel it. We all have our different triggers in terms of what we perceive as insulting or an attack on us. We have a right to establish boundaries and express ourselves to assert our respect. We just absolutely need to be mindful of our methods of expression. It can be tempting to “go off” when we feel provoked, but that leads to labeling and ostracization. Thus with learning more refined methods of expression, whether through self reflection, therapy, exercise, etc, we can all get our points across and properly set boundaries respectfully and purposefully.

Grief – A Painful Learning Experience

Grief is deep emotional pain caused by losing not only a loved one, but also losing a cherished bond or even by a drastic change in your life. It really hits deep and can cause people to feel all sorts of different ways for a prolonged period of time. Life has a way of always throwing events or situations at us that throw us for a loop emotionally and foster change and improvement within us. This change and improvement doesn’t come easy, as grief can be very painful. It can come in waves and when you think you may be over it, it comes back rearing its ugly head once again. When it comes to grief, there are five stages that most people cycle through.

The five stages of grief are denial, depression, bargaining, anger, and acceptance. These stages can vary in intensity and can be the cause of some serious emotion disturbance for quite a while. Even after the acceptance stage, some people can fall into one of the other stages again (keep in mind the stages are not in order). Some people may even skip stages altogether in their recovery process. Grief has no standard way of operation. We all feel whatever we feel when we have to go through it and no one should feel bad about how they respond to grief. When it comes to grief, there is no timeline for healing, either. It can take months or even years. As I said before, some people never fully heal and can only learn to live with it. I know I have had to, as losing my mother over two years ago wrecked my world and I still feel pain. I don’t think I ever will stop feeling the pain.

The pain I felt losing my mother hurt like nothing else. The best way to describe it is like being hit by a truck that comes back around every so often to try and finish the job. Whenever I think that I have a hold on my grief, something can stimulate me right back into one of the stages. For me personally, I seem to hover over anger quite a bit. I am very angry my mother isn’t here to see my beautiful son (she nicknamed him president due to having high hopes for him). I’m angry she isn’t here to see the father/man I have become. I’m angry she can’t impart her wisdom onto his little soul. I’m angry she isn’t there for me. On the flip side, I feel like the denial stage came and went. I looked death straight in the face through her eyes, so I could not deny the truth and I never did. She’s gone. It hurts like hell. Some days I fall into a hazy state for a few seconds because of a memory or smell that reminds me of her. The month of May in particular is very hard for me as it contains both mother’s day and the day she passed away. I bargained quite a bit in the beginning, begging to go back in time to do something to prevent what happened. Grief has damaged me beyond repair, but also helped to catapult me into becoming a more powerful man. I feel like the profound effect that my grief has had on my life has overall changed me for the better just like it should for others as well.

Life is full of ups and downs. Things come into our lives and circumstance may take them out of our lives. Appreciate the things you have not only when you have them, but when they leave as well. Appreciate the lessons learned. Appreciate the growth you had in the situation. Appreciate the love you had. Appreciate and let these experiences mold you into a more powerful individual. I would be heavily ashamed of myself if I was the same person I was last year or the year before. Through my grief recovery and therapy, I was able to find a path forward and continue to live my life. I’ve made strides in my career field and also my physical and mental health. I’ve learned lessons and knowledge I can impart to my son. My experiences with my mother shaped me into who I am today and laid the groundwork for my continued development. In a way, it’s almost like my mother is still here, teaching my son through me.

Grief is painful, but it can and should lead into a more powerful individual. We just need to take our time, surround ourselves with the people who love us and want to hear us, and most of all, have patience with ourselves. We owe it to ourselves, past, present, and future to keep moving forward.

Rumination – You need to move forward!

Rumination is a silent ailment for those who have gone through trauma. It keeps us thinking about the more sinister aspects of our pasts and halts our growth for the future. We all have had our own experiences and interpretation of events and sometimes we wish we would have acted a certain way or said certain things. We continue to live in that moment, constantly looking at it from different angles and looking at new outcomes. This may seem like it is helping us to move on from the incident, but in the long term, it keeps us trapped in that mental space. I have had many experiences in my life that I ruminate on constantly due to many things (high stress, undesired outcome, needing to feel like I came out on top, etc) and I’ve taken steps to ensure that I can continue to move forward despite the traps of the past trying to take hold.

Therapy was a great way for me to get down to the bottom of what made me ruminate on things from my past. Coming to terms with what happened and being able to learn from my it allows me to be more aware in my present and really grasp new situations as they occur. Also, being able to talk to someone allowed me to get a different perspective on why I am still even thinking about a certain situation in the first place. I also practice mindfulness to catch myself when I begin to go down the rabbit hole of negative thoughts. By pausing and taking hold of my current self, I can stop the gravy train of negativity that throws me back in the past. We can get triggered by the simplest things, so it pays to practice staying in the moment and remembering that we are beyond the past and staying vigilant. Meditation can be a wonderful tool as well, as it does allow us to look within ourselves and take a deep look at the core of the issue we have with a past experience. We just need to make sure not to fall back into that experience and relive the bad parts again searching our subconscious. All these tools and more can allow us to move forward with our lives and release the shackles that try to bind us to what we went through before. Our experiences may shape us, but they don’t define us.

Everyday we try to live our lives and hopefully improve on certain key aspects. We try to gain more education, money, power, etc. In order to grow and evolve, we need to move forward, not backward. That isn’t to say that our past experiences shouldn’t mean anything to us, but at the same time, a traumatic moment in your past or having had to deal with a volatile person should not be the blueprint for your future. Rumination attempts to keep you in a bubble of negativity, and once you realize that the bubble is your own creation, you will be able to see the light and move on from the past. You will be able to take the lessons learned, and continue to improve and becoming a better you.

 

The above is a book I recommend, as it utilizes CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy) in the tips it provides in helping with rumination and the negative thoughts it tries to pervade our minds with. You need to continue to move forward and be a better you and it starts with leaving the past in the past and only moving forward with lessons learned.

Social Media, Detriment or Asset?

Social media is one of the many marvels of today’s society. It allows us to keep in contact with loved ones, reconnect with old acquaintances, and find and interact with like minded people and groups. It’s allowed many ideas and beliefs to become wide spread which has in turn furthered human civilization. We are all able to make large groups of friends from all over the world and mix and mesh different cultures! Social media sounds pretty amazing, right? It is not without its demerits, though. One being a big hit on our mental health.

We all want to be the best versions of ourselves. We should strive to be a better person each and every day. For some, it then begs the question “Who am I trying to be better than?” Your ultimate opponent should be the man/woman/person in the mirror but social media has now added another opponent for most of us: everyone else. Conscious or subconsciously we go online and compare ourselves and our lives with everyone else’s. Some can catch themselves and snap out of it and get back to the betterment of their own lives. Others can get trapped in the sunken place of the competition for validation. The constant need for more and more validation can be addicting for some, and it can lead people into trying to show off a more synthetic version of themselves. Validation can become one hell of a drug for those susceptible to it, and social media is weakening our resistance to over validation.

In my opinion, validation is one of the biggest aspects of social media. It is what drives people to post the absolute best pictures of themselves. It is what gives some people energy. For others, it is a nice boost every now and then. Normally, validation is a nice way for someone to appreciate something about you. Social media has warped validation and made it something people seek out like a drug. You need to have at least 1000 likes or 20000 shares to be “valid”. Validation has warped social media and it’s more pure intentions for the worse and that in turn has had a profound effect on the mental health of those who use it. There are more people reporting anxiety and depression symptoms due to social media every year and it’s only getting worse. The constant comparisons and self-esteem blows due to perceived inadequacy have become commonplace in our society.

Always trying to be better than the next person is healthy in retrospect, but it can be harmful in excess. Living each day to be the most seen individual can be grating on one’s self esteem and how they feel about themselves. Especially if the validation been sought out isn’t being received. For some, the feeling is quite jarring, and they can then withdraw into themselves. For others, the excess in validation can lead to bigheadedness and some more narcissistic traits coming out. On either end of the spectrum, the validation aspect of social media has most definitely had a negative affect on how people feel about themselves. The best lives we see some live may actually be a mask to a more depressive life in reality. This will keep some from getting the help they need to get out of the hole that comparing themselves to others put them in. Thus social media can be a stimulus to the anxiety and depression we feel and also be the gatekeeper to the help we need.

The Power of Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a very powerful and efficient tool in the pursuit of optimal mental health. It allows us to take stock of a situation and pause to really consider how we intend to respond to it. Practicing mindfulness gives you confidence that you will be able to handle a given situation logically. Now, that isn’t to say that it is something that’s easy for everyone to practice and utilize. Some people may have more trouble with it than others. Nevertheless, even baby steps in trying to utilize it can show results that can boost one’s confidence in any given situation.

I myself utilize it in order to properly manage feelings of inadequacy and misunderstanding. Tone sensitivity can lead to misinterpretation and I am very guilty of perceiving the wrong intent in someone’s tone. Mindfulness allows me to take a step back and truly consider a person’s intent before jumping to conclusions that lead to even greater turbulence. It really helps my confidence knowing that I won’t go off on someone who meant no ill will towards me. This goes very far in helping me cultivate meaningful relationships and allows me to be truly present in my interactions without my emotions getting in the way.

Mindfulness requires you to take a few moments to just stop and give yourself a kind of “status report”. Naturally, people may find it weird for you to just suddenly pause in the middle of conversation. That is why repeated practical use of mindfulness allows it to become second nature. You will find yourself always taking stock of your current mental state, which allows you to properly channel energy for your pursuits. You can practice it even in a situation like watching TV or videos on YouTube. Take a moment to listen to the speaker. Hear their tone of voice and then stop to truly consider their intent and how you perceive it. You may find that you gave it thought only based on how they were saying it. Now go back and listen again, trying to keep yourself impartial and taking notice of the feelings that arise as you hear the speaker. You will notice a difference in how you interpreted what the speaker said. A more positive (or negative) interpretation may arise, regardless, you will be in tune with how you react to the new mindset .

Mindfulness practice has been employed to reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and even in the treatment of drug addiction. Actual clinical studies have shown it’s effect on so many types of mental illness, and even simple everyday problems. Everyone can benefit from it’s effectiveness in their lives, no matter who you are. I believe that mindfulness is one of the most powerful tools to understanding and displaying the best version of yourself.

My Own Struggles

Mental health awareness wasn’t always on the forefront of my mind. There was a time in my life where I was totally against “getting help” and I thought that I could overcome my issues on my own through various illogical means. I tried to wish away the anger. I tried false bravado in the face of my anxiety. I tried faking it to make it in terms of my depression. I don’t have to tell you that NONE of this worked at all. I needed to go beyond my pride as a man in order to talk to someone in order to get to the root of what my true issue was. All I was doing was placating myself until another trigger came along to ignite my problems once again. It wasn’t until a VERY life changing moment took place that I finally took the steps necessary to start therapy.

My issues basically boil down to anxiety brought up from my childhood that has had a profound effect on my life as an adult. Not to get into too much detail, but my childhood wasn’t exactly normal and my mother had some narcissistic tendencies that always had me on edge. This translated to me using anger to defend myself whenever my anxiety went overboard. This would then lead to depression as remorse set in due to my actions. This happened far too many times in my adult life and while I was fully aware I was acting inappropriately, my inaction in getting proper help just dug me deeper and deeper into shame. The cycle of emotions kept on going and going with no end in sight. I wasn’t making steps to improve my mental fortitude. Relationships faltered, and my outlook on life became very bleak.

That’s when I decided to dive into therapy. Speaking to a therapist and being completely open about everything that went on in my life really helped shed light on where my emotions come from. Just being able to get a grasp on what was causing my outrageous outbursts and learning that the cause was deeper than I realized was a very eye opening experience. As an adult, I didn’t really grasp that the ways we respond to different stimuli can have roots in our childhood. The way we were raised, the temperament of our caretakers, whatever we may have went through, all these things can have a profound effect on our psyche and we become these confused and misunderstood adults who lack awareness in regards to our mental stability. This is not a death sentence, and you are not “set in your ways”. Sometimes people will try to label someone as a certain type of person, yet no one, not even the person, knows exactly why they are that type of person. It could be an angry, shy, bossy, evil, and/or vindictive person. Different life experiences can mold people and they may not even realize it until they are “set in their ways”. That’s the way I lived my life for far too long.

My anger was out of control for years. I broke objects, damaged property, damaged hearts, and most of all lost the respect of many people I cherish due to not getting a hold of myself sooner. But in terms of oneself and your future aspirations, it is never too late to start to get a handle on what makes you tick in order to make it tick stronger without distraction. My issues are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the issues we may all be going through. I just wanted to expose myself so that others can know that there are other people out there punching walls messing up their hands. There are other people who scream their souls out. There are other people who say things in outrage they don’t mean. None of these things make you an inherently bad person. Just someone who may need to take extra steps in order to evolve.

Why I Want To Reach Others In Terms Of Mental Health

Mental Health has always been something that I found interesting. Going back to my college days, I was always interested in psychology and the mind in general.

Hello! My name is Sean and this is Tyrone’s Mental Health Corner. It’s a place where I just want to share my journey through my own mental landscapes and just give anyone who visits the sense that there is help out there for them and their issues/concerns in regards to mental health. Some people just believe that it’s “all in their head” or that they can get over their problems on their own. That just may not be true and there are trained professionals that can help you work through your concerns. Even if you don’t want to talk to someone, there are different techniques and lifestyle changes that can push you in the direction of mental clarity. This blog will be the vessel with which I can get this message as far as I can.

Why would I do this?

  • I feel like a lot of people are making excuses about the help they can get and the obvious assistance that they need.
  • I was the person who thought that I could overcome my issues on my own without help and it caused the destruction of a few very important relationships
  • I honestly believe the world can be a better place once everyone can come to terms with their traumas, concerns, thoughts, and beliefs.

In this blog, I want to tackle a plethora of topics and overall create a safe space where people can learn about the many methods of self care that can go a long way to mental clarity and peace. I would like to be able to even create new innovative ways for people to be more in tune with their inner self and be able to truly show their ability without the shackles of mental slavery. I’ve seen too many times where people are damn near crying out due to the fact that they have reached a block in their lives and they can’t seem to understand what’s going on in terms of why? Sometimes it is as simple as you not being in the right head space for future growth. We can be our own biggest obstacle that no one sees due to the biggest fight being in the center of our minds.

I hope that my words, stories, testimonies, and ideas can be a beacon of light to anyone out there suffering through mental anguish. It can be a dark place, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if you just reach out, help can truly be on the way.