Posted in Anger Management, Emotions, Relationships, Self Care, Therapy

Passive Aggressive Behavior and 3 Therapeutic Journaling Strategies for Emotional Health

You feel angry about something but instead of expressing it you stuff it. But the anger doesn’t go away, and it looks for a way out. It finds a way out through your behavior, while in your mind you are pretending that you’re not angry.

What you’re likely to hear from someone with this problem:

  • “I didn’t mean anything about it.”
  • “You’re too sensitive.”
  • “I was only kidding with you.”
  • “Don’t take it so personally.”

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How to Change Your Ways – Emotional Health:

You can learn to express your emotions in healthy, straight-forward ways instead of being indirect and passive.

All you have to do is tell your story and express what you’re feeling according to the guidelines provided. It’s as simple as writing down your thoughts and feelings. Just writing about what is going on in your life will help you.

These Activities are “Do it Yourself Anger Management” – they will make you feel better!

Know your own story. Take a look at your personal hot buttons, because that’s where your anger, fear and pain are the strongest. These journaling exercises will help you with that.

Journaling:

Writing about upsetting or traumatic experiences can be very helpful and even healing. You are “getting it out.” When you put it down on paper (or computer), it’s no longer rattling around all by itself in your head. When you write or talk about difficult feelings, memories and experiences, you are using words and rational thought to describe an emotional, non-rational experience. This application of logic to emotional experience helps you to sort things out, and often puts your mind to rest in some very healing ways.

1. Trauma Writing:

All you have to do is write about your memories of being hurt, abandoned, violated, neglected or abused in any way for periods of 15 minutes at a time, until you start feeling some relief.

  1. Make a list of all of the times you can remember being hurt, betrayed, neglected, abandoned or abused.
  2. Take each event, one by one, and “tell the story,” keeping in mind that no one has to read this but you. The benefit is in the brain processes you activate in the writing process.
  3. Write about everything you felt, perceived, thought and experienced. Also write about the people you loved the most, and who loved you. Include your happy experiences, because often your greatest trauma is connected with that.
  4. Focus on yourself, and don’t get caught up in analyzing, explaining or excusing the actions of others. This is for you, and nobody else.
  5. Write for 15 minutes (minimum) at a time, until you feel you’ve told the whole story, then move on to the next one.
  6. Strong emotions might come up as you do this. Use your inner voice to allow emotional healing.

2. Releasing Your Anger on Paper – Safe Option:

Journaling directly from your anger is one of the best anger management activities of all. Take responsibility for your own emotional healing, by doing this journaling exercise you move your anger from your subconscious to your conscious mind where you can better manage it.

Here’s how it works:

    • Let your anger speak uninterrupted. That is, don’t be reasonable, rational or “nice” during this process, or you won’t really be getting the anger out.
    • The purpose is to honor your anger as a valid emotion designed to protect you, while claiming authority over it by speaking consciously, intentionally from it.
    • Usually when your anger “speaks” it’s because you’ve lost control, and it is destructive. This type of activity puts you in control, where you are expressing all of those angry feelings in a healthy, therapeutic process where nobody gets hurt.

Journaling

  • Keep this writing in a separate journal from other writing. It’s a kind of “dumping ground” for these negative emotions.
  • Write about all of your frustrations, fears, pains, sorrows and anger here. All of the things you “just can’t stand,” and that really “push your buttons.”
  • The trick for this particular one of the anger management activities is to keep writing until you a) start to repeat yourself, b) can’t think of anything else to say, or c) feel a sense of release and/or relief.
  • Close the journal, and go straight to the next journaling exercise described below.

3. Positive Journaling:

Last but not least among these anger management activities, is the practice of Goodfinding. This is best done through a type of positive journaling, which is extremely beneficial for shifting from anger, frustration and worry into a better mood and attitude. The positive journaling techniques start training your mind to look at what is good, right and working in your life and your relationships.

Use this exercise to shift your thinking in a positive direction.

Every day, no matter what, write in your journal in these 3 ways:

  1. Gratitude for the things in your past: Write about all that you can think of that you are grateful for. Think of times when you’ve been very happy, people who have loved you, and wonderful places you’ve been. Focus on how grateful you are for the good times with friends, the concerts, art and beauty you have seen.
  2. Appreciation for the things in your present: Write about all that you appreciate about yourself and your world right now. Appreciate your health–all the organs and functions that are working just fine, your talents and abilities. Appreciate your possessions, your home, your friends and family.
  3. Optimism about your future: Write about what you look forward to. Think of all of the good things that are possible in your future, and think about how you would feel if they all happened. Use your imagination to think of good things coming your way. Keep your mind at least partly open to these imagined wonders becoming real.

Final Note:

Learn communication skills for conflict resolution and communicating anger in healthy, respectful ways.

Do the above exercises, and you will most definitely get some benefit. Do them regularly, and you will feel yourself changing. Do them regularly on an ongoing basis, and you will start to live a happy, productive life with positive, loving relationships.

Positive Journaling Video on You Tube:

Author:

Mother, Pediatric Nurse and a Trail Blazer for Positive Change.

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