We all get angry
Every caregiver has gotten seriously pissed off at some point. We have! We bet you have too.
Nobody can be completely Zen in the face of the responsibilities, annoyances, frustrations, and thousand other things caregivers have to deal with.
Don’t feel guilty
It’s important to not beat yourself up for getting angry. It’s definitely not a habit you should get into, but don’t blame yourself for not being a saint.
Anger hurts everyone
If you get angry because of caregiving, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s happening so you can improve the situation. And yes – there are ways to improve it.
2 steps to overcome your anger
1. Watch out for red flags
It’s important to be aware of angry feelings as early as you can. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and you’ll start noticing your red flags.
These are the signs that show up before those feelings of rage take over. Catch yourself before the green giant comes out and says “Hulk angry!”
2. Focus on the exact task at hand
This is a tip we found especially useful because it really does work! All you need to do is occupy your mind with the details of the task you’re doing. Whether it’s making the bed, preparing a meal, or cleaning the bathroom, there are a lot of steps you can focus on.
Use this trick to shift your thoughts from “Oh #@$%! He’s made a giant mess again and now I have to clean it up!!!” to “Ok, first I’ll help Dad sit on the couch and put on his favorite TV show. Then, I’ll get a sponge, cleaning spray, and a garbage bag…”
Why does this work?
You’re used to doing things on auto-pilot and letting your brain churn through all the reasons you’re completely pissed off, which just amps up the rage. This is totally natural. But it’s a vicious cycle that’s not good for you or anybody else near you.
Take yourself out of that cycle by shifting to thinking in detail about what you’re doing right now. Focus on the steps involved in your task instead of feelings of anger.
Soon, you’ll feel yourself calming down as you immerse yourself in what you need to do. You’d have to do that chore anyway, so why not use it as a tool to make yourself feel better?
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Michael Murray