Anger Management – Writing Skills

Getting Your Anger Out On Paper Where You Can Deal With It

Journaling directly from your anger is one of the best anger management activities of all. 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.


  • Keep this writing in a separate journal from other writing. It’s a kind of “dumping ground” for these negative emotions. The goal is to validate the anger, but not to have to stay in that mode, instead move through it and purge it.


  • 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.


The Practice of Gratitude, Appreciation and Optimism

Among these anger management activities, is the practice of gratitude. 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.

I strongly encourage you to use this exercise to shift your thinking in a positive direction. Every day, no matter what, write in your journal in these three ways:


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

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