When providing care for a loved one, it is normal to experience ANGER at times. How could you not feel angry when your loved one does things differently than you wish they would? Or in the case of dementia, when your care recipient asks you 20 times in one hour when their next doctor appointment will be. Perhaps you feel angry at your loved one’s medical condition–angry that a disease is slowly taking them away from you. Perhaps you feel angry that in some ways, you are helpless over the situation. There are sooooo many potential reasons to feel angry. It’s ok and very normal.
Don’t worry, feeling angry at times does NOT make you an “angry” or a “bad” person! A decent amount of anger is healthy! Anger is a normal and healthy emotion for all of us. Our emotions act as a system of guidance–telling us when something is not quite right. Emotions indicate the need for action, surrender, or possibly the need to change our thinking or expectations. Anger can be tied to fear, hurt, unmet expectations, and so much more.
Of course, if you are stuck in a feeling of anger most of the time, that definitely indicates a need to address what is going on for you. In that case, I recommend seeking professional help of your very own Caring Wellness & Spiritual Coach, Courtney Long, or a spiritual counselor, therapist or healthcare professional.
One of the best ways to address anger is to allow yourself to feel it. Just allow it to come and go. Acknowledge to yourself why you are feeling angry, and if this anger is asking you to do something…to take action perhaps? To forgive? To release expectations? To surrender to what is?
When anger arises, notice what thoughts you are having. Writing about those thoughts & feelings in a journal can be incredibly revealing & life-saving. You may come to conclusions you had never thought of. See which thoughts you can turn around and replace with more empowering, freeing thoughts.
Also, I must say…the old punching a pillow trick works really well. Of course, try not to take your anger out on others, but if that does happen at times, it’s ok. You can apologize, and you can forgive yourself. Above all else, be compassionate with yourself!
The more you express your feelings (anger included) in healthy ways, and show compassion to yourself for what you feel, and for being who you are… the better your life will flow.
The best antidote to anger? GRATITUDE. While it’s ok & normal to feel angry, it’s also wonderful and freeing to notice all you have to be grateful for.
Want a little support? I’m here for you. Send me a message at Courtney@caringforyourspirit.com !
Stay tuned for 8 more Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress!!
Resource: 10 Symtoms of Caregiver Stress by the Alzheimer’s Association, adapted & interpreted by Courtney Long, MSW, LC, CHt