Expressive Writing Cools a Hot Head

Expressive Writing for AngerAnger is a normal human emotion, and it is natural to experience it at various levels of intensity, depending on how you deal with stress and what is going on in your life at the time.

One day, you might be mildly annoyed by an argument with your spouse over household duties. The next, you may be furious at a co-worker for taking all of the credit for a project you both worked on.

Feeling anger is perfectly normal, but it is what you do with it that is important. Do you have a hot temper that sometimes makes you say or do things that you regret later when you’ve cooled down? Do you often feel stress or tension as a result of being angry? Use expressive writing exercises in your journal to understand what triggers your temper, how you react when you’re angry and what patterns you would like to break.

Expressive Writing for Anger Management

1. Try to carry your journal or a small notebook with you throughout the day. Make a note of occasions when you become angry. If you don’t have time to write in detail at the time of the incident, simply write a few notes and then do a more in-depth journaling session when you get home later.

2. Ask yourself the following questions to prompt your expressive writing:

• Who or what am I angry at?
• What is causing my anger? Is there a deeper reason for why I’m feeling this way?
• On a scale from 1 to 10, what is my anger level?
• How did I react to this situation?
• Is there a better way to deal with this situation?

For example:

• I am angry at my boss because she criticized me in front of everyone at the staff meeting.
• I am frustrated with my job, and I feel insecure about my work when my boss publicly criticizes me.
• My anger level is a 6.
• I made a defensive comment.
• I wish I had waited until after the meeting to talk to my boss alone.

3. Processing your anger through expressive writing helps you take a step back and view each situation more objectively. Over time, you will become more aware of how you deal with anger and can begin to change your behavior.

Have you ever kept an anger journal before? How does expressive writing help you work through your emotions? 


Did you know that Journaling helps you work through conflicts and confrontations? Read all about more expressive writing success stories.