Dealing with anger and other demons

“Acting, saved my life.”

A number of comments by women over the years have intrigued me about how they deal with anger, frustrations, anxiety and other often disrupting emotions.

(Of course this can relate to those of us of the male persuasion as well.)

Sandra DuqueThe passionate CEO & President of La Negrita Productions, Sandra Duque said in an interview, “My art has always been a do or die situation, it’s like deciding to become a nun…

“Growing up I had a lot of rage inside. I was angry at the world, God and life, because I had such a terrible childhood and because we were so poor.

“College and for the most part my early 20’s was a time of self-destruction. Then I found acting. Acting, saved my life.”

More quotes on the page Healing & art

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Creative People and Trauma articleTrauma takes many forms, and has different sources and levels of impact for each of us.

Many artists have experienced rape, physical abuse and other experiences, including Alice Sebold, Allison Anders, SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), Halle Berry, Lady Gaga, will.i.am, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonathan Safran Foer and many others.

See my article Creative People, Trauma and Mental Health.

Overexcitability

One of the qualities typical of gifted and talented people is termed overexcitability (OE) or simply excitability, or intensity.

As described by writer Sharon Lind in her article Overexcitability and the gifted, people with strong intellectual OE “sometimes appear critical of and impatient with others who cannot sustain their intellectual pace.” Emotional OE “is reflected in heightened, intense feelings, extremes of complex emotions… physical responses like stomachaches and blushing…”

She adds that people with emotional OE may “carry on inner dialogs and practice self-judgment” and are often accused of “overreacting.”

Also see her article Fostering adult giftedness: Acknowledging and addressing affective needs of gifted adults.

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Emma Thompson-smile-700Actor and writer Emma Thompson has admitted, “When I lose my temper, I find it difficult to forgive myself.

“I feel I’ve failed.

“I can be calm in a crisis, in the face of death or things that hurt badly. I don’t get hysterical, which may be masochistic of me.

“But in small matters, I am not calm at all. My worst quality is impatience.” [imdb.com bio]

Gifted children

According to research on gifted and talented children [who, of course, grow up to be adults like ms Thompson], they may feel impatient about having no or inadequate challenge; be overly critical of self and others, impatient with failure, perfectionistic, etc – all of which can keep those demons active.

> More in my article Gifted Women: Identity and Expression

Let anger tell its story

In her article “Impotent Rage” [O, The Oprah Magazine, Oct 2004], Martha Beck writes, “If you’re constantly trying to let go of pent-up rage, you’ve probably spent decades letting your fear convince you to act as if you feel no anger. It’s time to let your anger persuade you to act as if you have no fear.

“The first step to being free from impotent anger is to let it tell its whole story, complete with expletives and the occasional chest-thumping roar… A therapist or laid-back friend can be a good sounding board. Because this is asking a lot, I often prefer writing about my anger.”

Beck is author of Breaking Point : Why Women Fall Apart and How They Can Re-create Their Lives.

A related page: Anger

One of my related articles on how creative expression can help us deal with our inner demons: The Alchemy of Art

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NativeRemedies

Calming products

The Native Remedies site explains, “There is a lot that can be done to naturally calm emotional outbursts and reduce mood swings. It is a good idea to reduce or remove caffeine, refined sugar and alcohol – all of which can exacerbate mood swings, as well as hyperactive and impulsive behavior.

“Food allergies should also be considered, as well as a healthy diet and a balanced sleep pattern. In instances of severe mood swings, insufficient sleep can further intensify mood imbalances.

“Regular exercise can also help to vent frustrations and release any pent-up emotions that would otherwise be released inappropriately.”

One of the Native Remedies products is MoodCalm – “a safe, non-addictive FDA registered natural remedy, containing 100% homeopathic ingredients especially selected to relieve mood swings, uncharacteristic behavior and agitation, as well as anger outbursts.”

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Emotional Health Resources pageEmotional Health Resources
Meditation programs, biofeedback devices, stress relief products
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YouTube / Mental Health – Emotional Health videos
Facebook / Emotional Health and Creativity videos
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Anxiety Relief Solutions site

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Article publié pour la première fois le 25/01/2006