As therapists, we often hear our clients feeling like they are boxed in by their anger. This overwhelmed state of mind can leave them feeling resistant to strategies that can help reduce anger such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, being able to engage in cognitive reframing of anger-related thoughts, or exploring underlying, primary feelings that drive anger (such as anxiety or shame).
The following, easy to visualize, empowering metaphor can quickly help clients free themselves from feeling trapped in by anger.
Free Yourself from Feeling Boxed in By Anger
Visualize your anger as a box you are climbing out of. Now imagine the soothing feelings you have by seeing yourself in open space — free to roam. Stay with this image, and now look back at the box that you stepped outside of. As you gaze back at the angry box that you left behind, visualize it progressively shrinking and being farther and farther behind in the distance.
Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist & Author
P.S. Want a FREE tool to help calm an emotionally tense moment? Click here to get your FREE sample of Letting Go of Anger Card Deck