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My Angry Imagination

by Steve M. Nash
(Yorkshire, UK)

Smiley Steve

Smiley Steve

Okay, first thing I'd like to say is that my imagination is much less angry than it used to be. I've got into meditation, I've seen a therapist, and I've also started to look at life differently. Which is all good.

Next thing I'm going to say is that what I'm going to share with you is personal, and not necessarily something I've shared with many people. But I happen to think that it's good to share. So here I am...

So...I have an angry imagination. And what do I mean by that? Well I mean that I can imagine certain situations - and my favourite is being confronted by a group of men who want to harm me - and I then imagine just how I'd respond in the situation. And my response is usually full of rage, anger and violence.

I fight like a madman, drawing on great reservoirs of inner rage - so goes my imagination - and I either scare off my adversaries with my 'madness' or I go down fighting.

This is happening much less than it used to, if at all. Therapy, and understanding my anger, has helped a great deal.

These imaginative 'angry stories' may well be triggered by some irritating event, or some angry stare by another man. Or I could be feeling vulnerable. Quite often a residue of anger is left inside me, once I snap myself out of the story.

I've never enacted any of these stories for real. Though, once, a drunken angry man barged into me whilst I was just walking down the street with my girlfriend (with whom I'd just finished arguing with). For a moment I squared up to this man - probably more frightened than me - but good sense prevailed (and the anxiety of my girlfriend), and we just carried on walking.

Which is good to know - that imagination does not necessarily become reality! But, as I said earlier, I never felt completely comfortable with this angry imagination of mine, and it was one of the main reasons I sought therapy in the first place.

Personally, I think anger management is much misunderstood, and much under-utilized. And it's great that Dr. DeFoore has created such a helpful, positive anger management resource.



Self Help Collective

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Steve, and thanks for telling your story here. I really like what you've written, and I think it will be helpful to other site visitors.

The whole topic of using your imagination to "problem solve" is fascinating, and can actually be very positive. You might find this two part imagery process for positive mental rehearsal to be interesting. It guides the reader to use their imagination to rehearse positive behavior in situations where they've had anxiety, anger, etc.

Again, thanks for your contribution, Steve. I've included it in my professional article section, and I hope readers will visit your helpful site.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Dec 25, 2022
Makes Me Feel Better That I'm Not Alone
by: Anonymous

I have had experiences very similar to this. The trigger could be as simple as watching a bully tease a kid on TV. Even in a completely relaxed environment - my mind wanders, scenarios form, and before I know it, my blood pressure begins to go up.

I know I would never actually act the way I would in my imagination, but the tense physical reaction is, frankly, annoying. It ruins my mood, at least in the short term. It also makes me wonder if anyone else ever felt like this or if I should be concerned.

What helps me is just being self aware of what's actually happening. I catch myself. Close my eyes, breathe, and remind myself that the situation I am imagining myself in isn't real, and there is no logical reason for me to feel this way. After a few minutes, I usually calm down. When it's bad, I think back to how I would actually solve the situation in a rational manner. Sure, I can think of many "out of control" scenarios -- but I ask myself, "what's the likelihood that would ever actually happen?". Wouldn't there be multiple factors, including my own responsible thoughts and moral decisions, which would keep a situation from escalating that far?

Thank you for sharing this. In some way, it's comforting to know that my situation is not unique. I hope the above and the coping mechanism I use helps others in some way.

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