Anger rather than Sad

from the Book of Life

Common tenants of Depression or Major Depressive Episodes

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment

Common tenants of Anxiety―Depression (disorder group GAD)PDF

What is Disorder?

  • Disorders such as Bipolar disorder, Personality Disorders. or Anxiety Disorders can only be “Diagnosed” by healthcare―professionals or psychologists.
  • One maybe diagnosed with 6 disorders or 1 disorder – this does not mean one is anymore “screwed up” than the other.
  • Disorder is categorized for the purposes of treatment & management between a client, therapist & healthcare―providers.
  • There are legal and professional standards that healthcare―providers in mental-physical health must abide by – that’s what the literature is about: DSM4 DSM5

Gestalt therapy perspective

  • Self awareness not why but:
  • how and when? do ” I feel angry and sad “.
  • Moral- am I judging myself for feeling angry? sad? or tired?
  • How and When do I judge myself.. others environment.
  • Ambivalence: do i feel “conflicting” sensations? ↓Examples:↓
  • thrilled but angry and anxious
  • sad but tuned_in
  • relaxed.. but tight in the legs or chest

contact―boundary memoirs

At a good time (when sad happy or angry etc.)
can I observe between “me” and “not―me” :

  • projection — eg. expressing feeling in drawing or painting ; blaming someone or somthing)
  • Deflection — avoiding both good or bad feeling for another time)
  • confluence — losing sense of self to the outside world, or defending in reaction
  • retroflection — turning ones desires for others (especially with anger) back and substituding ones self) i.e. self blame and self harm
  • Introjection — absorbents in the interactions between “me” and “not―me” without processing (metabolizing)
Anger is part of depression. Anger is part of all of us in daily life.
the good choices we make are in
how to manage are emotions, sensations and Affects so they are not regular intrusions or regularly destructive.
This Management.
This is Anger. This is Depression.

Daily Feeling Chart, Alternate Version

Happy   New Year!
I would like my first post of this year to be another feeling.. or emotion tracking  chart.  Your excited… so am I (photo, right).
I am glad  that the   Daily Emotion Chart  for Special Needs Children has been relatively well received, since I first posted it , years ago.  But I think  emotions charting or tracking can be useful for more than just children.  For adolescent  boys and girls and adults, managing mental disorder or just having trouble expressing their selves confidently, a emotion chart tool can be just as useful.  working on Emotional grammar It can never hurt anyone, of any a age.

The emotion tracking  chart  (the one tagged for children that I have posted previously)  could be used by anyone at any age, or expanded upon… but I had to give it name (for the search engines of the interwebs);  and it was based on a previous Daily-feeling-track,jpgexperience with a friend and her childs needs .   So I am   adding  another example of a chart for emotional vocabulary.

My theory is (and I certainly don’t think I’m alone in this thought) that one can learn to make most of his or her own personal management tools;  by customizing them for his/her own needs; or the needs of themselves with  peers, support,  communicating to their doctors etc.
The creativity and control  that comes with   personalizing and maintaining  one’s   own toolbox only serves to build confidence and command over health management, IMHO.
However this one I made is free to download in several formats.  Use them as is…. or  just make your own charts,

Alternate Daily Feeling Tracker Sheet:

For more Tracking charts please check out the “Charts” tab above.


Compassion is the understanding of others, with the cultivated awareness of suffering.    Perhaps  more  accurately,    Compassion is empathy with the awareness of suffering.

The western concept of “empathy“, popular in the writings of twentieth century humanists, philosophers and psychologist has its own active verb tense. “to empathize” or “empathizing“. compassion does not have a verb tense in English… perhaps ” to sympathize“… but I will stick with Compassion, here.

To empathize is to imagine another’s experience,  compare that experience with his/hers and to be affected.   One empathizes with another person(s), organism(s) and their circumstance. It should be noted, that from a stand point of certain schools of thought,as in Zen Buddhism, Humanistic Psychology and existential- phenomenology, an organism is always considered with his circumstances. One is always interacting, affecting and being affected by his environment . This is “experience”, the participation of an organism in its world. “Phenomenology” is big ugly word for the study of experience(s), from subjective lenses.    “Empathizing”, is being affected by and imagining another(s) experience(s).

Another overlapping concept is “perspective-taking“. “Perspective taking” is imagining another’s experience and world-view.   Perspective-taking is objective and rational in method; and deliberate in avoiding any emotional affect and judgments.    To take another’s point-of-view and study while holding back any personal bias and presumption would be perspective taking. (see also Husserl’s bracketing or epoche`)
Is it at all possible to remove all bias?    Some psychologists argue that perspective taking is a primitive form of empathizing .

Alfie Cohen, Author of “Brighter Side of Human Nature“…… poses another  phenomenological approach to empathy that he calls “feeling-into“. To “feel-into” another’s circumstance, personal happenings, gestalt or being-in-this-world. Feeling-into is an full cognitive investigation of another’s subjective experience.

Back to Compassion

I do believe that there are people who can empathize or feel-into another’s situation without compassion.
A study of the psychopathology of some dangerous criminals might support my claim.   For example: there are a few who feel powerful or aroused when they imagine themselves as the victims of their violent attacks. in this case there is empathy and perspective taking, for pathological pleasure, but no compassion.

To act with compassion is to act and empathize, while recognizing and considering suffering. To act with compassion is to act and be affected by the suffering of others.

Understanding suffering is at the core of any study, religion, or way-of-being that is called Buddhism.  Thus compassion is a much talked about subject-matter . Understanding the nature of suffering is fundamental to Buddhist practice.
Note below a translation of the four Noble Truths of Buddhism

Four Nobel Truths of Buddhism .

  • Suffering Exists in Life
  • The Source of Suffering is attachment
  • The Emancipation of Suffering is attainable
  • The Path or the “Eightfold Path” (wisdom, conduct, development)

In Christianity, (at least from my non-religious outsider’s stand appointment), A great deal of importance is placed on the suffering of Jesus at the end of his days. In interpretations,   God seeks to empathize with man in the Life and times of Jesus. Followers seek to understand God in part by empathizing with the life and Crucifixion of Jesus. The very important Christian theme of Redemption is tied to suffering and compassion just as it is the teachings of Jesus, in the “Sermon on the Mount“.

Compassion is care for others. What can, at times, be overshadowed is the care for ones own well-being.   IMHO: It is important to act in the same compassionate manner for his or herself, as he does for others.   Just as important as anything written here:    The care and wellbeing of one’s self and others includes happiness, pleasure, curiosity and a spectrum of experiences…. not just suffering.

Compassion maybe a cornerstone of ethics along with self- esteem and reciprocity. If we truly love and esteem ourselves (that is, our being) ;    If we treat each other in the manner we wish to be treated, then we may presume that no one likes pain and suffering.   We’d care for ourselves and others, and act accordingly— rich in understanding perspectives beyond our own.
It would be unethical to deliberatively harm another (or one’s own being) that we have compassion and care for.

Feeling Words for Writing

Journaling or writing Mental health / wellness workbook and can’t think what to write at the moment?:



I feel _______ OR I am feeling ________ because I think_________

happy safe scared sad angry
good natured secure anxious tearful trapped
Jubilant warm butterflies morning annoyed
Joyful trusting Afraid haunted outraged
glad trusted fearful lonely explosive
festive inviting nervous helpless irritated
cheerful desired harassed vulnerable resentful
elated satisfied insecure tragic vengeful
loved receptive unsure bullied provoked
loving free worried disappointed offensive
brotherly certain cowardly ashamed useless
playful self assured desperate repugnant forced
aroused inspired threatened indignant pessimistic
esteemed encouraged suspicious lost dull
confident inspired wary pulled careless
provocative enthralled doubtful lousy apathetic
sexy manic victimized unhappy dispatched
manly , feminine energetic cheated confused uncared
comforted healthy wronged disoriented disjointed
strong pain-free terrified disillusion rejected
optimistic inquisitive alienated stupefied menaced
frisky curious offended stunned agonized
animated dependable hurt perplex menaced
glorious mellow injured doubtful unwanted
energized relaxed crushed worthless disrespected
vigorous affectionate rejected woeful shy
engrossed sympathetic listless energetic Taken advantage of
fluid respected amazed torn
touched flattered disorganized stressed conflicted
bold interested tired humbled ambivalent

This  list is no more than a cheat sheet to provoke ones own personal “feeling word” that describes his/her moment.
I made this and it is free: PDF (adobe reader), Doc (Ms-Word), Odt (writer),
click on the links below to open or download:

There are more downloads on the CHARTS tab/ page. please check them out.

Daily Affirmation Poster Updated

Today, Right Here, Right Now

I am feeling _________________________
I am really good at _________________________
I value most of all _________________________
I feel anxious about __________________________
If i had one wish, one thing that
I’d like to see happen it would be______________

I check my head , I check my breath
And I know everything will be alright.

Fill in the blanks.

the origional version I made of  poster like this …on a post where I boasted my Stewart Smalley like, “the- joy -of- the-therapy” attitude towards mental wellness… well that poster had a typo.
So I’ve posted again a new  “grammatically correct” version, and one with pleasant background, hopefully you won’t nod off. So that make two new posters, yes two.

click on the icons above, and if wish to download them right click after that.

Daily Mood Chart and Emotions chart

Mood and Emotions chart in  now in Doc and Odt  format .
A Mood Chart is a simple tool that people diagnosed with Mood Disorders  such as Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Schizo affective disorder use from time to time, for tracking their symptoms and Affect mood level.

With the K.I.S.S (keep – it- simple-stupid) attitude in mind, a mood chart that can be made to meet any personal symptoms and then taken to to a doctor and therapist.

Why keep a mood chart?
Mood charts can give a consumer and his/her professionals a better idea of the cycling, symptoms and possible triggers of symptoms over a long period of time. Thus a mood chart is a tool for personal awareness and an aid for a doctor who is prescribing treatment.

From my post my post: Charting my Moods Bipolar
That post includes an example of how to fill out a mood chart and a free down loadable simple mood chart in PDF format.

I now have an update of that Mood tracking chart available in ‘.Doc’ format ( readable in in MS Word) and in Open Office Writer format.
Also Available in those formats  is the Daily Emotions Chart for Special Needs Children, previously posted in PDF form with explanation.


Left: Daily mood tracking chart download:

Right: Daily Feelings/Emotion Charts for kids

These downloads are free, to be used as are and are to encourage you to create your own tools as well. Just click on the links above
There are more Downloads on the Charts page.

reflective listening for improved communication

If  one wishes to be a good observer of facts ,one withholds judgments,  interferes as little as possible with data, and summarizes what he observes. One must do the same when he or she is listening to what others are saying. One can do this with “Reflective Listening“.

the purpose of  “Reflective  Listening” is to :

  • listen  fully, clarify understand what another person saying.
  • build trust and  a repore with other people.
  • Improve communication
  • Increase  personal  empathy and relatedness

Active Reflective listening:

  1. Use Good Listening Skills.
  2. Withhold judgment while listening
  3. Listen Closely To What is being said, and How something is said.
  4. Pay attention to nonverbal cues: gestures, voice inflections.
  5. Respond to What you hear, and Nothing else.
    • Reflect and Listen
    • Affirm Feeling and Values when express
    • Explore and Encourage a speaker to share
    • Avoid listening “Road blocks “
  6. Summarize
  7. Continue to listen.

Reflecting and Listening

Reflecting tells the person who you are listening to that you understand them, and allows you to passively challenge statements for clarity.

  • I hear you saying………..
  • Sounds like……………….
  • You believe………………….
  • you are confident that….
  • Could it be that……
  • You think that…….
  • Correct me if I, Wrong , but i hear……….
  • From your perspective…………
  • I’m picking up………..
  • The part I understand is…..
  • It Seems as though…………
  • By that you mean…..

Statements, that start like this are known as “Tentafiers” and they avoid introducing any opinion, advice, or talk of your experience. Remember: this is about  better listening  and listening objectively.

Speaker: Its my brother. He borrowed th car again without asking.  He never shows up on time.  Never helps me when I ask for his help. and now he is asking to borrow money again.

Listener: “It sounds to me, that you believe your brother is taking advantage of you”..

Affirming Feeling and Values

Sometimes people talk to get things “off their chest”, or the just need someone to talk to. They may not notice how they are feeling as they talk. Pointing out feelings and values when you here them, challenges the speaker to experience them, more directly as they communicate.
It also tells the speaker “Hey! I know how you Feel” and “I want to know how you are feeling”.

  • You are Feeling……..
  • You Feel……..
  • I hear you saying that,   part of you feels….. and part of you feels….
  • It Sounds  like you really value……

Its  helpful to have  Strong “Emotional Grammar” and Empathy in answering these Tentafiers.
The good news is mastering  Listening helps to improve ones Emotional Grammar and Empathy.
Some Feeling Words:
You are Feeling…….

Angry ,  Unsure ,  Excited ,  Apprehensive ,  Joyful ,  Happy
Suspicious ,  Sad ,  Curious ,  Helpless ,  Cheated ,  Confident ,
Overloaded ,  Stressed, abandoned , Conflicted  , In-love ,  disrespected …

(A   downloadable list of Feeling words can be found  {click Here})

Speaker:“I just got a raise at work and my vacation plans were approved!  I made record time on my drive home! I’m on a roll!

listener: “you’re feeling ecstatic!”

Explore and Encourage.

One doesn’t want to intrude on a speaker when he/she is active – reflectively listening, but we may want to encourage the speaker to clarify what they or saying or talk more specifically about a subject.

I am Wondering….

  • ….what that means to you.
  • ….How you’re feelings about…..

Questions that encourage clarification and specification, that don’t lead the speakers to conclusions , are called “Opened ended  questions“.

  • Can you Tell me more about…?
  • What does that mean to you?
  • What would you like to see happen?
  • What are some of your Options?
  • Could you give me some examples?
  • How did you come to this conclusion?
  • What worked before?
  • Have you felt this way before?
  • Which concern seems most important right now?

It is Recommended that “Open ended Questions” are be used sparingly after reflecting and listening for a while.

Listening “Road Blocks”

Road blocks are statements one tries to avoid as they are nonconstructive to listening.One  don’t wish to interject our opinions, experiences, and advice  while listening.
I will cover road-blocks in the next post.


* ” I’d like to take a moment to summarize so i am clear about…

  • your concerns…”
  • what your feeling…..”
  • what you’ve told me….”

* ” Lets recap the Ground we covered.”

Summarizing is a good way to  express that you’ve been attentive in listening and that you clearly understand the major points the speaker expressed.

In Conclusion

Active Reflective Listening was developed  from the work of Carl Rogers Client Centered Therapy. Reflective Listening is  used professionally by  Law enforcement, EMT, who need to listen to people for facts quickly, business people with clients, etc. It can be use personally to improve oneself and relatedness to friends and family.
After all, most people like “Good Listeners”.