Writing your first poem to help release anger

Most of us, at some point in the, day feel angry and annoyed. Anger is viewed as 'energy' which needs releasing. Often, it can be a blanket to cover and protect our raw emotions. 

Often, whether we are tired, overwhelmed, or in child mode, we usually don't know how to release this 'energy' in adult mode, or even understand it. Instead, it can come out as anger; whether that anger is shown by shouting, swearing, slamming doors, throwing things, violence, isolating ourselves, self-harming, or risky behaviours.

For some of us, when angry, we lose control, not realising what we are saying or doing. It's as if this red rage takes over us. The very relationships that are meaningful to us, well, we can end up destroying, causing us further anxiety, stress, and even depression.

How can creative writing or poetry help you?

I became a (secret) published poet - not through a deep desire to write poetry, but kind of by accident, really. In fact, memories of poetry at school left me like many others - shuddering with unhappy thoughts. Poetry for me was something amazing creative intellectuals did - not for someone like me. I wonder if anyone else can relate to this? Ironically, I found myself on a 'write a collection of poetry in a year' course a couple of years ago.

One thing that became apparent was that poetry gives you a voice. It can be a place to release anger; a place to release emotion. The best thing I love about poetry is that you can say things without actually having to say them. If you are open to creative writing, or you just want to release some emotion, I would encourage you to view poetry not as something to be anxious of, but to welcome as a therapeutic tool.

How - or where - do I start?

Here is a guide to getting started and writing your first anger-releasing poem.

  • Decide on the way you are going to jot down your poem - pen and paper, notes on your phone, in a new notebook.
  • Find some time - whether a quick 20 minute sit down on your own with a cup of coffee, on the commute to/ from work, or whilst waiting to pick up the kids up from school, their clubs, or music lessons. Snatching 20 minutes here and there is all you really need to get started. 
  • Think of something that is making you angry that you might keep thinking about. 
  • Jot down some random words about this event, issue, situation, person - the words don't have to be in sentences.
  • View your anger as the tip of an iceberg.
  • Then, think about what words come to mind that are part of this iceberg but are under the surface. These are the feelings and emotions protected by your blanket of anger.
  • Jot these words down randomly.
  • To get inspired, go to an online thesaurus and find synonyms you like the sound of, or rhyme with the words that you jotted down earlier. Jot these words down randomly.
  • Now stare at the words and create your story using the one fundamental rule in creative writing - 'show but don't tell'.
  • But what does that "show but don't tell" rule actually mean? For example, if we look at any good poem, you get the sense of what the poet is saying, yet nowhere does it tell you, the reader, the story. Showing paints a picture the reader could see in their mind’s eye.
  • The final step is to choose a title. Then, put your poem away for a short while. When or if you come back to it, you may want to edit it, rip it up, enter it into a poetry competition, or keep it private to you. The choice is yours!

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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