Best Shadow Work Prompts for Anger

If you struggle with controlling your anger, journaling with shadow work prompts can help to identify and heal the trauma from your past. Anger issues are generally developed in early childhood - this is where you'll find your answers. We explain what shadow work is, how to heal your shadow self and give you the best shadow work prompts for anger. 

    What is the Shadow Self?

    Renowned psychoanalyst Carl Jung theorized that we all have a “shadow self” that lingers in our subconscious mind. The shadow self is a reflection of all of our deepest regrets, shame, insecurities, fears and desires. 

    The more we hide and repress this side of ourselves, the more it manifests in negative and self destructive behaviour. These feelings fester in the subconscious mind and reveal themselves as toxic and self sabotaging qualities in your everyday life. 

    Issues relating to anger are a sign that there is a “shadow” that you haven’t yet identified and worked through. 

    What is Shadow Work?

    Shadow work is simply the process of answering questions through journaling that begin to reveal any unconscious and unprocessed beliefs, assumptions, memories and trauma that you have stored in the subconscious mind. 

    If you’ve struggled with anger issues your whole life you may be stuck in a vicious cycle of negative thinking and behaviour. Jung argues that much of this behaviour was developed due to childhood conditioning and programming. 

    Anger & Childhood Programming

    The shadow self is deeply connected to your formative years. Understanding this is fundamental to healing. Between the ages of 0-7 years old your brain is like a sponge, absorbing all of the information around you from your parents, friends, society, media and schooling. 

    By the time you’re 8 years old you’ve fully developed your personality or “Ego”. Everything you’ve seen, heard and been taught becomes deeply ingrained in the subconscious mind and will continue to affect your behaviour into adulthood without you even realising it. 

    When you revisit your childhood you're better able to understand why you struggle with anger and where this behaviour all stems from. 

    How to Do Shadow Work for Anger

    Practicing shadow work is quite simple but can be emotionally confronting. We recommend taking some time out of your day where you can relax in a safe space. 

    1. Switch your phone to do not disturb during the practice so that you can focus all of your attention and energy on the prompts. 
    2. You can practice this journaling technique by typing out your answers, but it is always best to write with a pen and paper. The act of physically putting your feelings down onto paper can be quite powerful.
    3. Choose the prompts below that resonate with you most - if any of them make you feel a little uncomfortable then this might be a sign to answer it
    4. Don’t censor yourself - write freely and openly, this journal is just for you and isn’t to be shared with anyone 
    5. Be as detailed as possible with your answers and don’t hold back

    Best Shadow Work Prompts for Anger

    Inner Child Prompts

    1. What is your earliest memory of feeling loved? Did you feel loved as a child? How was this love presented to you? Did it feel unconditional? Why/why not?
    2. What was your parental figure's communication style like? How did they speak to each other? How did they speak to you? Do you see their communication style reflected in the way you speak as an adult?
    3. What was your earliest memory of conflict? What did you hear/see? How did this conflict come to a resolution/ did it at all? How did experiencing this conflict change the way you acted?
    4. As a child what or who made you feel safe? Why did they make you feel safe? Do you have that in your life right now? What or who is your current safe space? 
    5. What was your parental figures’ perception of the world? What did you hear them talking about? Was there a negative spin on anything, were they positive about life? Did life seem easy or like it was a constant struggle? How did this paint the way you viewed yourself and others? 
    6. What qualities about yourself did you feel you needed to hide as a child? Did you feel you needed to hide these qualities to be accepted by your loved ones? Why do you think you did this?
    7. Were you allowed to express yourself as a child? When you expressed feelings of anger, frustration or confusion, how did your parental figures respond? Were they patient, did they acknowledge your feelings or ignore you and tell you to stop reacting? How do you think this affects your behaviour as an adult?
    8. Did you feel confident as a child? Were you generally happy or did you feel stress, insecurity and resentment? Why did you feel this way? What shaped your opinions about yourself?
    9. Do you have a parental figure that you hold a lot of resentment toward? Why do you feel this resentment? What were the things that they could have done better? Do you think you can forgive that version of them?
    10. Do you recognise your parental figures’ traits being repeated in your behaviour? What behaviour can you see repeating itself in you? 

    Breaking Angry Patterns Prompts 

    1. Are you generally tough on yourself? Do you allow yourself to feel your emotions? Do you push yourself on days that you feel like you’re going to fall apart? How can you be more kind to yourself in the future?
    2. In your current life, what is something that consistently triggers your anger? Why does this trigger your anger? Is there a way to communicate this or remove it from your life so that it no longer triggers you?
    3. What is your biggest fear? Do you feel insecure or judged by others? Do other people’s opinions matter to you? If so, why? 
    4. What is your biggest regret in life? Why do you regret this? Do you often dwell on this regret? How can you forgive yourself for this? What steps can you take to understand that you have moved on and grown from this experience? 
    5. What is the smallest thing that often triggers you? Why does this trigger you? Can you shift the way you think about this in the future? 
    6. What is a negative habit that you keep repeating? Think about the last time you felt really terrible, angry or low. What sparked it? Was it worth the reaction you gave it? 
    7. How could you avoid certain triggers? Is there something you could change that would bring you more happiness and less stress?
    8. When was the last time you failed? Why do you perceive this to be a failure? Can you forgive yourself for this? Can you think of how this failure taught you a lesson that will help you in the future? 
    9. When you react to something in anger what do you get out of it? How do you feel afterwards? Do you feel better or do you feel guilty? Why? 
    10. How can you be more forgiving toward yourself and others? Can you stop yourself before you truly get angry or is it beyond your control? Why do you feel as though you can’t stop yourself?

    Final Thoughts

    Practicing shadow work prompts for anger is a powerful practice. Journaling in this manner will help you to delve into the subconscious mind and gain access to answers that you didn’t even realise were there. Understanding how important your formative years were in developing who you are as an adult will help you to identify where your angry behaviour comes from. Through this awareness you can truly heal and transform your life. 

    If you found these prompts helpful we'd love to hear from you. Feel free to contact us with your story or any questions you may have.

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    Author Bio

    My background is in law and journalism. As a lawyer I was stressed out and struggling through life, I discovered spirituality through meditation and breathwork in my late 20s and love to share what I've learned here.