Let’s understand what anger is...
Anger is part of our emotional vocabulary. Maybe you’ve felt anger towards yourself, a family member, colleague, partner, the dog, traffic, the state of the world (who hasn't....). There are many degrees of anger ranging from frustration to white-hot rage.
Anger is a signal that something is not right - maybe a boundary has been violated, maybe you feel you are being prevented from getting something you really want; perhaps you have been hurt so much that you cannot take it anymore, maybe you feel appalled or helpless about some circumstances or situation right now.
Alternatively, anger is also sometimes a mask for more painful emotions like shame, fear or the ego wanting to protect you and it just feels safer to show up as anger.
The emotion of anger is neither good nor bad.
Like any emotion, it’s conveying a message, telling you that a situation is upsetting, or unjust, or threatening. IT’s HOW we deal with it that matters.
We have 3 options:
• "Name it to tame it."
Identify anger while its still a spark and not yet flame. AWARENESS - PAUSE
• Knots in your stomach, Clenching your hands or jaw, Tensing your shoulders
• Breathing faster, pounding heart
• Headaches, Having trouble concentrating
• “Seeing red”- amygdala moment - FIT of anger
• Mental questions to ask yourself
• Annoyed, irritated – that’s when you can ask yourself, is this really about me or them, and who knows what happened (traffic-rushing to hospital)
• Am I in danger or is my ego feeling disrespected or scared?
• Do I want to give others that power over me and push my buttons?
• Will this matter in 5 years?
• Explore Childhood triggers/patterns, and how they play out now
1. Breath- longer exhale or exercise (turn attention to the body)
2. Disengage-walk away
3. Imagine putting your anger in a box with that number on the box, and see the box in front of you. “Am I at six, or am I at nine?” This helps you recognize how you feel,
separate the anger from the situation that triggered it, pause and choose.
4. Channel it to find a solution: like John Lewis and the Freedom Riders or this week marks the 100th Anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote - a movement of the Suffragettes.
AWARENESS can fuel Positive ACTION!
Anger, if handled thoughtfully, can challenge you to show up stronger and more determined and
guide you to find a better way to live.