The feeling of anger is not the same as the expression of anger. Everyone of us is going to feel angry from time to time. When those feelings are more often than not, or when the feeling result in a behavior that harms ourselves, property or others – is when we must realize that learning to manage this feeling, understanding it and dealing with it is very important to our own peace and that of those around us.
Can you identify where you feel anger? What do your different body parts feel like when you are angry? Do you feel it in your eyes, mouth, hand or arms, feet or legs? Does your voice change, or does the way you posture yourself change? Maybe you feel it in your stomach, chest, head or does it feel like your blood is boiling?
Being aware of the bodily changes that occur when we get angry can be helpful in the process of leading to better control and management. Recognizing the rise of these feelings may help us to make a choice about our expression of the feelings that we are having. The feeling of anger is just that a feeling – and there is nothing wrong with us having feelings, they belong to us. However, the behavior or expression of those feelings can be very harmful.
Our expression may be explosive or it may be simmering. Can you identify the patterns that have developed in yourself or your children when they are having the feelings of anger? One way of understanding our own expression is to ask those close to us what they see in us when we are angry? How do others tell us how we look or sound when we are angry?
Understanding our feelings, where they are coming from, why or what we are fearful of, are all beginning steps in anger management. Remember, the feelings of anger is not the same as the expression of anger. Feeling are our own – expression is a choice we are making.
Joe Van Deuren is an anger educator and is available to work with both children and adults in finding ways to manage anger. Finding and creating peace in our lives and families is a key mission of his work. Contact can be made through Balanced Life Skills.