Anger management: hitting your pillow?

word of month character

I have heard of therapist and psychologist suggest to individuals that it is a good idea if you are angry to go and take it out on your pillow.  One person in fact bought a soft object from me that was made for swinging to be used by her client to hit objects in her room – just to get the anger out.  So what do you think about this?  I believe that if we take to hitting things when we are angry that we are practicing what we would really like to do.  In fact we may one day when we are really angry not be able to control ourselves and actually do what we have practiced for all of those years, except this time it may be a real person. 

We see this sometimes when someone, usually a man, who cannot control themselves, puts their fist through the wall.  Eventually they will hit someone and create some very difficult situations for themselves.  So what is the answer?  We need to check in with our feelings and recognize that we are feeling anger.  When we check in we may recognize that the feeling is not anger as much as it is frustration, jealousy, embarrassment or some other feeling.  Once we recognize this we can ask ourselves, How can I calm down?  It may be one of the four ways we suggested in an earlier post, or it may be another way that works for us.   Then the question is, how do I solve this problem? 

How to solve the problem is always interesting because we have an entire list of ways of doing this.  Next time we will examine solving the problem.

Do you get angry?

word of month character

Everyone gets angry or sometimes has anger lingering in them.  For a young person it may be having a toy taken away from them by another child.  It may be not getting their way or what they want at that very moment.  As we get older though we may be angered because of being lied too or we may be frustrated, feeling guilty or it may be due to a fear that we have.

I will tell you my own example.  My father died when I was 13 years old.  I did not even realize it – but it made me angry that he had left me alone at that time.  That feeling followed me for a very long time and it was not till I was close to 30 years old that I realized that my anger about that unfortunate circumstance was having an affect on other parts of my life. 

How we feel anger can be different too.  It may be that we frown, clench our teeth, wrinkle our brow, feel it in our stomach, head or throat.  Some may react by clinching their fist, crossing their arms, stomping their feet or screaming mean words.  Others may just become very quiet and internalize their feelings.  So as we begin to discuss anger management we recognize that it is about how we handle anger in a safe, fair and positive way.  Of course it is OK to be angry, but its not OK to just someone with our words or physically because we are angry.