25 Things I Can Do When I Feel Angry

Welcome to Presence Parenting. I am taking a break from facilitating sessions and workshops to explore a year of mindfulness. Everything shared here is an invitation to clearly choose the presence we bring to parenting and I hope you find something helpful while you’re here. Thank you for visiting. — Amy


Photo Credit: k-ideasWhat do you do when you feel anger? Does it turn into feeling angry – quick?

Anger is a neutral signal, neither bad or good. It often signals that we feel powerless. We may not be not fully aware of our choices and feel seized by the presentation of the emotion in our body, as well as by the thoughts that may accompany it. What we do with anger is what determines the results in our experience.

A first step in addressing anger is meeting and honoring the sensation of it in the body. What do I mean by this? Really noticing where we tense up and how we respond on the inside to the feeling. (Present moment awareness is one way to do this).

Do we immediately lash out, trying to push what we feel away? Do we yell, break things, or worse — hurt others? Do we stuff it down into some deep, dark place inside? Do we handle it responsibly in some way that honors ourselves and those around us?

We can meet the feeling of anger in the body by doing something physical while we work through our thoughts. Below is a list of 25 things you can do when you feel angry. I commit to these alternatives myself. I encourage you to print the list or make your own. In a future post I will write about 25 things we can think when we feel angry to transition our thoughts and change the tides of anger from the inside out.

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Purpose… to honor what I feel while protecting those around me (leaving them unscathed), to provide space around what I feel angry about, to physically meet the energy of the emotion while transitioning my thoughts to support me and my choices in life… to not have to feel and say I am sorry for how I handle the anger I feel, to be response-able.

  1. Wash dishes
  2. Vacuum
  3. Organize a shelf
  4. Fold laundry
  5. Hand mop
  6. Wipe down counters
  7. Sing
  8. Meditate
  9. Pray
  10. Dance
  11. Exercise
  12. Jumping jacks
  13. Head stand
  14. Push-ups
  15. De-clutter
  16. Smile
  17. Write
  18. Appreciate
  19. Pet the dogs
  20. Talk about it
  21. Play
  22. Yoga
  23. Jump rope
  24. Yodel
  25. Be silly

Thank you for joining me in some collaborative parenting discussion. Are you struggling as a parent? If so, I’d like to share something invaluable with you: hope. If you would like to change how you respond when parenting feels intense, I invite you to consider this ebook or challenge.

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5 Responses to 25 Things I Can Do When I Feel Angry

  1. Ariadne - Positive Parenting Connection January 4, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    This is a great list Amy, and I really like what you wrote about anger being a signal of powerlessness, so often in parenting when we feel powerless anger festers and festers if we don’t find a way to address it and respond appropriately. Sharing this on the positive parenting connection community page on facebook!

    • Amy Phoenix January 5, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      Thank you Ariadne! This is one of a few I have in a series that will become an ebook or something like that so stay in touch. :)

      • annie January 6, 2013 at 10:49 am #

        I love this list Amy. I just don’t seem to be able to put it into practice. My anger transforms into a 10 sec shout. It’s like steam that needs to come out. My problem is when the kids yell at each other…I fell like I will explode. I don’t know why but it kills me that they hurt each other or make each other scream….So I scream too. More I try to feel my senses and my body, more angry I get. What the hell is wrong? How can I understand does very simple principle and put them into practice?

  2. Amy Phoenix January 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi Annie, thank you for asking. Anger has many “causes”. This is only one piece of how to address or experience it differently. Here are a couple of other resources that may help…

    http://amyphoenix.com/healing/emotions
    http://amyphoenix.com/2010/awareness-integrating-uncomfortable-feelings

    Ultimately, changing the way we respond to how we feel takes time and diligence. I have also found it helps to approach it with gentleness, love, compassion, understanding – to cultivate these within and for ourselves. We need to meet it in new ways. Slowing down, little steps. I am working on a revision of Transforming Anger and Aggression so I appreciate the feedback and would love to chat if you’re interested. :)

  3. Amy Phoenix January 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    Here’s this also… http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/things-go-wrong-1/

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