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.
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.
- Wash dishes
- Organize a shelf
- Fold laundry
- Hand mop
- Wipe down counters
- Jumping jacks
- Head stand
- Pet the dogs
- Talk about it
- Jump rope
- Be silly
Are you struggling as a parent? If so, I’d like to share something with you: a story and some hope. If you would like to change how you respond when parenting feels intense, I invite you to consider this ebook or challenge.