by Krista Borgwardt // October 17, 2017
Do you stop yourself from feeling anger out of fear you can’t control it? Or do you worry what would people think of your anger? Do you avoid your anger and stuff it? Let’s explore Anger and encourage our anger to get moving. Just like our bodies need physical exercise to be healthy our emotions need movement to be mentally healthy.
Anger can be a powerful emotion leading it to be an effective agent of change. When anger is allowed to move it can be transformed rather than transmitted. Transmitting our anger is when we need to release it and we project it onto someone or something else. For example, have you ever felt like someone came and dumped all their anger on you? Or like a verbal punching bag? These are not healthy ways to move our anger.
Before we explore some of the endless ways to move our anger we need to challenge our perception of anger. Let’s work on accepting anger as a natural emotion and not be judging it as wrong, bad or unacceptable. In the book ANGER handling a powerful emotion in a healthy way, Dr. Chapman, describes from research how women feel embarrassed and debilitated by how they look when they are angry, it looks ‘ugly’. When I work with female clients we discuss how society has conditioned them that it’s not okay for a girl to be angry. We explore the messages they have received about anger from society, parents, teachers and peers. Anger does not need to be attractive it does need to be moved, released, acknowledged and processed in healthy ways.
Some healthy and creative ways to move your anger:
~ journal – be messy with this journaling and let whatever comes out on paper come out, any word or image. Spiritual idea - when you are done releasing cover the page with a cross or a loving faith word/message. Afterwards tear it up or burn it.
~ listen to some music that helps you feel that anger while doing something physical - walking, jogging, cycling (e.g. Guns ‘n’ roses).
~ make bread dough and while kneading release your anger about the situation or person.
~ get a pumpkin. Write all your anger thoughts about a person or situation all over the pumpkin (sharpie works great). Next take a tool (hammer, meat tenderizer, baseball bat) and smash up that pumpkin.
~ carve a pumpkin to show your anger and on the other side carve the emotions that you feel underneath the anger - sad, guilt, lonely, fear…
~ If you have a relationship with God or a Higher Power, in a meditation time talk it all out, every detail and every feeling underneath the anger. Observe your body sensations while communicating about anger. Then, listen in solitude and focus on your breathe while you feel your body relax.
May you move your anger in healthy ways. Be gentle with yourself. Love yourself and all your emotions.