How to Control Anger
Do You Often Wonder “How to Control Anger”?
This week I’m going to share a very simple tip on how to control anger. This is a technique that you can practice for yourself and teach your kids.
The technique is called “Willing Hands” and I learnt it in my counsellor training through the work of Dr. Marsha Linehan.
The idea is that when we feel angry, we want to create “opposite anger”. This means that if we do something physically with our body that is the opposite of anger, it will help us feel more calm.
When we are angry, we feel tight, tense and may have clenched fists. Thus, the opposite is to open our palms face up with relaxed fingers. We can do this by placing our hands palms up on our lap, or if we are standing, we can turn our hands so our palms face up.
It is recommended to practice this technique when:
- you wake up in the morning
- you feel irritated
- you feel angry at someone or about a situation
- when you feel tense
- when you are standing
- when you are lying down
Try it right now…
Take some deep breaths while having “willing hands” and see if you can notice a shift in your body.
Amazing isn’t it? This simple shift in body position, can really shift emotions.
How to Control Anger with Mindfulness
To make this technique, even more effective, I recommend adding a visualization meditation from mindfulness of focusing on your breath cycle and as thoughts come into your mind, labelling your thoughts and letting them go.
In this visualization, notice all your thoughts coming into your mind and label them in categories such as:
If you can’t think of a category to label your thought, you can just think “hmmmm” in order that you don’t get stuck trying to come up with a label.
As you categorize your thoughts, place each label onto a cloud and imagine it passing on by in the sky.
The objective is not to feel instant calm, but to notice our thoughts that create our emotions and let them pass on by, without impulsively reacting.
Our thoughts are just thoughts. As I mentioned in last week’s article, Trust vs. Fear and The Importance of Teaching This Message to Our Kids, we create our reality based on the thoughts by which we choose to lead our life.
If you would like to try a 10 minute thought labelling meditation by Dr. Ronald Siegel, who specializes in mindfulness, click here and scroll down to meditation #154 Thought Labelling.
I hope you practice these tips on how to control anger, and find your upcoming week to be more calm and peaceful,
PS. If you would like to receive my one page guide of my 7 favourite calming/meditation apps for children – adults, please click the button below:
PPS. Dr. Shimi Kang is coming to the Kay Meek Theatre on May 2nd, 2017. You can read my summary of her book, The 12 Amazing Benefits of Free Play here. She will be talking about how to develop resilience in our kids.
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