Taking Care of Your Anger
January 31st Mindful Friday lesson was all about how to make safe choices and sit with your anger. We read the story Ahn’s Anger, by Gail Silver and discussed what we could do when we felt this big and sometimes scary emotion. In the story, Ahn is asked to “sit with his anger” in his bedroom by his grandfather after Ahn acts unkindly. In his bedroom Ahn meets his anger personified as a scary, red monster. His anger tries to persuade Ahn to go back downstairs and make unsafe choices, but Ahn suggests they stay upstairs—remembering his grandfather’s words. Upstairs they dance, make howling noises, pound the floor, and spin wide circles together. When they feel exhausted they sit together and take big, slow breaths. Ahn notices that his anger begins to get smaller and less scary as they breathe together. By the time grandfather goes upstairs to check on Ahn, his anger has disappeared altogether. Feeling calm, Ahn apologizes to his grandfather and gives him a big hug.
After the story we practiced how to take care of anger! I brought out two balloons with angry faces drawn on them representing my anger. The first balloon I did nothing to acknowledge or take care of my anger. I blew it bigger, and bigger until it popped! We all agreed that sometimes when our anger gets out of control and we “blow up” (hit, kick, yell in anger) it can feel scary! The second balloon I filled with air and then took some big breaths with the balloon, letting a little bit of air out of the balloon with each breath until the balloon was small again. That felt safe taking care of our anger, and not scary at all!
I gave the kids their own “little anger” and we practiced a short sitting meditation holding our angers very still, and taking big breaths. The red poof ball anger was a gift to the children this mindfulness lesson as a reminder that they can take space and big calming breaths with their anger whenever needed.
Mindfulness at Home
What are some safe choices you can make when you feel angry? Is there a special place in your own home that you can go when you need space to sit with your anger? Having these discussions at home with your children helps set up a plan on what they can do when their anger shows face. To help affirm these thoughts into action you could set up a special zone for the kids to go when they feel angry, (bedroom, closet, play tent) make it fun! Role play a situation something that makes you feel angry, and then act out the safe choices. When you are done with the big body playful side of taking care of your anger, practice resting and taking big breaths to put your anger to rest. You could also journal/ draw with your child what your anger might look like, and safe choices you can make to take care of your anger when it arises. It’s okay to feel angry! We just need to remember to make safe, kind choices when feeling that big emotion!