Anger is a feeling we get when things are not going the way we wished or wanted it to go. It happens to everyone, both young and old. It may have been a goal that we had, or there may be a frustration about not getting a need met. As a parent, we have a goal that our children behave in a particular way. When that goal is not complied with by the child, we may get angry. If we are in a relationship and the other person does not meet our expectations in the way they respond to us we may feel anger welling up inside of us.
Even very young children who need the attention of their parents or need to have things go the way they want and do not get it as fast as they think it should happen may display their anger with a tantrum. There are so many things that trigger this feeling, and it will be different triggers for different people.
Most of the time we do not choose to be angry, but somehow we are suddenly experiencing the feeling. For some the sense of anger sneak up on us as if it is simmering and for others, it hits like an explosion, and they do not remember very much about how they reacted. The first step in recognizing that anger is coming on us though is noticing where we feel it in our body. When the emotional part of the brain takes over the thinking part we may feel it physically in a number of ways:
- Our head or body feeling hot or start pounding
- May feel like crying
- A knot in our stomach
- Feel like screaming
- We may want to hurt someone physically or emotionally.
Physically we most likely are going to look, sound, think and act differently. The reason is that anger, once it starts, changes our bodies, faces, voice, and thoughts. It also creates impulses to act in a manner that others can see instantly. When we can begin to recognize these changes taking place inside of ourselves we have an opportunity to start to make better choices. Anger management starts with making better decisions.