Anger is just one of the primal emotions that if not understood or expressed constructively, can sabotage a person's relationships, career, academic life and one's ability to live an emotionally healthy life. From a young age, we are given messages either consciously or unconsciously from those around us about our feelings and how or how not to express them. Anger, if not taken care of, is one emotion that can have us responding aggressively towards others or, kept inside of us causing health and emotional problems down the road. So, learning how to express anger constructively is vital to your well being. One way we can express anger is through art. Though, I will give you some tips on how to get to know your anger and steps you can take to calm yourself in the face of the anger beast.
First of all. What do you know about your anger? Do you have a tendency to lash out at others? Does your anger make you sad? Does your anger scare you and those around you? What were you taught about anger growing up? Were you allowed to be angry in your home? I don't mean throw or hit things or people, but were you given permission to say I'm really angry and I need help, or, were you told it's not OK to be angry? What do you do with your anger now? How do you take care of yourself when you feel angry? Let me give you some ideas on ways you can take care of your anger when it surfaces.
Get to know your anger, i.e, don't push it down. What you might want to do the next time you feel angry is:
1. Don't React!
2. Breath - Focus on your breathing.
3. Think before you speak.
4. Listen to other's opinions.
5. Walk away if you feel yourself getting ready to strike out at someone or something.
6. Go some place safe and hit a pillow.
In terms of art, I recommend you identify the color of your anger. How big is your anger? Does it take up the entire piece of paper or just a small area? What shape is your anger? If your anger were an animal, what would it be? What are the triggers of your anger? How do you know when you are angry?
On a piece of paper, create an image of your anger. In other words, create a picture that represents your anger using, colored pencils, crayons, paint, collage or any medium you wish. What art material you use is not important. Give your anger a name. When you are finished with your art, you might want to dialogue with it. On another piece of paper, I'd like you to create a picture that represents what you know about your anger. The triggers, what helps you when you're angry? Who can you talk to when you are angry? These are all important things to know about your anger and ways to take care of yourself when you do get angry. Also, identify in your body where you feel your anger and sooth that area as you breath and take some time out.
Posted by Victoria Van Zandt