Blog Character Chats

What makes us angry?

What makes us angry and where do we feel it?

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social, emotional learning program called True Character.

And I am Master H, chief instructor, and owner here at the studio. I have two master’s degrees in education. I’ve taught anything from kindergarten through eighth grade. And along with my husband, we’ve developed a curriculum that benefits our youngest students of three and our oldest students of 83.

And this month we’re talking about anger management.

Last month, we talked about impulse control, stopping and thinking before we act.

And anger management goes right along with that because we want to teach our students what anger is, how we feel it, how can we stop and think before we do something that’s not safe or not fair or potentially harmful to somebody else around us.

Recognizing Anger

So one of the good questions to ask is- what is our anger telling us?

And before we can figure out that one, we have to be able to recognize the anger.

How do we feel anger? Some of us feel really, really hot. We feel that temperature rising. Maybe we feel like our skin is getting flushed or sweaty. Some of us feel very tense. Our muscles tense up. We might make fists. We might make our angry ninja faces as we call it here at the studio. We might get a headache. We might get churning in our stomach. Some of us don’t like to feel anger or confrontation. So it might start to spike our anxiety a little bit.

So for each of us, we feel anger differently and it’s helping our younger students recognize what anger could feel like.

And it’s helping our older students recognize that not all anger feels the same. In some situations, it feels anxious, and in other situations it feels tense and ready to fight. So we need to recognize those different types of feelings when it comes to anger.

And once we are able to recognize that, we want to be able to ask ourselves, what is the anger telling us? Is it telling us that we’re upset about a situation? Is it telling us that we feel like somebody has hurt our feelings? Is it telling us that there’s something important that we need to stand up for right now that we need to use our words and advocate in a positive way?

Controlling Anger

And that goes along with our impulse control from last month.

When we can recognize how we’re feeling, when we can speak positively to it, when we can stop and think and manage our anger in a thoughtful, productive, positive way, then we’re able to control that anger.

Not deny it, not stuff it down into our bellies and forget it exists. We need to acknowledge it. We need to have a healthy relationship with it so that we can all continue to grow our positive relationships around us.

I remember when my kids were little and they would get upset and angry and they would cry and scream like most kids do, but we always had a conversation, “Why are you upset? What has upset you? Tell me more.” We didn’t leave it at just, “My brother took my toy.” “Tell me more.”

We always tried to dig deep and find those reasons so that they could better explain what they needed to feel better in that situation or what they needed in terms of an apology, or to make something right, or in some way, rectify what was going on at the time.

So the more we can talk with our students and our kids and our adults, and even our own parents or siblings as a grownup, sometimes we have to be able to share when we have been upset by something other grownups have done around us.

The more we can find those positive words and understand how we’re feeling, why we’re feeling it, what it’s telling us and how we can then advocate for what we need, the more we’re able to control our anger.

Thanks and we’ll see you on the mat.

True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here.