Our body has a natural response to things that annoy us or irritate us. It is okay to feel angry and often we can use this to fuel positive reactions such as talking about an issue, resolving it, getting things off our chest and making the situation a better one, nevertheless sometimes our response to being angry can be harmful. Harmful to self if we carry it around inside ourself or harmful to others when we lash out physically or with our words. This can sometimes lead to the situation becoming worse rather than better.
In teaching the girls of Edinburgh football academy about dealing with the feelings of anger, we had a lot of open discussion open triggers of anger and also actions. As you can see with the photos, they were able to identify not only their bodies response to anger but also their actions and their thoughts.
The girls said they liked that they were able to "reflect more on positives rather than negatives" and learned to "be more positive and not let a mistake ruin a game".
It was also learned that "anger can be used in a good way sometimes" and they now "have a better idea of how to deal with anger" and "the different ways of showing/explaining anger".
We discussed anger and the triggers and how we could resolve conflict in certain situations but also identifying controllable versus uncontrollable versus things we can influence. Sometimes we can influence people we find to be rude by expressing our feelings in an assertive way, however, we can't change people. Therefore by speaking about something then puts the responsibility back on to they person to do something about the way they have made you feel or not. Their reaction is something you can't control but influence, by the way we say things, the way we word things and by also questioning, 'what would I do if someone spoke to me like that?'. If it is sincere and seems in a way of care and help, people are more likely to respond rather than becoming aggressive and making that person defensive. Naturally, if people feel someone is trying to fight them, they will either fight back or retreat into a bubble. Therefore, it's important we look at how we deal with our anger and continually ask, "is this helpful or unhelpful?", "how would I like the situation to be?" And "how would i feel if someone was to say that to me; what would I do with it?"
We spoke about not suppressing anger but channelling it and using it to make a better situation as used in right way we can use it to:
Give us stamina
And as a tool against anxiety because it can be detrimental to self to hold in anger all the time and not express it which can lead to anxiety.
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.