Anger is a complex emotion, but what most people don’t realize is that it is a normal and healthy emotion as well. Many people, kids alike, struggle to understand the difference between anger and aggression. For kids, frustration and anger can easily turn into defiance, disrespect, aggression, and temper tantrums if they’re unaware of how to deal with their emotions. Left unchecked, childhood aggression such as fighting, spitting, and teasing can lead to additional problematic issues like academic problems, peer rejections, or poor mental health in adulthood. This is why it’s extremely important to empower your child with mindful tools to help them deal with anger in a proper manner.
Anger Is Not A Bad Emotion
When viewed through the lens of mindfulness, anger is just energy that is neither good nor bad. It’s only when we engage with anger – identify with it, fuel it, hold onto it, become consumed by it – that it can become problematic. Helping your child identify and label feelings by teaching them basic feeling words like “mad,” “sad,” “happy,” and “scared,” will develop their emotional cognition. As they grow, you can teach them more sophisticated feeling words such as frustrated, disappointed, worried, and lonely.
How Does Meditation Help With Anger?
Anger is a strong emotional reaction that activates the body’s fight-or-flight stress response. Practicing meditation directly disrupts that stress response to help you remain calm and choose your response wisely. Regular practice reduces the cognitive, emotional, and physical reaction to anger and fosters a sense of relaxed, balanced calm. Done regularly, meditation can help cope with anger by:
- Helping your kid remain focused on the present instead of being stuck in a loop of negative thoughts.
- Increasing their awareness of their emotions, minimizing the tendency to react.
- Promoting a sense of acceptance and ability to tolerate and cope with distress.
- Strengthening their ability to observe, remain emotionally stable, and notice what is happening without judgment.
- Broadening their perspective and releasing them from self-defeating automatic negative thoughts like catastrophizing and all-or-nothing thinking.
Start inculcating the habit of meditation in your child with this guided meditation.
How Does Yoga Help Your Child Deal With Anger?
Teaching kids how to work with their anger in a constructive way means meeting it with awareness and compassionately listening to what it has to say. Anger always has an underlying message. When we uncover the veil, there’s usually another emotion hiding behind it like disappointment, fear, grief, or shame. They need to learn how to listen to their anger without lashing out or lashing in as it lays the foundation for healthy communication, assertiveness and empowerment. Yoga can help a withdrawing child develop confidence and positivity, while a child dealing with problems related to aggressive outbursts will gain a sense of calm and learn to relax. Pranayama is the best antidote for anger as it gives quietude and inner harmony and has a sedative effect on the mind.
Just as you teach your child to sort their clothes out, you need to inculcate the habit of sorting their mind out. The mind is a powerful instrument responsible for both bondage and freedom. Mindfulness techniques can improve your child’s physical and mental strength, teaching them to focus and self-comfort. It will also help them see their anger with more clarity, realizing that it can actually be a healthy emotion if channeled in the appropriate way.