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Anger and Emotional Self-Expression

67Anger calls for movement and action, increased heart rate, and breathing. When expressed, anger doesn't linger or transform into rage. It is an emotion without intelligence, and the idea is to let it go and pay attention to what created the anger in the first place-what needs to change and how are you going to respond. Usually this step involves a form of communication to other people and to yourself.

Artists spend significant parts of their lives developing the most authentic ways to communicate their emotions, and most basic emotions can not be articulated into words. Composers and dancers focus on communicating and transforming the deepest emotions from something that can hurt them to something beautiful. It's a choice they make.

In theater, it's not a problem to attach an emotion to a sound and breath it out. You don't always need to wait for someone else to make you angry. Emotions build over time, and as you tap into them, they will decrease in intensity and you will feel more connected to your less intense emotions. Anxiety and tension block this process so a portion of the work is to loosen muscle tension.

Start small by expressing a little bit of anger, call it expressing an annoyance. Practice this and the more you learn to express it, the better you can manage the emotion when you are around other people. Dealing with emotions like this takes time and practice, it's an active process different from taking a pill which is passive.

Painting, dancing, writing, etc. are all used to find better ways to express and work through emotions. Other ways are talking about your feelings and searching for other ways to express your self with your body. Each of us has unique ways of expression and some of them are healthier than others.

Once you uncover a way for you to process anger and begin to listen to its messages, you will notice its intensity drop, allowing for a wider range of emotions to arise like joy and happiness and other subtler emotions. Anger will no longer overwhelm all of your other emotions. The important aspect of mind and body is that once you convince yourself that it is a valid point of view, you can begin to build personal techniques to attend to your emotions by monitoring your body and then responding to the feelings by allowing for self-expression.

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