Category: Emotions

Stop Anger from controlling you -- april wright therapy

Learn How to Control Anger Before it Controls You

We’ve all experienced anger whether it is felt as a mild irritation or as an intense rage. Anger is a normal and natural emotion. Anger is also an essential survival mechanism to run from danger or fight when being attacked.

Nonetheless, when it turns out of control and destructive, it can lead to difficulties. Biological and physiological changes occur such as a racing heart rate, a rise in blood pressure and an increase in the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline.

Consistent outrage and resentment with a particular supervisor or coworker can lead to troubles at work. Constant worry or menacing about personal problems can prime problems with your personal relationships. Memories of infuriating events or traumas whether big or small can also trigger angry feelings.

Your overall happiness diminishes, and your quality of life depreciates. And it can make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion. This article is to help you learn how to understand and nurture your anger.

If anger is ruling your world, it is time to give it the proper attention it deserves.  The overpowering emotion is a valuable sign that something is out of balance.  Instead of blaming others, take a few moments to look within.  Underneath anger may reside pain, fear, guilt, and shame.  Relief and peace is near with adequate understanding of the emotions that trigger your intense feelings of anger.

Holding anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to dieWhen you approach the underlying feelings of anger with love and care, you can then express your thoughts calmly. The dialogue provides an opportunity to grow closer not only to others but also to self-awareness and insight.  You can then  assertively communicate your desires and convey what you need to have them met.

To dive even deeper, relay how that particular person or event not only triggered certain emotions but also negative beliefs about you. Whenever your current reaction is over-the-top for the present situation, it means there is historical data to look into. Sit quietly and focus internally to allow the past to surface. Valuable information waits ahead.

As you reflect inward, feelings about yourself like “I don’t matter” I’m not good enough” may arise. Try to go deeper and remember how you formulated that false belief. Scan your memory and body for signals of specific persons/events –look for colors, snippets of scenes, smells, whatever comes to mind.

Next you can begin to nurture that hurt child. It could be the sad infant/toddler or defiant teenager.  They are both speaking to you telling you what they need.  You have the power to give them the love, compassion, and understanding now that wasn’t given to you when you needed it as a youngster.

As you show compassion and love to your pain, shame, guilt, or fear, empathetic and careful thought allows the hurt to diminish. Insight and self-awareness brings relief and healing. These false beliefs were passed down to you from your parents and circulated from their parents.  You don’t  have to continue the cycle of pain.

Anger is a gift. It has helped us survive danger and defend from attack. When given empathic care and understanding, anger can remind us to focus inward, and to examine how the person/event triggered hurt feelings. We all have the wisdom to provide what we need. That wisdom is a treasure chest of information that can provide internal healing. Sit quietly and focus inward to access the love, faith, hope and kindness you deserve.


Mother and Daughter Working on Painting in Art Studio - April Wright Therapy

Emotion: An Integral Part of Art, Self-Awareness, Empathy, Self-Control And So Much More

Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. ~Plato

Let’s talk emotion.

What does the word emotion mean? According to Wikipedia, “emotion, in everyday speech, is any relatively brief conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a high degree of pleasure or displeasure.” I refer to emotions as feelings about the self, others, objects, and experiences. Emotions trigger thoughts, psychological and biological states, and inclinations to act (Goleman, 2006).

What kinds of emotions do we experience on a day-to-day basis?
There are numerous emotions, along with their variations, combinations, mutations, and subtleties. Well-known emotions include anger, sadness, surprise, shame, disgust, fear, love, and happiness. The list is not exhaustive. Many different forms and names for emotions exist, but at least you can get an idea.

Why are emotions important? Feelings trigger a response to danger, the ability to love, and experience passion in life. Emotions stem from the amygdala – the reptilian part of the brain. The amygdala is the root from which the neocortex – the newest development of the brain where our thoughts lie. Because of the interconnectivity of the brain, the amygdala plays crucial roles in the neural architecture. Emotions have an immense influential power of the functioning of all aspects of the brain including our thoughts.

Let’s discuss color.

With some understanding of emotions and their importance, color, also has tremendous power. Extensive research has concluded certain colors instigate certain emotions and arousals. According to Birren (2006), warm colors such as red and yellow increase arousal more than cool colors like blue and green.


Many forms of line exist including straight, jagged, squiggly, zig-zag, continuous, soft, hard, and so on.

Let’s create emotional art.

Turn on some tunes and warm up by drawing lines based upon certain feelings using pencil on newsprint. IE: draw happy lines, draw sad lines, draw angry lines, etc. If nothing comes to mind, base your lines on the music. It could be classical, alternative, electronic, jazz, whatever is your preference.

Once “warmed up” begin working with acrylics. Make sure you have several paintbrushes, clean water in a cup and a minimum of the three primary colors (red, yellow and blue).

Begin by deciding on a particular emotion or feeling which you would like to express using various paint colors, lines, textures, and shapes.
Take as long as you need to create the final work. It’s a good idea to step back from time to time and look at the full composition and the accuracy of the emotion you’d like to convey.

When standing back, ask yourself – Is it moving in the direction you want? Are the desired feelings starting to emerge?

Remember this is a very intuitive and subjective exercise. Perfectionism or criticism during analyzation is not part of the process. Emotional painting is personal expression of feelings and differs from person to person.

When your painting is complete, hang it up and see how others interpret the work. Is what they see similar, or different, why?

Expressive art exercises:

  1. How do certain colors make you feel? Why?
  2. Look at the works of various artists in history. While looking at the pictures, see if you can notice any strong feelings.
  3. After you completed your painting, use the creative art of language and write an emotional story or poem that reflects upon your picture.
  4. Watch videos of dancers and observe their rhythm and movement in music. Compare the idea of “emotional music” with “emotional painting.”
  5. Bond with family members or friends with an afternoon of artistic expression.  Use color, light or strong brush strokes, thick or thin lines, or whatever comes to mind to express your feelings toward those you love.  There is no better gift than one created from the heart.

Red is such an interesting color to correlate with emotion, because it’s on both ends of the spectrum. On one end you have happiness, falling in love, infatuation with someone, passion, all that.  On the other end, you’ve got obsession, jealousy, danger, fear, anger and frustration. ~Taylor Swift


Wikipedia (online).
Goleman, D. (2006). Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. Bantam Dell: Random House.
Birren F. (2006). Color psychology and color therapy: A factual study of the influence of color on human life. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger.

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