Anger, irritation, exasperation, indignation, fury. I could keep on writing anger synonyms and cover a few more lines. Anger is so important that we have a large number of words to express it. We also have expressions to describe how it feels. I´m sure you may be already thinking about how something can “make your blood boil” or how some people get “blinded by rage”. Luckily, there are plenty of anger signs that send us a warning when we are losing it (free printable anger worksheets for kids available at the end of this post)
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Why is emotion recognition so important?
Emotion recognition predicts social competence. Recognizing and responding to others’ facial expressions or emotional states is difficult for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disabilities. Hence, it is especially important to work with them on emotions recognition.
Today I´m going to focus on helping you to describe the most common anger signs. Your children will then understand all those changes and reactions that they experience in their own bodies when they are feeling angry. The anger worksheets for kids that you will find below will be a great resource to help you with this task.
How do I feel when I am angry?
Anger is a very unpleasant emotion. When I feel angry I may also feel
- full of negative thoughts.
Further reading for kids on how to better understand anger: What to do when temper flares. A kid’s guide to overcoming problems with anger.
Anger signs: What does anger look like? What does my body do when I´m feeling angry?
This is a checklist of some of the things you can discuss with your children. It would be great if they come up with some of them themselves, but this list will be a good guide to know which anger signs you can prompt in case they miss some or have never thought about them. I am also going to share a few facts about why our body feels different when we are angry. Kids love asking questions and I´m sure you will be happy to know most of the answers.
HOW DO I FEEL WHEN I´M ANGRY? HOW DOES MY BODY CHANGE?
-I’m feeling full of energy, I need to take action, do something or fix something. Why? It´s the result of the anger functions. The fight or flight adaptative response to danger and also the arousal that moves you into solving a problem.
-I feel I can´t control myself (impulsiveness, lack of control, “blinded by rage”). Why? When we are angry we find it difficult to use our cognitive processes effectively.
– My muscles tighten:
- I close my fist
- I tense my jaw muscles
- I frown.
– My breathing becomes faster (rapid and agitated breathing)
– My heart beats really fast
– My face may redden. There are lots of blood vessels very close to the surface of our face skin. The blood flow increase that happens as a result of our heart pumping faster/more may make our face turn red.
-My ears feel hot. This also happens because of the sudden increase in blood flow
-I feel like shouting
-My voice changes, is louder
-I talk faster or even the opposite, I can´t talk.
-My face also tells I´m angry:
- My eyebrows contract and descend obliquely
- My eyes tense and become narrowed
- My lips contract and tighten
- My nostrils dilate
All of them (eyebrows, eyes, lips, nose, mouth) work together to bring up this “angry” expression.
Free printable anger worksheets for kids.
In order to work at home on all the changes we experience when we are angry, I´ve prepared free downloadable anger worksheets for kids. In this document, your child will be able to spot and describe most of those changes we have described in the list above. (download here or by clicking in the image below)
Credits: The anger worksheets illustrations have been created by my sister Soledad Muriel. I would like to thank her for her generosity. She does an awesome job helping me with all the illustrations for my stories and the blog. ♥
Other resources to teach kids to identify anger signs
Teaching kids to identify their anger signs can also become a really fun activity when we use therapeutic games. A good example could be the Mad Dragon.
Mad Dragon plays like the popular game UNO. Players race to get rid of their cards while learning anger control skills. This therapeutic card game helps kids:
- Control their anger in the moment;
- Practice 12 anger management techniques
- Understand what anger feels and looks like;
- Avoid anger-provoking situations;
- Express and understand their feelings;
- Identify anger cues;
- Learn that they have choices about how to express anger.
If you are interested in learning more about really fun ways to teach kids anger management skills, your next stop should be my post “Anger Games: 14 Super Fun Ways to Learn Anger Management Skills”
I hope you have found this post useful. I´m leaving you below a few more links to relevant reading on this topic.
Further reading related to the topic:
“ANGER MANAGEMENT / SELF REGULATION” articles in this blog:
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