Shift your sentence from “I’m angry” to “A part of me is feeling angry.” This is recognition that you and the feeling are separate. You are not the feeling.
Say “Hello” to the part of you that is feeling angry. When you first try this practice, it feels counter intuitive. It certainly is different from common strategies, maybe even some you have tried in the past—to ignore the feeling, to deny it, to argue with it, to try to talk yourself out of the feeling. Saying “hello” is a way of acknowledging the presence of the feeling and recognizing that it has come to you, often without your conscious invitation. Saying “hello” indicates that you are trying to move toward willingness to consider what the feeling might be trying to tell you.
You can add even more power to your shift by adding a phrase, “I’m sensing…” and then add, “…that a part of me is feeling angry.”
Place a hand on the location in your body where you feel the sensation the most. Some common places that feelings show up are in your stomach, throat, chest (heart area), neck, shoulders, or head. If you don’t sense a particular place in your body where the feeling seems to be showing itself, simply place your hand over your heart. This gesture often has a calming effect.
Listen to what the part of your body or the anger has to say. Sometimes the feeling will remind you of a situation in your life, past or present, in which you have felt this way before. Any number of memories, thoughts, feelings, images that come to mind may be part of the message. Ponder what they might be telling you.
After you’ve listed carefully, you may be able to say, “No wonder I’m sensing part of me is angry.” This is a way to show compassion to yourself. Having gone through this process you may be able to respond to your situation in a different way.
Remember you can substitute any discomforting or upsetting feeling for anger.
I learned this practice from Ann Weiser Cornell. Visit her website for fuller explanation and additional resources: focusingresources.com.