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A Simple Trick to Calm Anger: The Hand Tracing Technique

Hello, everyone!

I'm Annika, the founder of Mommy Made This, and today I want to share with you a remarkably simple yet effective tool for managing anger. Whether you're a parent trying to navigate challenging moments with your children or simply looking for ways to stay grounded in stressful situations, this technique can be a game-changer. And it works for children too – in fact, it was my three children that introduced this technique to me! 😊

The Challenge of Anger: Let's face it—anger is a complex emotion that can be difficult to manage, especially in the heat of the moment. As parents, we often find ourselves triggered by our children's behaviour or external stressors, leading to feelings of frustration and irritation.


And I find myself wanting to not only teach myself better ways to navigate anger, but teach my children healthy ways to express and regulate their emotions, too. And that starts with modelling these behaviours myself!

Introducing the Hand Tracing Technique: This ingenious technique was actually shared with me by my own children, who learned it at school. 

I think it’s a really simple yet powerful method for calming the nervous system and grounding oneself in moments of anger or distress. Here's how it works:

  1. Begin by taking one hand and using the index finger of your other hand to trace up and down the fingers, starting at the base of the thumb.

  2. As you trace up each finger, take a slow, deep breath in.

  3. As you trace down each finger, exhale slowly and completely.

  4. Repeat this process, focusing on your breath and the sensation of your finger tracing along your hand.

Why It Works: There are several reasons why the hand tracing technique is so effective:

  • Physical Touch: The act of tracing your hand provides a tactile sensation that can help ground you in the present moment and soothe the nervous system.

  • Focused Attention: By concentrating on the repetitive motion of tracing your hand, you shift your focus away from the source of your anger and onto a simple, calming task.

  • Deep Breathing: Pairing the hand tracing with deep breathing helps regulate your breath, slowing your heart rate and promoting relaxation.

For me, the beauty of this technique lies in its simplicity and versatility. You can use it anytime, anywhere, whenever you need to find inner peace. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed by parenting challenges or grappling with stress in other areas of your life, the hand tracing technique can be a really quick and easy way to calm yourself down.

Is this something that resonates with you? And would it work for your children? Or for you? I'd love to hear from you! What other techniques or tools do you use to calm your nervous system? 

I think managing anger is a real skill that requires practice and patience, especially in a society where it seems to be a far less accepted emotion than, say sadness or joy. But I am hopeful that by using simple yet powerful tools like this one, we’ll not only be able to be better role models for our children, but give them the skills they need too to navigate tricky emotions! 

Wishing you a week filled with moments of calm and connection.

AnikaFounder, Mommy Made This

P.S. join our FB community with other like-minded parents to discuss topics like this on a regular basis.

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