How to Channel Anger With Exercise
Whether someone made you angry, you’re upset with yourself, or you’re just having a bad day, one of the best ways to direct your angry energy in a healthy way is through exercise. That angry energy can build inside of you and working it out is an effective way to channel your rage into movement that will work up a sweat, release endorphins, and leave you feeling better. If you’re looking to channel your anger through exercise, there are exercises that are especially good for it.
Exercising to Release Anger
Use cardiovascular or aerobic exercise to release endorphins: Cardiovascular exercises get your heart rate up and aerobic exercises promote greater oxygen intake. They often go hand in hand, and together they tell your body to release endorphins, which are chemicals that react with your brain to create a positive mental feeling and reduce your perception of pain. If you’re feeling angry, a great way to direct that energy is to harness it to help you get through a difficult cardio/aerobic workout.
- Always check with your doctor before trying exercises that will put a strain on your heart and lungs.
Monitor your heart rate during hard workouts: Because you’re angry, your heart rate may already be increased, so when you add cardio to the mix, you need to monitor yourself for safety. Working out can be really demanding on your cardiovascular system. During your periods of rest, check your pulse to make sure you are not exceeding your maximum heart rate.
- To determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220.
Avoid weightlifting when you’re angry: If you’re really angry, you may think that picking up some heavy weights and pumping out some reps would be a great way to vent that frustration. But lifting weights while you’re angry and not thinking clearly can be dangerous. Your anger may distract you from focusing on what you’re doing, and you could seriously injure yourself.
- If you’re already angry going into the gym, any minor frustration could potentially balloon into an altercation.
- If you injure yourself, you will probably be even angrier!
Try out new exercises to channel your anger: If you need to let off some steam with exercise, it may be a good push to get you to try that workout or take that class you’ve been meaning to try but haven’t gotten around to. Use your frustration to drive you to try something new. You can get a great workout, and who knows, you may just discover something new that you really enjoy doing.
- Direct your rage at conquering the workout, not the people in the class or in the gym.
Listen to music that you enjoy to release your anger: Music increases concentration and lowers your perception of effort, which makes you feel like a workout is easier and more enjoyable.The distraction it provides and the extra energy you expend because you can exercise longer can provide a great relief if you’re feeling angry. You can listen to calming music if that helps you let go of your frustrations, or you can choose to rock out to heavy-energy music to vent your anger.
Trying Different Exercises
Try harnessing your anger with running: Running is a very effective technique you can use to channel your anger and frustrations. The focus it takes to run and the endorphins your body releases as a result of the exercise will take your mind off of whatever is frustrating you and will make you feel better. Be sure to adequately warm-up and stretch before you run!
- Find a scenic route to run. You can enhance the benefits that running gives you by running in an area that is calming and free of distractions like around a lake or through a peaceful part of the city.
- Use a treadmill to run out your anger. A treadmill allows you to go for a run without having to travel to an outdoor location and can be used no matter what the weather conditions are outside.
- Be careful of any oncoming traffic or hazards that may exist along your planned route.
Use interval training to focus your anger on a healthy outlet: High-intensity interval training is an excellent way to channel your frustration because it involves short intervals all-out work. During the intervals, you go 100% as hard as you can, and then take a brief period of rest. That means you can harness all of your rage and direct it into the moments of hard work in the workout.
- Try a tabata workout to focus your frustration. Tabatas involve periods of hyper-focused work, followed by a period of rest before another period of intense work.
Practice yoga to release your anger: A challenging yoga practice is a great way to harness your anger to help you get through it. You may be so angry and frustrated that getting started in a yoga practice may seem impossible. Joining a class can help take the thinking out of it, so you can focus on directing your angry energy into each of the movements. It may also help you to have the support of the group to help you direct your angry energy.
- Try deep breathing to release your anger. Deep breathing is a large part of practicing yoga and can help you channel your anger.
- Do a warrior series to challenge your anger. Warrior poses will challenge your body physically and give you a great target to channel your anger towards.
- Take a hot yoga class to sweat out your anger.
- If you don’t want to participate in a group class, many yoga studios will allow you to use the space when a class is not in session.
Go cycling to relieve your frustration: Cycling is a serious cardiovascular workout and you can use your anger to help you push through the difficulty of it. You can go for a ride outside or take a spin class. If you go outdoors, the extra focus it takes to navigate the outside world can help to take your mind off of your frustration. The advantage of a spin class is that it is led by an instructor who can guide your ride so you can focus on getting through it.
- If you do go for a ride outdoors, be sure to obey traffic laws and wear a helmet.