10 Anger Management Exercises To Help You Remain Calm
We have all been through situations where we feel a fury building up inside us due to an anger-inducing situation, an annoying colleague who would not stop pestering us, an unfair boss who thinks he is funny when he is clearly not, or a more serious issues like stress because of family conflicts or financial issues, and general circumstances in life that are beyond our control.
Whether in our control or not, we always regret losing our calm in the spur of the moment. In retrospect, we almost always think that we overstepped or that our outbursts weren’t called for. It is through learning from our mistakes that we get better at tackling such situations.
A tried-and-tested strategy to calm yourself in such a moment is by busying yourself with any form of anger management exercises.
10 Best Anger Management Exercises for Self-Control
Here’s a quick list of exercises you should know to manage your anger in a healthier way:
- Deep Breathing
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Brisk Walk
- Dance / Movement
- Listen First
- Avoid Dwelling
- Know your Body’s Anger Warning Signs
1. Deep Breathing
You must have heard it before, and we are here to repeat it – just because it works. A research shows that deep breathing helps release tension from your muscles and calm your nerves down.
When you feel anger rising up your chest, try removing yourself from the person or situation that caused the anger, and sit somewhere (or lying down is even better) and take a few deep breaths.
Inhale through the nose and fill up your lungs with fresh air slowly and then exhale through your mouth. This is instantly calming, and you will testify to it once you have tried it.
If you are into yoga, you can look up and perform other breathing exercises for anger as well.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a technique used to relax muscles. You start by focusing on one muscle in the body, consciously tense it and then relax it, and then progress towards the rest of them.
You can either start from the top of your head and move downwards or start from your toes and progress upwards. Make sure to breathe deeply while doing so.
You must have heard motivational stories of people’s fitness journey where they share that they joined a boxing club or another intense physical exercise to direct their anger into something positive.
Boxing is one of the best anger management activities for adults. You can do this too, as it is an excellent way to release pent-up anger. Not only will you emit your energy into doing something productive, but you will also be at your physical best!
Running disengages from a challenging environment and releases pent-up anger. It creates a space to channel intense emotions into productive energy. Swift movement redirects angry thoughts and brings release and liberation.
Push yourself on the run, hearing only your thumping heartbeat. It drowns out triggers, replacing frustration with determination. Stride by stride, leave behind stress and resentment, focusing something new.
Incorporate running into your anger management routine for transformation. Disengage, redirect thoughts, release tension, and foster self-awareness. Tie your shoelaces, hit the pavement, and let rhythmic motion guide you to a calmer state.
5. Brisk Walk
If you can’t go for a run, try brisk walking as it is a helpful exercise for anger. It is easier on the knees but works equally well to cool down your anger.
You can try inculcating a 20-minute brisk walk into your routine, and see what a great positive effect it has on your overall mood. You will feel that you are at ease and feel lighter, responding less volatilely to unpleasant situations.
What can be a better way to manage your anger than to go hiking? If you live somewhere in the countryside, which has trails and footpaths amidst scenic locations, then you can involve yourself in this recreational activity.
Sometimes, there is so much toxicity and stress at home due to whatever reason that such a break becomes necessary. Go hiking when you feel frustrated or angry the next time, and you will see how a walk amidst nature is the finest exercise one can recommend.
A soothing hike while surrounded by nature is good for groups as well. See if you find such a group and join it, or make your own so you can help others as well.
7. Dance / Movement
Any sort of movement is good to manage anger as the purpose is to deviate attention from the anger-causing situation and our impulse to respond to it.
Dancing or any other preferable movement like Zumba and Aerobics are also great physical activities to release anger.
By participating in these activities, you not only experience the same benefits but also enhance your agility and flexibility while keeping the element of enjoyment intact.
8. Listen First
Are we sure this is an exercise? Well, yes. Just like physical exercises, listening before responding needs motivation and persistence and gets better with practice.
Sometimes, we get angry simply because we respond too quickly and don’t let the other person complete what they say.
Maybe they are not attacking you, maybe they are just sharing their point of view, maybe they are not being intentionally mean, but it is just a difficult and uncomfortable conversation you two should have to improve your relationship.
See if that is the case, and this could only be done if you listen to them open-mindedly and allow them to complete what they have to say before you structure your response.
9. Avoid Dwelling
If something caused you anger, and you dealt with it, then move on. If your partner made you angry, you confronted them and had a discussion that resulted in a mutual conclusion, then move on.
Don’t dwell on situations that caused you to anger, but you have already dealt with them.
Dwelling on them will only occupy your mental space, make you needlessly and repeatedly angry, and also cause trouble for others who feel that you bring up the same thing again and again after you both decided to bury and move past it.
10. Know your Body’s Anger Warning Signs
Do you feel your face getting hot when you get angry? Distance yourself from the situation the next time it happens.
Knowing your body’s anger warning signs can be extremely helpful in recognizing them at the earliest and tackling the situation before it is too late.
Similarly, rising blood pressure, a burning sensation in the chest, and an increased heartbeat could all be your body’s anger warning signs. You can observe what is yours, so you are quick to act when you notice it making an appearance.
In this blog, we shared the best anger management exercises. The key takeaway is to recognize your body’s anger signs so you remove yourself when a person or situation causes anger, and also learn first to listen before you respond, often erratically, which you later regret.
Other than that, you can involve yourself in anger control exercises and calming activities, like boxing, hiking, running, brisk walking, dancing, etc.
Suppose the court of law has asked you to enroll in a court-ordered anger program and get certified prior to your next appearance. In such cases, you can opt for self-paced anger management classes that are accepted across the United States and are designed to help you acquire various techniques to manage your anger.