When the barista at Starbucks ruins your latte order you get annoyed, when the car in the next lane cuts you off on the highway almost causing an accident, you get frustrated, and when your obnoxious co-worker steals the parking spot you’ve been waiting for, you’re down right angry.
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[Photo Source: Giphy]

I get it—trust me! Sometimes you just want to slash the tires on your co-worker’s car or “accidentally” drop your hot latte on him/her. I get it, I feel the same way when birds or bad weather affecting the satellite dish interrupts my television programing—nothing stands between me and my daily ZeeTV soaps.

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[Photo Source: Giphy]

Anger is a natural and healthy reaction to frustrating situations. However, you shouldn’t let anger take over because it does add significantly to stress levels. Angry outbursts can cause health issues like migraines, headaches, weak immunes systems and even increase the risk of heart attacks. Anger is not just an emotional reaction but a physical reaction as well. Your jawline tightens, muscles stiffen and maybe you grit your teeth as well. When you exercise, it helps shift your focus to the physical aspect and burns off excess energy. Research has supported the idea of exercising to reduce anger as well as stress. Exercising reduces blood pressure and releases endorphins into the bloodstream which increases feelings of contentedness. Stress physiologist Nathaniel Thom stated, “exercise, even a single bout of it, can have a robust prophylactic effect” against the buildup of anger.

Let’s use that building anger positively! Focus on a work out instead to channel that anger and keep you calm the next time Captain steal-your-parking-spot tries to ruin your day. Check out this list of top exercises to try to reduce anger!

1. Deep Breathing

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The University of Maryland Medical Center states that deep breathing exercises can help the body relax. You may not think of deep breathing as an exercise but it is a useful trick to keep your mind at ease—especially when you feel your anger rising. The best thing to do is take yourself out of that situation, step away to a quiet place so you can gather your thoughts and refocus. Sit in a comfortable position (or lie down if you have the accommodations for it) place one hand on your stomach, close your eyes and inhale focusing on the air entering your lungs. Pause a second before exhaling slowly. Focus on breathing, clear your thoughts and calm the muscles—just don’t fall asleep!

2. Progressive Relaxation

The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests you lie down while consciously tensing and relaxing your muscles one major muscle group at a time. Close your eyes and start with your toes tensing them for a few seconds and then relaxing the muscles. This type of relaxation exercise relieves stress, anger and tension. Don’t forget to breathe and focus on your body.

3. Boxing

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[Photo Source: Giphy]

Grab some boxing gloves and head to the gym to vent your anger on a punching bag. Take a boxing class or kickboxing class to divert your anger and release the stress you’re holding on to. Symbolically, you would be able to work out your anger by taking it out on the punching bag instead of a real person. The exercise is not just a stress reliever but a great way to stay in shape as it is a high-intensity workout.

4. Brisk Walking

If you can’t go for a jog then try a brisk 20-minute walk instead to keep the mind at ease. Walking is a physical activity that lowers stress hormones, improves agility and of course, is a great way to stay in shape. Walking also works to change how we think and is one of the best activities for self-reflection. It offers people a way to reconnect with the self. Start off with 20-minute power walks three times a week and then you can increase as you feel best.

5. Weight Lifting

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[Photo Source: Giphy]

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Weight lifting strengthens the body and studies have shown that strength training is linked to reduced anxiety, reduced irritability levels, and elevated self-awareness. The workout also gives you a stronger sense of self-confidence. The positivity will not only emotionally improve your health but physically as well.

6. Join a Team Sport

Being a part of a team helps you focus and practice cooperation. Call up your friends and get together for a game of basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball or even cricket! The diversion will release the mental stress and the high-intensity physical activity will allow you to release all that pent up frustration.

7. Aerobic Activity: Skipping Rope

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Haven’t skipped rope since you were in elementary school? Well, pick up that rope again because it can help you keep your mind at ease when you’re angry! The aerobic exercise gets your heart pumping, reduces anxiety and blood pressure. If you’re not a fan of skipping rope try another aerobic activity like running on a treadmill, cycling or jogging in the park

8. Yoga

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[Photo Source: Giphy]

Yoga is an exercise that purifies your mind, body, and soul. This spiritual approach to anger will help you clear your mind and, depending on the level of yoga, give you quite an intense workout. Stretch out the body, increase flexibility and focus on your breathing—the anger will just wash away. Specifically, the virabhadrasana (or the warrior pose) in yoga is a powerful stance that helps to release pent up anger and sadness. The pose focuses on balance and instilling courage.