Anger and other negative emotions happen. When you’re stressed, hungry, tired or just over it, the next person who annoys you may get more of your opinion than they bargained for. To keep your emotions in check, exercise is a great option.
When you get angry or start to rage, your body goes into danger mode. Even if you aren’t physically threatened, your heart will pound faster. Your body is getting ready to respond to a threat when you get angry. This can lead to actions that feel out of your control. Anger can cause reckless driving behavior, interfere with your relationships, and affect several different aspects of your life. If you find that anger is causing problems in your life, building exercise into your day can help you release that energy.
If you’re feeling lonely or blue, getting some exercise can help. Visit your local animal shelter and volunteer to walk a dog. Call a friend, pack a picnic and stroll around the park together before you eat. It’s important to monitor feelings of sadness as you may be dealing with depression. While exercise can help with depression and anxiety, you may need further treatment or more professional help than a good workout. The difference between sadness and depression is a bit like the light from a window. If you paint your bedroom blue, it’s always blue.
It can get brighter depending on the time of day, as you can grow more cheerful, but you can’t change the color of the walls without a fresh paint job. If your sadness is a constant that’s impacting your ability to socialize, keep a job, go to school, or feel good about your life, seek help.
One of the best things about creating an exercise habit is that it becomes automatic and frees up your brain to think more creatively. While you’re walking, jogging or biking, watch your thoughts. If you find that your inner dialogue constantly comes up with words like always or never, you may be setting yourself up for anger. When they come up, question them. Is your job always a pain, or do you sometimes have fun? Are your family members and coworkers always on your back, or are they sometimes supportive and helpful? By breaking with these words, you can reduce emotional extremes while you work out.
The first step in changing your thoughts and emotions is becoming aware. No matter how old you are, blood pressure points are precious. Don’t burn them on bad drivers, irritating family members or crazy coworkers. Use your workouts as a time to build healthy reactions to the frustrations of life.
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