I’ve had anger issues for just about as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I remember many occasions where I would just “blow up” at the slightest inconvenience. I used to get so emotionally charged that I was always lashing out to my surroundings.
I know that managing anger isn’t easy. Sometimes it feels pointless and you just want to give up. I get it, I’ve been there too, I understand your struggle.
Over the many years I’ve suffered with anger issues, I’ve tried and tested many different anger management exercises. Some anger management exercises worked well while others only made things worse.
In this article, I’ll be going over the anger management exercises that worked as well as the ones that didn’t. I’m including the ones that didn’t work as a reference for you to use.
If you’re as impulsive and short-tempered as I used to be, I think the ones that worked for me will work for you too.
Exercises That Worked
Screaming at the top of your lungs is often seen as a big no-no when it comes to wanting to control your anger. But, I’ve found that screaming is actually a great anger management exercise that quickly makes my anger disappear.
When I scream, I don’t do it towards the person or thing that’s causing my anger. I do it in a controlled environment where no one bears the brunt of my scream. For example, I’ll scream into my pillow when I’ve had a rough day and this gets the angry energy out of me very quickly.
The only negative sides I’ve found with this method is that it is very loud and kind of concerning to any people close by. Also, it takes a toll on your voice if you do it for to long.
In my experience though, I’ve found that the benefits far outweigh the consequences so I’ll continue to do this so long as I have my voice.
Yelling at someone because you’re angry is not the same thing as screaming to let out frustration. Yelling at people out of anger is projecting your emotions onto another person… On the flipside, stress-screaming is controlled. You’re purposely planning to let out some steam verbally. Think of it as another physical way to relieve stress…Does Screaming Relieve Stress? | Mellowed
2. Going on Hikes
I love to be outdoors and going on hikes so this one was a no brainer for me. I’ve found that going on even 15 minute walks at a moderate pace has allowed me to be more on my toes both figuratively and literally.
Hiking, to me, gives me a chance to focus on my surroundings and just get from Point A to Point B without allowing any obstacles in my way to stop me.
I’ve found hiking to be a great teacher when it comes to life lessons. I’ve learned that when you’re facing any obstacles while trying to get to your destination, you don’t let it stop you from going where you want to be. Instead, you go around the obstacle and continue towards your destination.
Masturbation is one of those taboo things that no one seems to want to talk about. Maybe it’s because people feel uncomfortable about the subject or they don’t want to come across in the wrong light.
Whatever the reason, I don’t care. Masturbation is a great anger management exercise that works fantastically.
Masturbation has proven to be a great method that allows me to release my stress and anger. When we masturbate, we feel a sense of pleasure and relief. It also allows our brains to release hormones and chemicals that make us instantly feel good.
In many ways, masturbation is more effective than taking pills, drugs, and even counselling when it comes to speed and efficiency in dealing with anger.
Masturbation can actually be good for your health, both mentally and physically… When you have an orgasm, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that block pain and make you feel good. The good feelings that accompany an orgasm happen whether you’re by yourself or having sex with a partner.Masturbation | Planned Parenthood
4. Getting Quality Sleeping
I’ve found that getting more than 5-7 hours of sleep makes me cranky. Yes, too much sleep makes me just as cranky as not getting enough of it. In many situations, I’ve probably gotten even more cranky due to having too much sleep than because I didn’t have enough of it.
Quality sleep is hard to measure because the amount of sleep needed changes based on the day’s activity level. I don’t bother trying to count my hours of sleep anymore though. Now I just sleep whenever I’m tired and my body has become accustomed to waking up when I’ve had just the right amount of sleep.
Some days that means 4 hours of sleep, other days that means up to 7 hours.
5. Eating Good Food
Eating bad good makes the body feel heavy and tired. Especially because I suffer from acne, eating crappy food always hits me on two ends instead of one.
On one side, my body feels like crap. On the other, I get breakouts when my diet turns poor.
While I still eat a lot of fried food and things that aren’t all that good for me, I make it a big deal to at least get just as much good nutrition into my body through veggies and fruits.
This has made a huge difference for me when it comes to dealing with both my acne and my emotions.
6. Drinking Lots of Water
As I’m sure you know, drinking lots of water is good for the body. It allows our body to rid itself of junk and just be more hydrated. As well, drinking water helps in controlling weight, stress, and your body’s temperature.
By lots of water, I mean drinking enough water to quench your body’s thirst and its desire for water.
Contrary to popular belief, your body doesn’t need “8 cups of water” per day. Our bodies have developed over many years to be fantastic at knowing when it needs water.
Drinking when you’re thirsty or when you feel parched will serve your body much better than drinking too much water. This is because drinking too much water has its own set of issues as our bodies can only take in so much water before whatever else it takes in just isn’t necessary.
The amount of water needed will depend on your body, your activity level, and where you live. As a general rule of thumb, the more you sweat and lose water, the more of it you need to replenish. But again, that all depends on those 3 things I mentioned.
Sadly, drinking more than the necessary daily amount will not flush toxins out of your system, nor will it help your kidneys. The only change you will see is that your urine goes from yellow to clear, which actually has no medical implications for your health.The Water Myth – Christopher Labos MD, MSc | McGill University
7. Learning Martial Arts
In high school I started taking martial arts classes.
When I was enrolled in my classes, I noticed a big difference in my discipline and patience. I wasn’t getting so hot-headed and I felt myself being just more balanced.
Maybe it was because of all the exercise I was getting while enrolled or from the restraint I’d learned during my classes. Whatever it was, it worked to help keep me more balanced for the time I was taking martial arts.
8. Reading a lot
Growing up, I didn’t really like reading. I hated reading books because I thought every book as boring and hard to understand like a math textbook.
It wasn’t until I started reading genres that actually interested me that I started gaining a new passion for reading. Like many other people, I learned to visualize myself as the characters in the books and it felt like I was going through what they experienced.
With my newfound interest in books, I started reading voraciously. I now usually go through 2 or 3 books in a week. More time reading, less time being angry. It’s a win-win for me.
9. Talking to Myself
I’m not sure exactly why I feel better when I talk to myself but I do. When I’m having an angry moment, I’ll call myself out on it and remind myself to chill out.
I’ve found that talking to myself is just an easy and simple way to make myself accountable for the things I’m doing.
For example, if I start to get angry because a line isn’t moving quickly enough, I’ll call myself out and say “Don’t cause a scene, if you do you’ll just end up being here even longer. Just let go of your anger and be patient you little prick.”
I call myself out for times when I notice I’m being a little entitled or when I’m just straight up being a douche. It humours me as much as it keeps me centred.
“If we speak out loud, it forces us to slow down our thoughts and process them differently because we engage the language centers of our brain,” explains Dr. Nicolosi. “By talking to ourselves we become more deliberate, and this creates a slower process to think, feel and act, instead of being bombarded by our thoughts.”Go ahead, talk to yourself. It’s normal —and good for you. – Wendy Rose Gould | NBC News
10. Breathing Properly
I used to be one of those people that takes really shallow breaths. It wasn’t on purpose, I sort of just developed a habit for it. Maybe it was out of a response to stress or just my sheer ignorance. Whatever it was, it was a bad habit.
When we take shallow breaths, our body’s systems start acting all on edge. Airflow is restricted, we’re placed in a state of tension, and we just don’t feel very good.
This is why it’s so important to take proper breaths that get the right amount of oxygen into our bodies.
Since learning to curb my habit of taking shallow breaths, my body now feels more level. I also feel like I’m just generally more aware of my surroundings.
11. Riding My Bicycle
In 2017 and 2018, I rode my bike to work practically every single day. Rain or shine, I was out on my bike and going to work.
This gave me the opportunity to get a lot of great exercise and just feel great about my day. I guess I could have just bunched everything physical on this list onto a single “Exercise” point but that wouldn’t have been very constructive.
I’ve found that not all physical exercise is the same. For me, I had to find activities that matched my interests and personality. The ones that didn’t match me just really didn’t help me out at all.
Exercises That Didn’t Work
As much as I enjoy writing, as an anger management exercise, journaling doesn’t really help me out.
By all accounts, I should have felt great when writing in a journal but that just wasn’t the case for me. Writing in a journal about my emotions wasn’t helpful no matter how long I stuck with it.
I think I tried it for about 2 months and I wrote nearly every single day. Throughout that entire time, I never felt like it was helping even in the slightest.
2. Venting to People
It’s been said that venting to people actually just makes your problem worse. In my experience, this saying has been pretty accurate.
Whenever I was venting my problems to other people, I wasn’t coming up with any actual solutions for my anger. All venting did for me was make my problems blow up into even bigger issues.
Looking back, I see what I was doing wrong. In my case, it was because I was basically just complaining without actually doing anything constructive.
For example, whenever I was angry about something at work, I’d rant to my co-workers and just be a little whiny prick. I didn’t tell my managers about the things pissing me off because I just thought they wouldn’t have done anything about it anyway.
This only made the problems drag on and I never found good solutions for the things that were pissing me off.
3. Retail Therapy
Because of my experiences with retail therapy, I’ve grown to be a cheap guy. Now I’m one of those people who doesn’t even want to spend an extra 50 cents on my drink.
Now I think that retail therapy really doesn’t help because all it does is cover up your underlying emotions. Retail therapy is really just something like sweeping issues under the rug. You can’t see them directly but they’re definitely there.
Once all that crap under the rug piles up, you’re going to have to deal with an even bigger mess.
I hope this list has helped you find some anger management exercises that you can try out to get a curb on your anger. If you’re interested in reading more about anger, head over to:
Don’t forget to share this article with someone you think could benefit from it.