Getting angry usually doesn’t help matter, In fact, it can hurt—your body. Healthy men who frequently exhibit anger and hostility are 19% more likely to develop coronary heart disease, according to a recent report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In an unrelated study, Yale researchers found that frequently being angry can also significantly increase the risk of sudden death. Here’s how to redirect those emotions toward something positive.
1.) DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Figure out what your “hot buttons” are, recommends James Messina, author of Tools for Anger Work-Out. Write them down to get a sense of what riles you the most. Once you see them listed, you may realize that some of your triggers aren’t worth getting worked up over.
2.) BOOZE IN MODERATION
Excessive alcohol can intensify bad feelings (two words: bar fight).
Get into your car, roll up the windows, and scream at the top of your lungs. Verbally expressing your anger—in a private way—lets you get it out of your system, says Messina. Good places to belt: empty bedrooms and open fields. Bad: libraries and baby nurseries.
4.) KNOCK OUT YOUR ‘TUDE
Boxing and heavy bag work can produce a great calming effect, says MF trainer Jim Smith. If you already have a good level of conditioning, try adding pushups, jump rope, burpees, or even body-weight squats between bouts with the bag to further squelch your hostility.
5.) SWEAT IT OUT
Hit the courts. Sports such as tennis, racquetball, and baseball can help you settle unresolved anger, says Messina. Besides working muscles, high-intensity training helps the body release endorphins, giving you a natural, calming high.