Running May Help With Anger Management

I had a great morning today bare-foot running on Sunny Isles Beach. It was a short 4 mile run.  I readily took in the unfolding sun rising scene before starting my run and was changed by the wonders of nature.  You cannot go to the a beach at sunrise and not feel ecstatic.  The experience is both enrapturing and humbling to see all that magic unfolding around you and knowing you have nothing or maybe everything to do with what is taking place.

En route to the beach it seemed like everyone was driving the speed limit in zen mode, except one driver (probably a nurse running late to work) who tried to wipe me off the road.  It appears that people get annoyed for little things nowadays.  I am not certain if this is because of the economy or just the time we are living in, but the rate at which, for instance, I’ve noticed Miami motorist flip their finger or bird up at people who are driving the speed limit seems to be on the rise (my own empirical observation).  Let me know if this is also your observation.

I am writing this post this evening to propose distance running as a tool for anger management.  This is my own opinion.   So (a note of caution) if you have chronic issues with anger management, and you are considering abusing your pet bird or snake, please consult with a licensed therapist or psychologist.  Oh, and do not call PETA!  Your life will never be the same.  So please consult a licensed practitioner and get you some help for any uncontrollable acute or chronic anger you may be dealing with.

As a nurse there are things that tend to be annoying at times on the job, like trying to get some hospital pharmacists to understand what sending a medicine STAT! Means.  To some pharmacist it means in a grandma minute.  To a nurse, STAT! means to send the medicine in quantum time.  Like, it should have been on the unit from since yesterday!

We acknowledge that some things cause some folks to be angry, like being angry because someone does not believe what you believe, whereas others may not be moved or affected by this, stuff like this tends to drive some people mad.  Anger, like all other emotions, is subjective and relative.  People’s experience varies.  Some folks have more control over anger than other do.  As you may know, I am not an expert in anger management (or anything else for that matter).  I don’t have any credential or experience to really discus the matter other than what I will discuss right now.  So, I’ll state my point and shut my fingers down.

Anger is not cool.  It is not zen.  It causes a whole lot of biochemical reactions in your body when you decide to be angry about what people said, did, or what they failed to do.  Long term exposure of anger is said to have a negative effect on the human system.  It is not just that when angry one may feel uncomfortably with sweaty skin, clenched fists, and tight muscles, etc (symptoms varies with individuals).   A person who is angry or is in a sustained mode of anger secretes fight-or-flight stress chemicals called Adrenaline and Non-Adrenaline hormones that may cause all of the above symptoms plus other like an increase in heart rate, increased blood pressure, increase in gastric acid secretion, and the likes. These all being symptoms of such powerful stress hormones triggered by anger.

Sustained anger may lead to many illnesses and dysfunctions such as a weakening immune system, gastrointestinal ulcers, skin diseases and eruptions, clouded thinking, behavioral problems leading to alcoholism and/or drug dependency, heart attack, and stroke.  Uncontrolled anger may lead to violent behaviors against others and other living organisms (like that pet snake), and it could also progress to self harm.  You should consider professional help if you feel nothing you do is helping you resolve toxic feelings of anger.

There are many things one can do to dissolve certain anger before it hijacks you.  It could first try simple solutions like attempting to transmuting it into something positive (like a flower in the mind) and constructive (helping you understand yourself) like practicing meditation, praying, repeating positive affirmations, taking deep cleansing breaths, the good old fashion counting from 1 to 10 (or 10,000 if you may), and well, exercises like running.

OYE!  Short runs and long distance running has always helped me clear my mind when feeling bogged down with the so called “troubles of this world.”  There are many ways to handle these and running is a way I choose to deal with many negative emotions that I allow to settle on my chest.  Please note, I am not advising you to run from your problems.  Running will not dissipate the issue that made you experience a sense of anger.  That issue may still be there when you return home, but running exposes you to the “feel-good chemicals” your  body secrete while rigorously exercising, it can help you clear your mind, or it may burn the hell outta you (burn you out) that you forget why you were angry in the first place.  So if you are upset or angry about something and simply counting from 1 to 10 does not help, make a dash for the outdoor.  ENJOY!


  I stretch my form towards the Sun
  To cleanse debris off my Soul
  Sometimes sharp rocks poke at my feet
  Then the sand carries my sins to the deep
  (c) 2012 REMA