Frustrated at Work? 5 Exercises to Express Anger

You spilled coffee on your tie, broke the printer, flubbed a presentation, and lost a client. We’re all familiar with being frustrated at work, and whether that frustration results from a cappuccino stain or a stern word from your boss, it might make you want to curl up in a ball and feel sorry for yourself. But instead of throwing a pity party, express your anger through fitness. The best way to destress, calm down and clear your head is by moving around and getting a good workout. So don’t let work make your blood boil; get your blood pumping through exercise instead! Here’s five exercises to express anger.

1. Relieve STRESS through yoga

Everyone knows that in addition to its physical benefits, yoga is a mental and spiritual practice. For 2,000 years, yoga has been a form of exercise and meditation that helps its participants achieve clarity and find purpose. Through the practice of controlled breathing and calming postures, yogis and yoginis can release all stress in their life. Yoga poses that are particularly good for relieving stress include child’s pose, corpse pose and cat pose. Grab a mat and meditate at home or attend a yoga session with a personal trainer.

2. CALM yourself by swimming

It’s nearly impossible to dive into a pool of cool, blue water and still feel intense rage. The quiet world under the water, the soft splash that your hand makes each time it cuts the surface, and the rhythm of your breathing are all elements of swimming that will help calm you down. Swimming is especially good for those who feel stress at work is causing them sadness, or even depression. Therese Bouchard, author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety, says that swimming is particularly effective in diminishing despondency because of its stroke mechanics, breathing techniques and repetitive movements.

3. Get SMART by lifting weights

Think lifting weights is for meatheads? Start pumping iron because those who lift have more brawn and brains. A 2010 scientific study showed that adults who did low-intensity weight lifting three to five times per week for a month were able to plan, multitask and regulate behavior better than their counterparts who did not lift. A similar study found that lifting weights just a couple times a week for one year helped participants achieve better focus. Perhaps the secret to success in the workplace begins with a bench press.

4. Release ANGER with kickboxing

Instead of punching your pillow with exasperation, hit a punching bag in a kickboxing session. While psychologists argue whether aggressive workouts help release or promote anger, many people say they feel better after a few cuffs and jabs. Sports psychologist Lee Ingel told the Chicago Tribune, “Aggressive workouts require a terrific amount of attention, discipline and form, which can result in a kind of satisfaction that might not be found in other areas of one’s life.” If you’re missing control and composure at work, you might regain your cool through kickboxing.

5. SLEEP well by doing pilates

A well-known remedy for sleeping well at night is to get in some form of exercise during the day. While any workout can help combat insomnia, a study at Appalachian State University showed that students who took a semester of Pilates had better moods and got more sleep at night. So after your 9-to-5, head to a Pilates class or one-on-one Pilates session, and you’ll get those much-needed nine hours of peaceful sleep before work the next day. Feel refreshed, not frustrated when you get to the office.