Society does not allow us to express anger. It expects us to be civil, to hold it in, and find a more civilized way to sort our differences out. When someone like Steven Slater of JetBlue comes along and says enough is enough, he becomes a folk hero. It shows that people are beginning to think differently about what it means to be civilized. Sure, it’s still not cool to give in to road rage and go on a rampage. But to simply let the anger go far enough that you get to make a statement, is beginning to be acceptable. Nevertheless, unacceptable anger is certainly a serious-enough part of everyday life for all of us that anger management is still an important form of counseling.
Exercise has forever been a part of the psychiatrist’s arsenal. Running or bicycling have long been known to be effective treatments in helping anyone get out of a depression. Exercise can even make people happy. What anger management experts are trying to work out these days is, how effective exercise can be inhelping people contain their rage. That’s what the American College of Sports Medicine has been trying to find out in studies. They brought in subjects who wre habitually short tempered – people who operated on a short fuse, and asked them questions, and did brain scans for their electrical activity while they showed them pictures of scenarios that would anger anybody – people attacking the defenseless, and so on.
Then, after measuring how angry they were, they again showed them pictures that would induce anger, only this time, they had them quietly exercise on bicycles for a half hour after they were driven to anger. When they were shown the pictures after their bicycle rides, they were not very angry after all. What this means to find for anger management courses everywhere, is that exercise easily helps people control anger. The more exercise people get, the more they become able to control themselves.
One way to explain all of this could be to say that they found that the more you exercise, the more serotonin you have in your brain. Those who don’t exercise lack this happy hormone. A good deal of exercise always changes the way your muscles are; it also changes the way your genes are though. Regular exercise actually changes your genes. This could have something to do with its anger management benefits The next time you feel you have a real problem with your emotions, try exercise. It should be all the rage with anger management courses soon.