It’s not rocket science to know that building muscle aids in boosting testosterone. One of the characteristics of high-T males that is most commonly documented is their drive toward dominance and reactive aggression.
Some people are prone to rage more than others, but anger is a feeling that many of us could use a bit of help in handling. The choices we make when angry can often come back to haunt us, but the cycle is hard to break. Anger has power – but there are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with that power, from letting it control you, to wielding it in a way that spurs you on to something positive.
Here are 5 ways to tame your inner raging bull:
1. Do the Opposite – Remember that Seinfeld episode when George turned his life around by doing the opposite of what he thought he should do? Well, think of this as the Seinfeld approach to anger management. Do the opposite of what you feel like doing when you’re mad. Instead of lashing out, develop empathy. The next time you feel like swearing at the guy who cut you off, just remind yourself that few people are jerks on purpose. You’ve probably been guilty of doing the same thing a time or two.
2. Blow Off Steam Wisely – After you’ve acknowledged your physiological response to anger, trying to tell yourself to stay calm is one of the worst things you can do (second only to being told to calm down). As a human being, you’re programmed to act out when you feel threatened and angry. You need to release the rage in a healthy way so do what you already love: push-ups, bicep curls, squats…hit the gym and take it out on the weights.
3. Choose Your Words Carefully – When anger’s talking, steer clear of using the words “never” and “always.” Such as “You’re always telling me what to do!” or “You never let me hang out with the guys!” Not only are you stating inaccurate accusations, you’re alienating people who might otherwise work to find a solution. Once you’ve cooled off (refer to #2), try expressing how you feel in a direct, non-confrontational way.
4. Rest Your Body and Mind – Sleep helps you function at your mental and physical best. In fact, good sleep improves your mood, your immune system and even your metabolism. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more stress hormones. A lack of sleep significantly ups your chances of blowing up at someone.
5. Drink Responsibly – When you’re thinking, “Damn. I need a drink,” think again. The trouble with alcohol is that it doesn’t relieve high anxiety or anger issues and could actually make them worse. In some people, drinking when super tense can underscore the dark side of whatever stressed them out and push them over the edge. If you’re stressed to the max and know alcohol can bite you back, grab your iPod and cool off (refer to #2).
In a nonstop world of challenges pushing you from annoyed to enraged, remember the toll anger takes on your health. If left unchecked, anger clamps down on your blood vessels and can even promote impotence. Not good. Plus, strong negative emotions mess with your blood pressure and hormone function and provoke inflammation. To make the change for a better mood, figure out what makes you happy and start doing it as often as possible.