Ever wondered about the best way to deal with pent-up anger? I used to think a punching bag was the answer. Now I know better. #angermanagement #anger #angermanagement #christian #christianwalk #christianlife #selfcare #EQ #emotionalintelligence #biblestudy #B2G2 #inspirememonday #selfcarehacks #podcast #SelfCareSunday

Ever wondered about the best way to deal with pent-up anger? I used to think a punching bag was the answer. Now I know better.

How Do You Deal With Pent-up Anger?

“What’s that for?” I asked the girls’ dean, pointing to a punching bag hanging in the corner of the basement.

“I send girls down here to take out their frustrations,” she said. “Someone said kids need an outlet for their anger and a punching bag would help.”

“Huh,” I replied. “I’ve never tried that before. I wonder if it really works.”

She shrugged. “It’s worth a try.”

I never did think to follow up on the punching bag scheme, and I couldn’t tell if the girls seemed less frustrated or not. But since people seemed to think it worked, maybe it did.

Someone finally did a scientific study, and the results surprised me.

We’ve all dealt with pent-up anger at some point in our lives. Some of us thought we had to ignore it because Christians don’t get angry (hah!). Others may stuff it and bottle it. Still others may brood. Whatever our preferred method of dealing with anger, we may not know one of the healthiest ways to deal with pent-up anger involves self-awareness and taking a hike (or a walk or a run).

I’ll share eight steps to dealing with pent-up anger in a healthy way in today’s podcast. Listen in and tell me if you’ve ever tried these methods.

If your anger goes beyond pent-up and borders on Mount Vesuvius or boils over to hurt those around you, seek a licensed therapist.

Show Notes

You can find more on the study mentioned in the podcast here.

Ever wondered about the best way to deal with pent-up anger? I used to think a punching bag was the answer. Now I know better. #angermanagement #anger #angermanagement #christian #christianwalk #christianlife #selfcare #EQ #emotionalintelligence #biblestudy #B2G2 #inspirememonday #selfcarehacks #podcast #SelfCareSunday
Wait! Don't punch that! How to deal with pent-up anger. #angermanagement #mentalhealth #selfcare Click To Tweet

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Next week I’ll talk about a word you might consider erasing from your vocabulary.

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  1. Anita,
    Thanks for the helpful hacks in dealing with anger. I do find that anger often mask a deeper emotion like sadness or fear. I’ve learned some about EMDR therapy and find it fascinating how visual tracking while thinking of a memory or experience can difuse its power in the active/short term memory. Amazing thing — our brain.
    Bev xx

  2. Yes a punching bag is a great tool for venting frustration in a controlled format, especially in adolescents.

    However, there’s always a deeper issue at hand if anger & particularly rage has become problematic at any age.
    A good licensed/registered Counselor can help, as you have mentioned above Anita.

  3. Great hacks, Anita. I recently read a quote about how we often get angry because we think something is unfair. This could be something done to us, how we are perceived, or how life is unfolding, I have been paying attention to when I get angry and so far it is pretty true. Definitely, not dealing with my anger is not a good strategy. Thinking about it and asking questions and trying to decide why I am angry really help me identify the reasons and then take steps to release it. So interesting about EMDR imitating walking and running. I do know I am able to process things when walking and even process something with someone else when walking.

  4. I always find some kind of physical exertion or meditative practice helps me to process anger. I have been trying to teach my children healthy ways of coping with anger as well. The punching bag is a great idea! I used to make my kids jump on a trampoline if I was unable to deescalate their anger. But plopping them in a relaxing warm bath has also helped to calm anger. But you are right, it all requires a certain level of introspection and not everyone has that especially children…they need to be taught that as well.


  5. Hi Anita, thank you for exploring anger! When I get angry, I go for a walk – I walk it out while talking it out and praying. If I don’t do this the anger comes out in words – that often has nothing to do with what I am angry at – I am praying on slow to anger….

  6. It’s interesting that for years we were told it was healthy to express anger, but now they say expressing it or taking it out on something perpetuates it. I usually keep anger bottled in, but when I have expressed it (usually when no one else is around), I really don’t feel better at all. But keeping it bottled isn’t healthy, either. I try to give the situation to God and then turn my thoughts to something else, especially when the situation is something I can’t do anything about. Interesting about the eye movement.
    Barbara Harper recently posted…From a Weight of Care to a Weight of Glory.My Profile

  7. We bought a punching bag for our teenagers when they were growing up. I think the intense sports exercise had the greatest impact, though, on de-stressing physically and emotionally (I cannot tell you the times I took lions to a sports practice and came home with a lamb). You are so very right – that we need to take care of the source of our anger. I’ve usually found that when I’m angry 90% of it is my issue – 10% is the trigger. Getting to the root of the anger does take gentleness – just like in planting, replanting, removal – sucking it up and being tough doesn’t get rid of the root issue. Thank you for this today – the gentleness woven in is so very needed for this issue! I wish I’d known long ago.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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