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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Walking Away Your Anger

 by RichardAllenP


When thinking of ways to express their anger, most people want to do something vengeful towards the object of their fury. But there are many other options. Anger Work through Exercise is one of the most basic, beneficial ways, and walking is a form that almost anyone can do. Although walking and other exercise alone are not enough to heal us from our emotional wounds, they are powerful tools in Anger Work. I find that my clients who work-out regularly do better than those who don't.

If you have not been exercising regularly, you must start slowly. You will want to talk to your medical doctor and possibly find a personal trainer to help you get started. If you work your way up gradually, you will be able to stick with it. The great thing about using exercise to do your Anger Work is that there are so many positive side effects such as stress reduction, mood regulation, and physical fitness. Intensity is not as important as commitment and regularity. Anger work takes time. If you lost your child in an accident with a drunk driver, you may need to go for hundreds, if not thousands of angry walks or swims to get over this loss. Just stick with it and eventually you will heal completely.

Years ago in my practice, I helped a wonderful middle-aged woman who lived with her mother. This client had a heart of gold, but she had been mentally delayed since birth. She came to therapy because of some anxiety that she was having at her work and at home. Gradually I discovered that her mother was controlling and bossy. My client had never expressed her anger, so I encouraged her to start walking daily and to think about her mother's bossiness while she was walking. She was to pretend to step on her mother as she walked. This worked wonders. My client's anxiety subsided, and she was able to get her anger out by walking. She felt better and was able to stand up to her mother's demands. Her Anger Work was so simple and effective that I have never forgotten her.

The benefits of walking Anger Work are manifested in my private practice. As of this date, I have never had to hospitalize any of my clients. When someone who is suicidal pages me, first I listen to them on the phone. Then I ask them to go walk for half an hour or more. I make them promise that if they are still suicidal when they finish their walk, they will give me a call back. So far I have never received a second phone call, and no one has committed suicide. When I see these clients at the next meeting, they always tell me that they felt much better after the walk and did not need to talk to me again until our next meeting.

When I see married couples together in therapy, I never allow them to shout or say destructive things to each other. This is hurtful and unproductive. If you know that the topic you need to discuss with a loved one is going to create upset feelings for either of you, I suggest you take a walk together and talk about the subject while you are walking.

All my friends who are in their eighties are still healthy walkers. If you really get into doing your Anger Work through exercise, you may end up like a hiking friend of mine, who was in her late seventies and went on a ten day backpack trip with me. We averaged ten miles a day and her pack weighed around forty pounds when we started. We climbed all the way up to about 12,000 feet! Some of you may think that she just had good genes, but I know a lot of people in their 70s and 80s who are healthy and full of energy. They are all walkers. The year I ran in a marathon a 92-year-old man also ran and finished the race. Please don't let age keep you from the benefits of Anger Work through exercise. Walking is an excellent method for anger work because it is inexpensive and practical for most people.

To get help with anger work visit for more info. Dr.Robert Puff expertise covers stress and anger management, parenting, relationships, depression & healing from past traumas. As a therapist, he has a holistic approach to psychological issues.


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