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Stress Relief: The Healthy Way to Unleash Your Fury

Your most primal response to stress may only hurt you. Instead, try this anger management trick.

Riza Gunay, of Turkey, gets beaten up for a living. His clients pay roughly $70 for the privilege of smacking him around as hard as they want, all in the name of stress relief. His title? Stress Coach. The efficacy of his approach? Debatable, especially when some medical professionals consider it a total waste of time. "There’s a lot of scientific evidence that supports the fact that hitting things as a way of dealing with stress is ineffective and can actually make people more aggressive,” says Ari Novick, Ph.D., a licensed psychotherapist and anger-management specialist. “It’s also bad from a practical standpoint, because you can’t just hit something every time you’re stressed.” 

“When you’re enraged,” Novick says, “it’s almost like being drunk, mainly because of the chemistry affecting your brain. For someone who’s working out, that loss of control is just not happening. They’re getting channeled aggression, not a blind rage.” Instead of putting your fist through the wall or shelling out money to slap around some industrious gent like Gunay, get moving. Your best bet? Hill sprints or a game of competitive sports. It’s not really about pulverizing someone; it’s about burning away your pent-up energy and stress while also being a somewhat sensible member of modern society.

King of the Hill

When you’re pissed, seek high ground. Then run up it—hill sprints are the best way to blow off steam.

  Sprint (Seconds) Rest (Seconds) Sets
Week 1 30 120 4
Week 2 20 80 6
Week 3 10 40 8
Week 4 40 160 4
Week 5 30 90 6
Week 6 20 80 8

 

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