Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Anger Management via the Treadmill

How are those anger management classes working out for you? And how are they working out for New York Congressman, Mad Anthony Weiner?

By now everyone has witnessed Mad Anthony's intemperate rant on the floor of the House of Representatives. When you were watching it, weren't you thinking that this man needs some anger management?

You don't have to answer that one, but it's a good way to introduce the latest scientific research on mood management. It turns out that physical exercise helps people to control their moods, up to and including anger. Link here.

Of course, this assumes that you feel that controlling your moods is a good thing. A lot of people don't. When Mad Anthony was offered the chance to apologize for his behavior, he refused, saying that he felt very strongly about... whatever.

If you want to have more temperate moods, then the treadmill will do you a lot more good than the couch. Strangely enough, if sweating on the treadmill tempers your moods, then spending too much time supine on the couch would, necessarily, make your emotions more volatile and your moods harder to control.

As the New York Times article reports, aerobic exercise combats clinical depression, makes you more confident and more focused, and helps you to manage your anger with more "aplomb."

Of course, if you have a problem with out of control emotion, adding a little coaching to the mix would probably be a good idea. But why deprive yourself of the benefits that the treadmill will provide to your mental and physical health... unless you have bought into the idea that the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling signals authenticity.

If you have bought into that notion of authenticity, I recommend that you sell it it immediately. Otherwise you risk morphing into Mad Anthony Weiner. Check out his performance again, and ask yourself whether you would be proud if that were you. Link here.

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