Low impact rage release
October 11, 2022 4:05 PM   Subscribe

My emotions want to rage, my body does not. I could use suggestions for physical activities to work through some anger that won’t put me in a pain flare.

Today in therapy, I decided I need to get out some anger I’ve pent up. In a world where I was physically capable, I’d love to go chop wood, or run, or something else exhausting. However, my fibromyalgia has some opinions on those ideas.

I’m looking for ideas on how to release some anger that won’t put me in a pain flare. They need to be low impact; I also have pain in my hands, which can be limiting. I’d prefer something physical, as opposed to writing or thinking about things. My anger is related to not being able to DO ANYTHING about a situation, so I feel like doing SOMETHING in response. Help me rage against the (medical industry) machine!
posted by bluloo to Grab Bag (23 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have anything that you can safely smash or throw? Whipping sticks against my back fence was v cathartic when I needed to process some anger. Screaming as loud as possible, either into a pillow or in a car or something where you're not going to alert passersby is also physically intense, more than you may think.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:11 PM on October 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I read somewhere recently that pushing a wall is good for this! Like get yourself in a good solid stance, lean toward the wall, and push it with your hands like you are trying to shove it. I bet you could also push with your forearms if that would help your hands.

I also have been frequently going on grumpy walks, which are just walks where I am grumpy and grumbling to myself until I feel the anger pass through me a bit.
posted by fleecy socks at 4:16 PM on October 11, 2022 [11 favorites]

I would clean a room (or paint a wall if I had the time) so at the end of it my home would be nicer.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 4:18 PM on October 11, 2022

Is there a pool near you to swim laps in?
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:26 PM on October 11, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I also like a grumpy walk! It's very cathartic. Do a little stomping, do your best impression of a cartoon grumpy old man.

Kicking a ball against a wall can be both cathartic and kind of hypnotic. Something easy-kick like an inflatable beach ball would probably be wisest for joint safety.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:29 PM on October 11, 2022 [8 favorites]

Seconding furious swimming
posted by amtho at 4:32 PM on October 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

Also came to say swimming, if you have a place you can go. My body hates all forms of exercise except swimming.

If you can journal on a computer rather than typing on a phone keyboard or writing by hand, it can be very satisfying to type furiously, tapping the keys firmly as you go.

Scribble all over a big piece of paper with a fat, black crayon.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:59 PM on October 11, 2022

Thrift store china. Throw it and break it!
posted by warriorqueen at 5:03 PM on October 11, 2022

Thrift store china. Throw it and break it!

When I was in high school, my friends and I would drive around looking for beer bottles (they weren’t hard to find in our Rust Belt town), and we’d take them to throw at a cinder block retaining wall.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:30 PM on October 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Maybe kicking pillows or something? Or balloons? A balloon can be hit pretty hard without much impact and feels satisfying. You could even pop them.
posted by lookoutbelow at 5:44 PM on October 11, 2022

Acting out anger tends to maintain anger. If you really want a physical release, pick a corner of your yard or house and clean, weed, de-clutter, etc. Something actually productive will help channel angry energy and the results will feel good.

At one point in my life, I'd take glass jars to the big city recycling bins and fling them in with vigor.
posted by theora55 at 6:05 PM on October 11, 2022 [7 favorites]

My most strenuous semi-regular exercise is cycling. I like that it's low-impact. I don't know if it's low-impact enough for you, but it might be a possibility.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 6:30 PM on October 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Maybe punch balloons, shadow boxing, tai chi, meditation/ deep breathing excercises/ yoga?

I've never used a shouting vase, but it sounds potentially useful.

You can also try lying down and tensing and untensing different muscle groups. There's also weighted blankets or sensory soks.

I also wonder if you might find it helpful to hop in a cold shower or relaxing bath.
posted by oceano at 6:36 PM on October 11, 2022

In my experience, everything related to the medical industry generates an ungodly bunch of paper. You could burn some (or a lot) of that.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:01 PM on October 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

A good cry is also a really good way to release that rage. I had a big rage bubble last week and a big horrible cry took it away.
posted by bleep at 7:38 PM on October 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

Walking helps for me, but also baking - if your hands are up for it, kneading dough.
posted by estherbester at 7:39 PM on October 11, 2022

Stomp on bubble wrap, it’s very satisfying.

Edit: “stomp” may be too strong a word. With the larger bubbles you can just step on it and they’ll pop just as well.
posted by Fuego at 8:38 PM on October 11, 2022

My ordinarily quite mild friend swears by smashing incandescent lightbulbs on concrete. Apparently they make a very satisfying pop. Maybe wear eye protection and sweep up the shards when you’re done.
posted by Tuba Toothpaste at 8:56 PM on October 11, 2022

Nthing grumpy walks. Put some angsty music on and lean into the rage/grump/stomp. For me, this was listening to 'The Bends' by Radiohead, and worked very well. Also throwing sticks around if that is not too taxing on your joints. Letting some tears out helped me too, and really just accepting that I was angry and upset and that it was ok to be so while I was out on the walk/stomp.
posted by sedimentary_deer at 1:16 AM on October 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

If your legs and feet permit, trample and stomp on a card board box, or three. Smallish boxes pop very satisfyingly. If balance is an issue do it holding on to a door frame with both hands, or while sitting down. But for sitting and trampling you need flat boxes. I find this very cathartic.
posted by 15L06 at 4:02 AM on October 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Lifting weights is the only physical activity that really does this for me, but whether it works for your purposes will be pretty dependent on the specifics of your body. What's good is that it's slow and low-impact—I'm not exactly sure why it helps so much with anger/anxiety but it's NOT because of frantic activity or stompiness. Hand pain might be more of a challenge. If you think you can slowly lift and lower something very heavy, though, it really does dissipate those feelings and replace them with something more pleasant.
posted by babelfish at 6:38 AM on October 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You could go full Shiva and create, then destroy. Perhaps invest serious time and effort making some beautiful, delicate comestible, look at it for a while, maybe take a picture, and then rip it to shreds with a fork and crush it between your teeth while chanting, "I devour my (wow, delicious!) enemy, the medical industrial complex!"

One time when completely stymied and humiliated and in insane emotional pain, I was beyond coming up with something constructive to do and I simply collapsed and had a full on toddler weeping yelling kicking heeldrumming floortantrum about the ridiculous awfulness of my situation. It was great: very cathartic, and I didn't hurt myself because, since I was basically mostly lying down while doing my writhing and shrieking, it was pretty low-impact.

Anyway, whatever you end up doing, I hope you know I'm rooting for you virtually while you do it. Whatever is happening to you to put you in this state is NOT FAIR and should NOT be happening to you.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:20 AM on October 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

There are a few things that soothe me:

- Go to a toy store, find the stuffed animals and pet them
- At a clothing store pet scarves
- Breaking down boxes
- Sorting things
- fidget cube
posted by bendy at 1:05 AM on October 20, 2022

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