headshot-ianhartDo you sometimes feel frustrated by events or circumstances beyond your control, but don’t know how to blow off steam in a healthy, constructive way? If so, you will be interested to know that exercise provides a positive outlet for all that pent-up emotion that’s eating at you.

A new study from Northern Illinois University shows that stressed bosses are less likely to vent their frustrations on their employees if they get regular exercise.

These findings don’t only apply to a workplace, but to life in general. You don’t have to be a manager or a supervisor to feel pressured or stressed out – we all do, to a certain degree, at one time or another. Learning to vent frustration in a positive, rather than a destructive way, is crucial. If left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. It could be a factor in heart attacks, strokes, depression, and other conditions.

This new research confirms what health and fitness professionals have known for a long time – that regular physical activity has a calming effect on our nervous system. Exercise can appease you and help you handle stressful and frustrating situations in several ways. Here are some of them:


It gives you a sense of control: Frustration is often borne out of the feeling that we are at the mercy of others – bosses, politicians, banks, etc. – and have no say in our own lives. A fitness routine gives you the power over your own body and health, and that, in itself, is a very empowering!


It releases “feel-good” chemicals: Feeling stressed out and unable to handle pressure also leads to pent-up frustration. Exercise produces endorphins and raises the body’s levels of dopamine, seratonin, and norepinephrine – all of which are proven stress-busters and mood lifters.

It makes you more resilient: When you exercise, you build up strength – not just physically, but also the mental strength and confidence that provide an outlet for negative emotions and help you handle the curveballs life is throwing at you in a calmer and more rational manner.


Remember, you don’t have to be a boss in a work environment to benefit from physical fitness. Just be your own boss – exercise your way out of frustrating and stressful situations and you, and those around you, will see the difference.

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