Part 16 of 21 improvements BJJ has had on my life. This series was inspired by Tangled Triangle: 21 Days of Improvement. You can read my Part 15 here!
16/21 Improvements from BJJ: Physical Outlet
Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body. – Arnold Schwarzenegger
I had not recognized the importance of a physical outlet before. When I felt stress in my 20s, I dealt with it by writing, by watching tv, or more often through food. Stress eating is still something I have to deal with. I feel upset or rage, I want to eat ALL THE THINGS!
Nowadays, when I feel stress, or anger, or frustration, I go to BJJ class. By the time class is over, I’ve worked through a lot of the physical aspects of the negative emotions. It’s much more satisfying mentally than stress eating. If I’m going to eat a delicious chocolate cake, I damn well want to enjoy it, not use it to bury a sucky feeling.
I also use jiu jitsu as a physical outlet during my period. In the past, I would lay on the couch and be in pain, pop several Advil, and try to sleep. It SUCKED. Now, I go to class and – no lie – the pain stops entirely throughout the class, and only resumes afterward.
Jiu Jiu’s Question: What has BJJ (or your sport) been your physical outlet for? Did it replace any sucky behaviors? Do you tend to do it when you’re stressed, or do you avoid it when you’re in a bad mood?
I don’t know what I would have done the last 9 years without martial arts! Kickboxing, karate, and BJJ are definitely the way I relieve stress. I am new to BJJ, though and I sometimes feel that I avoid class when I’m in a bad mood because I don’t want to inflict my mood on my training partners or I just feel like I want to stay in my personal “bubble.”
Hi Peggy! Thanks for the comment. Hope to see you around these parts again. ^_^
I agree that often it’s a struggle for me to overcome the bad mood. Overwhelmingly, though, I find that WHEN I go, I end up coming out much happier. But yes, I totally get you.
Training is my outlet to solid mental health. Just getting in and hitting pads has a huge impact on my PMA (positive mental attitude). And there’s the whole bit about consistency and habituation, and how that builds my sense of pride and self image (cuz I’m doing what I said I would do).
I seriously could write a 1000 words on the subject….
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well, on really bad days I always tell myself to just hold out until karate. and it’s helped immensely with my adhd. meds don’t work on me at all, but karate is great!