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?