When you feel mentally or emotionally stressed, where do you feel it?
A couple of years ago, I began paying attention to this.
As a result, I started exercising with a view toward where I experienced negative mental and emotional feelings in my body.
I’ve discovered that with the pounding and strengthening of those areas of my body, my mental and emotional life is strengthened to take a pounding by life.
Below is what works for me.
There’s a mixture of cardio, body-weight exercises, and weight training. If you don’t have access to free weights or dumbbells, then heavy books, water-bottles, or canned food will suffice for helpful resistance.
When I’m anxious, I feel it in my stomach—literally just below my breast bone circling around through my navel. So I focus on strengthening my core to handle the anxiety.
Everyone faces the same dilemma when afraid: Freeze, Fight, or Flight. Those involve lungs, legs, and hands.
True to form, I feel fear mostly in my lungs and legs. So I train with a view toward that. I’ll also go a few rounds with a punching bag.
Generally speaking, I feel stress in my chest and shoulders and up through my ears and jaws. So I train those areas. Also, I include a back exercise since it’s a major muscle of the upper body. Whole body exercises and cardio are great for stress too.
Anger can be felt all over, especially if it’s rage. It can tighten you into a coil on the verge of firing off. You need to hit the entire body for this one.
It’s the middle to the end of the day and your mind is sludge. You’re mentally tapped. I feel this exhaustion in my forehead, arms, legs, and feet (oh those tired feet). I need to get the juices flowing.
Here’s how I put it all together:
Above are five stressors. I exercise five days a week.
For each daily workout, I include an exercise that corresponds with a stressor. If I exercise three days a week, I’ll do two exercises corresponding with two different stressors per workout.
This has strengthened my mental game for sure.
So determine where you experience the negative mental and emotional feelings in your body. Then try physically training those places.
Don’t let the negative feelings pound you. Put a healthy pounding on them.
BEFORE YOU GO
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If you liked this post, you might like 4 Tips To Not Taking Things Personally.