During tough times it is easy to hide in the corner of the room and curl up into a ball. At times of uncertainty our minds are wired to focus on the negative which drives our consciousness to areas like fear, apathy, grief, anger, and guilt. It is human nature to have these emotions to survive. However not managed effectively will lead you further into depression, and anxiety. Here are 3 Tips on how fitness can give you more control over your emotions.
Control Your Breathing
"When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace." ~Unknown
During situations of high anxiety our heart rates go up and breathing patterns tend to be more rapid. Our emotions are deeply tied into our breathing so by being able to control your breathing will give you an edge in managing your emotions.
During intense workouts try controlling your breath frequently. Intervals is an amazing way to improve your ability to regain control over your breath. Work hard for a few minutes and try to bring your breath and down to a normal level as fast as you can. At the start it can be minutes but as you gain experience, you will be able to control your breath in seconds. This skill is a game changer when your are faced high stress situations.
Another strategy can be incorporating some guided breathing meditations in the morning. Practice more zen like practices like yoga, or ti chi in your exercises. These disciplines really focus a lot on the breathing awareness. When your thoughts are focused the breath (present) the past and future cease to exist.
Observe if these actions brings you more peace. Even if it's a minute or a second. Doing these actions consistently adds up, compounds, and you will eventually find peace at the most chaotic of situations.
"Change your posture, change your life." ~D Nicole Williams
Depression, poor self confidence, and living in fear often times are embed in our posture. When you think sad, scared, or not confident; you imagine a person curled up into a ball.
Exercise all the muscles on your back, the gluts, and your hamstrings. By incorporating more posterior work into your routine, you will be able to stand with much better posture naturally through out the day. You will find an improvement not only in your body but your mood. You will also gain more confidence, and courage in conquering your fears. Regularly practice movements like squatting, deadlifting, or pull ups to effectively target these muscle groups. An improved posture will bring more control over your emotions.
Stress to Destress ;)
"Food is the most abused anxiety drug, exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant." ~Unknown
If you have built up stress from work or life, go get a sweet workout in! We often use food to cope with our emotions and only exercise when we are feeling our best. A very popular strategy when it comes to managing emotions.
Change your strategy and exercise when you are stressed. When you exercise our body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in our brain. Endorphins reduce our perception of pain and it also triggers positive feelings in the body, similar to that of morphine.
I know what you are thinking "Coach easier said than done." The truth is, many great things that is worthwhile is never that easy. Challenging paths often lead to more impactful results. Grab a dumbbell before you grab the Ben & Jerries. ;) For more sweet tips, listen to our podcast, or visit our youtube channel more fun information!
Stay Positive, live healthy, and keep moving!