Its great to use exercise to vent any emotional charges. In fact exercise is one of the most effect sources of mood management because its not only an outlet but it also rebalances all your neuro-transmitters and hormones like cortisol, nor-epinephrine, dopamine, seratonin, etc.
But what you want to make sure and check in on is your level of presence and focus before each session. Typically, you want to leave all of life’s issues outside the gym, park or where ever you exercise but in the case of leveraging fitness to vent and manage intense emotions, you need to commence the session first with a way of balancing and checking your level of presence.
Check that your focus is primed for sound attention before you train. If you can make sure you stay centered and focused, you are far more likely to prevent injuries from over exertions, improper form and just plain over doing it because you were caught up in a fit of rage.
The correct way to channel any intense emotional charge like rage, frustration, stress or even worry is by first checking your internal pacing.
You see, the number 1 reason you can do yourself harm by training furious is because your internal pacing high. When we get gripped by high pressure emotions, our pace of movement, speaking, thinking and breathing increases in speed.
When you start moving, thinking, speaking and breathing faster, it fuels the negative emotion even more but more importantly, its in these high paced modes that we are at risk of the cost of not paying attention to our surroundings, our form and our energy.
So, the first thing to do before starting any session when your all wound up and stressed out is to check in on your internal pacing.
How fast are you moving? Are you twitching? Slow it down.
How quick are your steps when you walk? take slower steps.
What’s your breathing rate like?
What’s your dialog like? (Internal or external).
Are you thinking or speaking a thousand words a minute?
You’d be amazed at how just slowing down the pace of the words and even the consonnents can actually dial down the intensity and bring you back into focus.
Once you have checked in on your internal pacing and and dialed it down, you will have achieved a level of stillness and presence that will allow you to focus your energy into your training or workout in a way that will give you an edge without putting yourself at risk of injury, over training, burnout or worse…. risk to others if you exercise in an environment that involves other people.
Dialing back your internal pacing will not rid you of the emotional charge but it will allow you to focus and channel that charge in healthful and therapeutic way without putting you at risk while giving you access to energy and intensity for a better quality session.
The stresses of life are not fun but when they show up and give us some fuel, we may as well use it to our advantage. The next time you find yourself in that space where you are emotionally hijacked just before an exercise session, use it as an opportunity to get a high quality session but make sure that you enter your session focused, centered and present.
Inspired by fitness,
Founder of FitnessAces.com