I Took It To The Gym To Release My Hurt

I Took My Emotions To The Gym And It’s Leading Me To My Fitness Goals

Healthy coping skills are the best coping skills

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For every hardship in your life, there are two ways to handle it: a healthy way, and an unhealthy way. Whether it be coping with anxiety, the stress of school, or working through tough times, taking the healthy route will be the road that will leave you in the most peaceful place.

With recent events and the mountain of schoolwork I climb weekly, the stress of life fell on top of me quickly and felt out of my control. I had no way to deal with my anger or anxiety, and couldn't let it manifest to turn me into somebody I am not.

Climbing into bed, getting under the blankets, and falling asleep was the unhealthy coping skill I followed for many years, and it ended up making so many things worse.

I would come back from class, fall asleep to avoid my stressors, wake up to quickly finish homework before I laid in bed until the early hours of the morning, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram memes before my body gave out.

Depressive thoughts and emotions chained me to my bed; I saw it as the only place where I could find peace and a brief getaway from the fatigue and stress. I no longer filled my days with art, or the things I loved, just an endless cycle of class and sleep.

The events in my life went from everyday stressors to traumas that haunted me daily, and I knew sleeping everything off would hurt my mental being even more.

Instead of taking my stress to my cozy bed, I took it to the one place almost everybody fears - the gym. We can all agree it is an intimidating place, especially when you're a beginner and all you see everywhere is gym bros and people working really hard.

It is a place where a lot of people feel most insecure like they're looked down upon or feel ashamed of themselves for even trying.

This problem was solved with my headphones, where I blast my favorite Apple Music or Spotify playlist and just concentrate on what I'm doing and how it will benefit me.

Most of all, the gym became a place that I could go to when I need to release all the stress, hurt, and anxiety I hold within me. A place where, if I need to crunch away my anger, I could. A place where, if I felt the need to physically run as fast as I can from my problems, I could.

It became a place where I realized if I put all my hurt and anger into my routine, it will physically and emotionally benefit me.

Here, I put all my anger from bullies calling me "deathly skinny" to the test, and it turns out that I am distancing farther away from their image of me and myself. The bullying didn't lead me to the gym, it was the feelings and hurt I held within myself that I needed to let out in a healthy way.

If I was feeling stressed about the future, I would climb onto the elliptical or treadmill and plan out my work for the week, as well as my plans for the upcoming future and how I will approach them.

This approach to coping with my hurt and anxiety led to me a road that will ultimately shape me into a figure I want to be - both mentally and physically. It is a coping skill that I use to give myself a positive solution for dealing with stress, rather than letting my stresses and worries manifest themselves into resentment and hate.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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I'm An Early Childhood Educator, NOT A Babysitter, Get It Right

It's not called a babysitting center, it's called a learning center.

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Recently, I took a leap into early childhood education. I teach 4- and 5-year-olds full-time at an early childhood learning center.

I spend my days teaching children about the alphabet, writing their name, the colors, the weather and other basic knowledge they need to enter Kindergarten. There's a catch, though. A lot of people just think of me as a glorified babysitter.

Sorry to disappoint, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Every day, my students become more and more curious about the world around them. They come up to me and ask me things like, "What is this animal?" as they hold up a plastic animal from our science center.

This leads to a conversation about Zebras and what they do and where they're from etc.

This also leads me to ask and prompt questions of my students like, "What colors are on the Zebra?" and "What letters are in 'Zebra'?"

Early childhood educators like myself teach children the basics so that they can be set up for a successful future.

If myself and so many others weren't here to teach young children about things like the alphabet, how would they ever survive or advance to high school, for example, where they would be expected to write four, five even six page essays?

How would they begin to communicate what they need and what they want using their words instead of just crying?

How would they begin to recognize and comprehend the world around them if they can't even verbally describe what they are feeling or seeing?

Early childhood educators are not babysitters, and that's something this world needs to understand and get right like yesterday.

Oh, and those fun projects you see young children make in preschool aren't just fun projects. They're creative ways to get their minds engaged and thinking about the information that is being taught to them.

For example, my class is doing an art theme right now, so we're going to be making pictures using only shapes. What seems like just a fun activity is actually teaching my students their shapes and how they fit in with one another and how everything is comprised of and made up of shapes.

But please, do continue to tell me how I'm "just a babysitter."

Early childhood educators also begin to help children learn how to solve their own problems. When another child does something they don't like, we teach them how to use their words to let them know they didn't like that.

Think about the success this is setting them up for in their future.

Being able to communicate your thoughts in a respectful and well-mannered way is a huge tool to success in life both professionally and personally. By teaching them how to tell their friends they don't like it when they take the bike they were playing with, we're teaching them a life-long skill.

So the next time you think about calling me a babysitter, just think about everything early childhood educators taught your child that you didn't even think of giving us credit for.

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