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

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

Healthy coping skills are the best coping skills

2016
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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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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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