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Do you feel angry, sad, scared or euphoric? It's easy to feel overwhelmed by powerful emotions. Sports activities for finding balance and peace.
Some emotions can cause real physical pain, like stress and fatigue. Physical activity can help relieve these feelings. Let off steam, relax, recentre and learn to work through your emotions with sport so that you can become self-confident. Sports activities for finding balance and peace.
Emotions need to be freed and expressed or they could explode out at any time! Some sports offer an excellent outlet.
- Boxing: who among us hasn't considered investing in a punching bag after a very bad day? Hitting a bag as hard as you can is an excellent outlet for anger and other strong emotions! And it's a bit less violent than hitting a sparring partner!
- Running: run and sprint. Release anger, sadness and fear by pushing your body to its limits. And if you're running alone outdoors, you might even try yelling. It really releases tension!
- Hit a ball around: tennis and squash are great for pushing your own limits, hitting, shouting and running. When you feel too emotional, you can even play alone against the wall instead of with an opponent. You can also practise shooting at the goal if you enjoy football.
Once you've let off steam, it's time to calm down with some gentle exercise.
- Yoga and qi gong: these two practices are centred around breathing and can provide an immediate feeling of relaxation. Conscious breathing is a powerful tool for emotional regulation. Breathing deeply increases oxygen intake, improves organ function and reduces production of the stress chemical norepinephrine. Slow sequences and balance poses help you master your body and mind.
- Sports in nature: what could be more peaceful than sailing, listening to the lapping of the waves and being swept along by the wind? What could be more calming than walking through the forest, listening to the birds and taking in the quiet strength of the trees? For maximum relaxation, set aside any notion of performance
Step three: learn to control and manage your emotions so that they no longer overwhelm you. Once again, sports can help.
- Recentre yourself with sports: archery, rifle shooting, golf, billiards, and even shooting baskets are all accuracy activities that require you to centre yourself. Aiming requires unwavering physical and emotional stability. Dance is another sport that can help you centre yourself. Balance, focus and memorization are all vital, dancing is not kind to mistakes.
- Martial arts: martial arts are an excellent option for learning self-control. Hits need to be precise and measured. The goal is to respectfully defeat your opponent, not pummel them. And if you would prefer a non-contact option, why not try capoeira, a dance-like martial art?
- Horseback riding: horses can sense human emotions. If their rider is stressed, then the horse is stressed. If their rider is calm, then the horse is calm. You have to control your emotions to safely ride a horse. As a team, you will learn and start to trust each other.
So if you feel overwhelmed by emotions, try a sport! But remember that every emotion, even an unpleasant one, is a message from your body. Managing them does not mean you should bury them. Try listening to your emotions instead and you will feel much more at peace.