Our body’s natural response to danger comes in the form of stress. That said, stress should not be something regular or a daily occurrence. It should only be an emotion we feel during serious situations or emergencies. Like plenty of Americans I have had to suffer from stress in an unhealthy, regular way. I have always known how chronic stress can lead to depression, inflammation and irregular sleep. This made me strive to take steps to relieve stress in my life. I keep a somewhat demanding job, but thanks to exercise, specifically boxing, I have gotten help at stress relief. The striking I do on a punching bag provides a catharsis to my stress levels.
Some psychologists have forwarded that striking a punching bag only creates a connection for people between anger and aggressive behavior. They say it only serves to strengthen the link between being angry and acting aggressively. I beg to disagree in terms of the argument in favor of boxing being based solely on the type of person one is. I wasn’t born angry. I have only experienced a great level of stress and this had made me lose my temper easily before I used boxing as a stress outlet. When I see someone who has stressed me out, I do not imagine myself punching them in the face like what you see in movie dramatizations tackling this kind of situation. I have ;earned to deal with my anger issues in a more constructive way by proving myself to the stressor to be a better person than what they expect me to be. I have succeeded, thanks to boxing.
Why hitting a punching bag can be cathartic
The punching bag is a non-living thing, an inanimate object. It won’t move till you strike it. The greater beauty of hitting a punching bag to let off steam is it doesn’t hit back. Although it can serve as a symbolic and physical expression of anger or stress when hit, the punching bag is able to elicit a response that relieves the pent-up rage or tension. This is the beauty of having a punching bag in the home. You unload your anger safely and ensure nobody gets hurt, only your hands if you don’t have premium quality boxing gloves. Hitting a heavy bag provides a less destructive way of expressing anger. You won’t go to prison and after the serious hitting, you can begin to think clearly if all the anger was even necessary or not, while catching your breath. Besides, just imagine how much oxygen you can get into your brain with all the deep breathing you have to do after the exercise.
Of course, if you are to firmly eliminate stress, you will have to use mental expressions of your thoughts, such as putting them down on paper or consulting a medical professional. This can provide a good balance of physical and mental unloading of anger or stress, for good. You can also improve your focus and increase your concentration. It still is a fact that heavy bag hitting will not work to permanently handle anger. Should stress or anger be seriously interfering with the quality of your life, you should seek professional help.
Other ways you can decrease stress can be found in this great article. I highly recommend meditation.