Workouts are supposed to be food for your soul. A way to release anything that is bothering us. Leaving us feeling lighter, freer and happier. Why then do we sometimes leave a workout feeling defeated, angry or overwhelmed, maybe even like we failed?
I have never been much of a talker. I was kind of conditioned at a very young age to make sure whatever I had to say was impactful or thoughtful before I spoke. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It taught me to listen carefully to others, deeply reflect on my own thoughts and beliefs and to lead by example rather than insist that there is a right way. Kind of all the characteristics I needed to be a really good Health Coach, so no complaints here!
The downside though was that I held or still do hold a lot of internalized emotions. Some of it I am able to release through sports or exercise. A lot it requires some deep self-reflection and regular self-care. For someone who has not found an outlet for all that internalized emotions, it can quickly add up to excess baggage or weight and can even be translated into stress for the body as unexplained aches and pains.
If you don’t have an outlet for stress or emotions it accumulates in the body and eventually the body will begin to store it. This is a protective mechanism that we have created to keep us going. When we keep respressed feelings and stress in our body it can eventually start resurfacing as aches and pains. The locations of those aches and pains is dependent on the type of stress or emotion that has been stored.
I say all of this because often I find that during training sessions when a workout is challenging or uncomfortable (like the emotional pain is) my clients get stuck, frustrated, lazy or even end up burying the pain deeper by pretending it’s not there. They have complaints of unexplained pain in areas that haven’t experienced any direct physical injury. None of these are productive and from a scientific standpoint create more stress in the body and intern more, pain, discomfort and even weight gain.
As humans, we want there to be an explanation for why we are feeling the way we are feeling. We have an urge to pinpoint and fix something. Often times when we don’t fully understand an emotional reaction or have not taken the time to truly dissect something that is bothering us we will turn that discomfort and unease into a physical ailment. Why?! Because we can explain it, we can pinpoint it and start taking action on it.
Unfortunately, that pain will not go away until we go back and address and the root cause. That is what caused the discomfort, unease or pain in the first place. Sometimes that requires some deep self-reflection, journaling to help bring clarity or even addressing the situation head-on and addressing the person, people or situation.
I say all of this because often I find that during training sessions when a workout is challenging or uncomfortable (like the emotional pain is) my clients get stuck, frustrated, lazy or even end up burying the pain deeper by pretending it’s not there. None of these are productive and from a scientific standpoint create more stress in the body and intern more weight gain, pain and discomfort.
The next time you go to the gym, a yoga session, or just for a run and come back feeling week, frustrated or overwhelmed maybe take a look a some of the things that are going on in your life and see if you can find an area that is causing you stress or discomfort that you have been overlooking. It may require you to be really honest with yourself!
Often times the stress we are feeling is not necessarily coming from the world around us but from within us.
Let me know if this is something you have ever experienced!