09/01/2014 06:14 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Punch the Bag, Punch the Thoughts


Lately, I've been wanting to bang my head against the wall in an attempt to rid my mind of its rampant, intrusive thoughts. Knowing that will only lead to a headache without resolution, I've been resorting to punching the bag instead. Boxing, man; boxing is where it's at.


We lovingly refer to our basement as the "man cave," but I enjoy it just as much as my man does. I find comfort in its cement walls, unfinished rawness, and imperfect and mismatched decor. I love that the floor is covered in wrestling mats, that a variety of punching bags encircle it, that we have a free weight section, and that Bruce Lee posters surround the space with motivation.

It's no secret that I thoroughly enjoy hitting sh*t. Shockingly, I've never gotten into a real fist fight; I suppose I'm too deceptively sweet on the outside to become involved in one. Instead, I resort to releasing my aggression, stress, and anxiety on the heavy bag. There were days that I had come home so angry and stressed from work, that I wailed on the bag while screaming out all the crap that was bothering me. Presently, there are days when I become way too engrossed in my irrational thoughts, say to myself, "F this," and head down to the basement where I then proceed to punch my thoughts. I imagine the bag as my thoughts, and I visualize myself punching them into oblivion.

I realize that we have to face our thoughts in order to disband them, in order to allow our rational mind destroy the irrationality of the intrusive thoughts. Sometimes though, I need assistance in doing so. Sometimes, the pace at which these thoughts race through my mind becomes much too overwhelming for me to handle simply by thinking it through. During these moments, I find myself holding my ears, rocking back and forth, telling my own mind to shut up. It's during these moments, that I need the help of the bag. You see, not only does the visualization of hitting my thoughts help, but the strength I gain from boxing is instrumentally helpful as well.

Scientifically, we know that our body chemistry changes when we exercise; endorphins increase in our body, allowing for a more relaxed and, dare I say, happier line of thinking and feeling. That immediate change in body chemistry is an amazing feeling; it feels like new blood flowing through my veins, a light and warm energy circuiting through my body. Post-workout, my mind is clearer, calmer, and I can more easily shoo away threatening intrusive thoughts. During and after my workout, I feel like a bad ass. That bad ass feeling is not to be underestimated. When I feel like I can kick ass, I feel strong and thus, more powerful. When I feel more powerful, I feel like I can win the tiny battles I fight nearly every minute of the day. The more battles I win, the stronger I become.


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