Punching bags in the gym or at home is an extremely satisfying and therapeutic experience. While it’s true that violence never solves anything, in this case, you’re not harming anybody. So go for it! Everybody suffers from stress at some point in their lives and therefore must find ways to relieve it.
If you’re going through a tough time in your life, I recommend getting a pair of boxing gloves and digging into a punching bag. You have never felt such release until you have experienced the after-effects of ‘letting it all out.’ Better yet, you can imagine the bag as the face of someone who has caused you distress. That way you can really let it out without doing any damage in reality.
Stress is simply a natural response in your body triggered by some form of danger. However, its effects are felt both physically and emotionally. You’re supposed to experience these feelings. When a serious situation or emergency occurs, you need to be able to react quickly. Stress forces us to do this! All you need to do is find methods to counter its effects so that you are not consumed by its symptoms.
Punching Bags Is Therapy
For me, the problem with stress, in general, is that we feel it far too frequently. It should be something we only experience when a crisis situation occurs – not daily. Unfortunately, however, feeling stressed every day has become the norm for most of us. As a result of high levels of stress, inflammation, depression, and sleeping patterns are all provoked. Therefore, you do not want your stress levels to spiral out of control. It’s very important to find out what makes you feel better and calmer.
Based on lots of research, exercise comes up time and time again as one of the biggest stress relievers. And according to studies, punching bags can have a cathartic effect on your stress levels. It seems like a basic thing to do. But smacking a punching bag is both a physical and symbolic expression of stress and anger. That’s why physically hitting a punching bag produces a response in your body that helps to relieve tension.
When you’re punching the bag, you do not have to picture a person. You can even imagine the cause of your stress as the entity that you’re punching. When you picture a distressing situation or person in your life and punch the bag, you are able to express anger in a healthier way than becoming physical with another person. What helps me is to combine both punching the bag and writing down my thoughts on paper. It’s beneficial to experiment with both a physical expression and a mental expression of your anger.
Whether you decide to jot all your feelings in a journal or talk through your frustrations with a medical professional, the emotional element is vital to your mental health. More importantly, if you’re consistent, you will be able to eradicate stress for good.
This Is How To Punch Safely
Okay, so I know you’re probably eager to start. Just don’t get too excited because it can be easy to injure yourself if you’re not taught how to protect yourself first.
You need to be sure to protect vulnerable areas, like your wrists and hands, before punching bags. The bags themselves are quite heavy and if your wrists or joints are weak, you don’t want to go full throttle on the first few punches! Wearing protective gloves, wrist wraps or tape will help prevent injury. It’s also very important to warm up.
Try completing jumping jacks or jogging in place before punching. You always want to aim for the middle of the punching bag, because this part is usually softer than the upper or lower portions. Then, you must practice and build upon your cardiovascular endurance, strength, and power.
Don’t try and punch for as long as you can if you’re a beginner. Instead, practice by completing a round of punching for three minutes and then taking a rest. Moreover, always take at least a few minutes between rounds to avoid muscle strain. Then, once you feel the stress and tension leave your body, drink lots of water and take a few minutes to breathe deeply and stretch. This will ensure that the tension leaves your body for longer after your workout.
Lastly, if you do not have access to a punching bag, then don’t stress. You can also shadowbox, which is punching without hitting a target. The trick is to keep your shadowboxing small and in a box, to avoid hyperextending your arm at the elbow.
Exercise Your Brain
Exercise is so effective for combatting stress because of what it does to your brain. When you start to hit punching bags your brain increases the production of endorphins. These are neurotransmitters that concoct the feel-good hormones in your brain.
Are you struggling with pain and muscle tension? Punching bags also helps to relieve muscle tightness that can collect when you experience stress.
Through my own experience, I have found that your focus and concentration improves, you’ll also forget about the reasons why you are stressed.
Here’s What the Experts Say
According to Dr. Stephen Diamond, a forensic psychologist writing on Psychology Today, punching bags can temporarily relieve stress. However, he says that it probably isn’t a permanent solution for chronic anger or stress. It must be noted that psychologists have discovered the effective nature of striking a pillow, bag, or bed to relieve anger. Moreover, this method is also great for tapping into locked-away emotions or repressed rage.
Despite its effectiveness, you cannot solely rely on punching a bag to manage underlying rage. If you find your stress or anger is interfering with your life, or you need stress relief beyond punching a bag, seek medical help.
But if you’re in need of a simple way to rid of those nasty frustrated feelings from the day, then punching bags is a brilliant way to get the job done. Plus, it’s a killer workout at the same time!