Updated: Jun 13
Did you know that emotional pain can in fact be converted into a physical strength? Sounds kind of hippie-dippie, but it’s true. This is a strategy that I have been utilizing since first creating Polykinetics, and even though rather new, it’s not foreign to medical professionals or fitness fans alike….I just feel that this is a highly underutilized technique that needs to come out into the foreground.
I personally was somewhat exhausted from the countless “positive mentality” cliches that were non-stop all over my social media sites, and at times for some reason, they would actually make me mad instead of the intended and inspirational, “I can do it” affect. –Mostly because my actual positives in life were far and few. My negatives greatly out-weighed the optimism I did have, so that left me with an intriguing thought, “How do I use this abundant amount of negativity energy in a constructive, and more importantly, positive/beneficial way?” And this is how I began doing just that…..
When I workout independently, I am very honest with how I am currently feeling AT THAT MOMENT! –Am I happy and bubbly? or Am I more sad or angry?….regardless, the starting point is always with whatever emotion I was feeling at the start of the workout session –From there, I would choose a song that related to how I was feeling; since “anger” is a predominant emotion throughout this journey, I will use that as an example.
So completely pissed off, going into my workout, I choose an “angry” type song (i.e: Burn It Down by Linkin Park.) I don’t pick an upbeat song because it doesn’t match the emotion at that moment, therefore, won’t be as effective as having the two aspects “match” each other –And as I am physically doing one of my intense exercises, I am mentally DWELLING on a thought(s) that made me angry in the first place; pairing the mental thought, the music and the intensity of the exercise with the same intense emotion.
One thought I’ve used several times, were incidents of being beat up or feeling neglected by people I trusted……replaying a montage of memories over and over, listening to music that feels to validate the emotions behind the memories, and having the pain of the exercise equal the pain I feel from being hurt by others. –When the song comes to an end, the exercise ends, and the dwelling over the negativity ends as well. It’s one big cycle. This is where the fun begins….
Negative feelings/thought are instantly replaced with a sense of accomplishment and bad-assery of overcoming the pain of the exercise, a sense of pride for going head-to-head with areas of life that hurt the most, and absolutely, the presence of genuine strength, both, inside and out. Even though the memory itself is still there, it’s weakened. I’ve given a reason to the pain I’ve endured (Hence: “No pain in vain” motto) Mental distresses and anguish, regardless of intensity, never seem to be as powerful as they were before “using” them in a workout, and that’s because you took back the power that negativity had over you.
Thus, successfully completing the exchange cycle of emotional pain into a new physical strength. Therefore, in elementary mathematical terms, for ever 1 negative thought, there is the potential to yield several positive benefits, and these positives are the feelings that DO last.
Thoughts of “omg, I can’t believe that happened to me” quickly turn into, “Wow, I did it!”
Shifting focus on your accomplishments, instead of the pain you used or the pain you felt doing the exercise drill. Yes, you are sore, but you are not injured nor broken….it’s just the opposite. You start seeing the soreness as validation of your efforts; a positive pain per say. An odd paradox for sure!
This is a unique technique, but it’s one that when continuously practiced, has shown profound results and benefits that reach far beyond just having a nice looking body and being able to breathe better; and the best part to me, is that I never have to tell another person what I am thinking or feeling when I workout.
No need to bear my soul or secrets out loud and no fear of being labeled this way or that way by society…all of those thoughts are eradicated instantly. This is a battle that takes place inside, as well as, the physical improvements….all inside. Even when I train others, I tell them to use this technique if they are struggling with completing a particular exercise drill, and to see their intensity and effort skyrocket from 10% to 110% is amazing to say the least. No one is exempt from life pains, but we can definitely learn how to take control and utilize them to our benefit.
I never tell people I lost a lot of weight, because I didn’t; I say, I took back the power of a tremendous amount of pain that I was living with after years of suppressing and concealing it. The intensity of my effort into each and every song I workout to speaks volumes to the intensity of the pain I’ve experienced in my life.
The daily progress in my physical body became my ironclad validation that I am in fact overcoming past pains that used to control every aspect of my life. The more I workout, the more pain I let go and the stronger I become on all 3 areas of health: physically, mentally, emotionally.