This is a common question which comes up when discussing Boxing. For some it is the opposite concern, will boxing make me more violent? The sport of boxing has had it’s fair share or characters who were erratic outside of the ring, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston and Carlos Monzon immediately spring to mind but they were also a little prone to the crazy bug before they ever laced up a pair of gloves. In this article we will have a look at whether boxing can help alleviate stress and thus reduce anger.
We live in a fast paced world, the majority of us lead busy lives. We go to work for 8hrs a day, sometimes there is overtime, we come back to the family, we have kids to look after. You may even find yourself having to check your work emails in the evening whilst you are trying to relax. Combine this with the stresses of work and a family life, bills to pay etc etc we can end up feeling exasperated with a need to let off some steam.
It is in these cases I find boxing to be a great way to release stress and therefore reduce anger. The theraputic effect of hitting the pads or the bag can be a great way to get all of that built up stress and anger of the day, out of your system and leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and with a brighter approach to the rest of the day. It is important not to repress the anger you are feeling and to get it out of your body, by not releasing this stress and anger, you are only adding to it and it ends up becoming like a volcano. If you don’t do something about it and release the tension, it is only a matter of time that either you blow your top off or it leads to more serious health issues such as depression, anxiety, poor quality sleep, headaches, obesity and even heart disease. Let’s also not forget that continous stress can even end up altering many systems of the body, including your immune system, this means more sickness and how many of us feel great when feeling ill? Increased stress is something we have to tackle and prevent from becoming a snow ball on a downhill slope.
Punching a bag or the pads(maybe even a sparring partner if you happen to train at a club) allows you to relieve tension, hey if you’ve had a bad day at work and someone there has annoyed you, whether it be a fellow colleague, manager or someone you were dealing with then you could even picture their face on the bag as you punch it – that’s a far better and healthier proposition than becoming physical with someone and attempting to fight them (this is the worst possible decision you could make).
Throwing punches whilst boxing training will also help your brain release endorphins, the feel good hormone as well as releasing muscle tension. With consistent and regular training, you will also see changes to your physique, positive changes which will give you improved focus and take your mind off the happenings of the day.
Boxing is also a social sport, if you are joining a club it is great to be around like minded people who share your love of the sport. For children who may be experiencing problems at school such as bullying or isolation, boxing helps them to address anger by being a part of the group and training together. It gives them increased confidence and self esteem which in turn lifts their mood and they feel better equipped to handle the school day. Boxing instills a sense of achievement and classes provide a person with a safe and controlled environment to release any built up anger or frustration you may be feeling, there is very little better at releasing tension than throwing punches at the bag or pads. We could even take this further by saying if you are training for boxing, you may also decide to take up running to help your boxing which is another form of exercise I find theraputic and great for releasing stress and helping you to think more positive thoughts. Very rarely do I feel down having returned from a morning jog.
So I’ll end with this, if you’re ever feeling stressed or angry and find it is consuming you, don’t keep it inside you, join a club, perform an activity that will make you feel better – and there is nothing better than grabbing a pair of boxing gloves and pounding away at the punching bag!
Boxing Coach Strength and Conditioning Coach Boxing Writer for the Ringside Report Boxing Author of: (Available for download on Amazon) The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit! Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle