Exercising in grief, but against it

grieving through exercise

Whether you want to live a fit life or go about it the happy way, the recipe for either lies in a single activity. Fitness obviously is something that depends on a lot of factors and so does happiness, not necessarily overlapping elements catering to both at once but it indeed is obvious that there exists a correlation in deriving the happiness of fulfilment from a life well lived in the best of health. And while the particular perspective that we are linking fitness with isn’t the most exact manifestation of what it means to be happy, it still is an exploration no less significant in being at least a route diverging from the gloomy awareness of life. Resting in the same strand of this assertion as fitness and entailing therefore from a mechanism characteristic of either is such thwarting off of unhappiness that emerges instead as the poignant process of degriefing.

It might seem peculiar that something as psychological as grief can be alleviated by something stimulating of as exclusive the physicality of fitness. But the human existence being one integral unit at work that which is a simultaneous continuation of both the body and the mind, it only is natural that the physiological and psychological processes of it are essentially ingrained in one another. Which is why pursuits as unrelated as bodily fitness and mental peace can be charted through a singular course of effort embedded however in a nature apparently wholly physical. The holy grail of exercise is indeed what sums up the most popular perception of fitness but this exertion of the body in all its muscles and organs lends itself as spectacularly to toning the mind as well, leading it to rest in a state of calm that which makes it so effective a shield against the psychologically profound awareness of grief.

Not to say however that exercising leads to such outcomes capable of nullifying the immensely painful experience that grief manifests as in all its profound arousing of the emotional. Instead, the intense exertion of the body helps the mind to adapt itself to the many a senses of loss that which brings upon grief on us. In that awareness, exercise might be even more potent a coping mechanism in that it initiates acceptance of the grief that weighs us down, for it is indeed in accepting the reality of things and experiences as they are that shapes up as the vital first step to conquering these immensely disastrous episodes of what sums up life. And yet, not limited to such elementary modes of its functioning is the exertion that exercise forces upon the mind, continuing in an essence even more remarkable to effectively jolt existences out of despair and into the ordinarily extraordinary state of happiness.

Grief is an intense experience plaguing the mind out of such assertions that get as varied as they can but the single manner of its affectation across such painful jolts of the emotion it generates is what enables exercise to act as an antidote to it. Since grief greatly alters our state of mind in such basis that has it exert complete dominance over our mood and the mental sphere of existence, the effects of it are offset indeed to a great extent by certain chemical processes occurring in the brain that leads to the generation of such substances innately associated with boosting our happy awareness. Known as happy chemicals and identified in such specifics as dopamine and endorphins, these releases of the brain might be the manifestation of a natural mechanism but they can also be induced in their production by external factors. Hacking the happiness chemicals is a very prevalent technique by which humans can very well regulate their states of mind, though indulging in such ploys of the brain when you are burdened considerably by the peculiar hollowness of the grief crushing your soul is easier said than done. And it is exactly across premises as these, when the mind is at its most vulnerable that we need to seek recourse in the endurance of the body to devise a physical route to rescue ourselves from that mess jeopardising our existence.

overcoming grief
Source: Medium

As the most obvious path of physicality that involves exertion as its very nature, exercise therefore is what grants us that inroad into the mind to account for its healing. The induced mechanism might be entirely biological but the results entailing this pursuit in physicality aren’t confined to a singular strata of what governs existences. By its very essence as an exertion of the body across its entirety, exercise is an excellent agent boosting blood circulation, increasing the flow of it to the brain to thereby ensure efficient functioning of what is the most important organ in the body. Apart from triggering a sea of changes that contribute to overall well being, the more robust blood flow drives the brain to such activity that promote one’s awareness of well being and calm. That, along with the enhanced production of a host of the happy chemicals helps in regulating and in fact bettering moods, that which is exactly what asserts as being almost the antonym to the overwhelming awareness of the acutely emotional experience of grief.

Even beyond the immersive notion of how exercise tricks the brain into aiding the process of escaping the all engulfing confines of grief in exclusively biological manifestations, the essence of it all asserts also across other dimensions of working. As an activity requiring focus in itself, exercise helps in putting the mind off the pervasive expanse of grief by demanding the diversion of the attention and energy otherwise consumed by the wallowing wobbles of the blues. In serving as a distraction, and in fact one overwhelming enough in its intensity, exercise provides an alternative outlet for emotions to find their release and interrupts the overshadowing play of the negatives clamouring the mind. The focus emerging from exercise, and one that drives its very pursuit as well, asserts also in other mannerisms of working upon the human. Endowing upon the mind a sense of control and lending it the perception of a power resident within the self, exercise facilitates a moving away from the demons of grief to a radically different strata of awareness, manifesting along it a sense of purpose to explore for more fulfilling experiences of life. Draining out thus the exhaustion of grief and replacing it in as much exertion of the self that which is very much physical but at the same time equally psychological as well, exercising offers itself as an avenue across which the balance of the mind and the body can be achieved for an experience uncharacterised by any aberration including the veritable prospect of grief.

Exercise can also be mental therapy in its endowing of focus and purpose but equally furthering of this prospect is such pursuits of exercising that entails as some sort of a social activity as well. Sweating out in the gym for instance where you meet up with others is another catharsis of grieving, in that it allows for the sidelining of those pressing concerns otherwise bothering the mind. In providing an external stimuli to which the brain can respond and engage itself with, exercise goes far beyond its reach of the physical to afford such stability that had been jeopardised by the undulating experiences of grief.

exercising against grief
Source: Yahoo News

Surprisingly though, more physical ways through which exercise presents itself as an activity in purging the mind of its grievous woes occurs through such characterising elements of it as sweat and sleep. The exertion that the body is subjected to under the strain of physical exercise means that sweating is a natural consequence or even an inevitable accompaniment of that entire process. And while sweating indeed is as physical a manifestation as exercise itself that rids the body of the toxins, it also enables a similar such mechanism to lead the mind to drain out all such thoughts and emotions that tire it out. As regards sleep, the way in which exercise employs this vital requirement of bodily functioning of the human is again by exerting it enough to tire out physically and thereby drive it to the therapeutic exploration that sleep stems as. And sleep being at least as potent a healer as time, it is indeed such optimal states of existence brought about by exercise that is what classify it as therapy driving out grief as well.

But perhaps the most significant realisation in which exercise accords itself a place in being the alleviator of grief is by virtue of such essence that emerges as a form of self care. In pursuing the physical goodness of a healthy existence across fit and fine assertion of living for a holistic life experience enriching indeed in its, the whole activity in exercising is in fact an opportunity to cherish one’s own self both in body and in spirit and thereby allowing oneself the relaxation that leads them to view life in greater worth than the loss driving them to the unbearable pain of grief. For what is once gone is gone forever and while to grieve for that loss is only natural, it also should be as universal a notion that everyone begins to realise- of the essence of grief being no less fleeting than that of life itself. So whether it be actively trying to coax oneself out from the shroud of grievous misery in greater priority of dear life or in not succumbing to such prejudices that see the letting go of grief as a manifestation of condemnable apathy, the drive against it should be as realistic a goal as the many others apparent enough in their desire to be eked out along the trails of exercise.