We tend to think about sports as solely a form of entertainment, whether it be playing them or watching them. This perspective, however, fails to account for another role sports can fulfill for us: the role of an emotional outlet.
Stress, fear, anxiety, and anger tend to be regular parts of our lives, but sports can help manage and deal with these emotions. The irony of the topic of sports and emotion is that sports can induce all of these intense emotions during game-play, but also have the ability to reduce these same emotions from our day to day lives.
Nowadays, our culture has driven us to express our private matters to the public. We see our friends posting messages on Facebook about how stressed out they are or how they are so ticked off. Expressing your emotions publicly is fine but, for more intense circumstances, posting is not the way to go.
I think there is a much better way to blow off some steam. I know that when I turn on my computer or call a friend to vent, it ends up taking about an hour. I might feel better after venting, but oftentimes I just feel worse. We often are stressed because of a deadline, and wasting time online talking about stress usually does not help resolve the problem.
When used correctly, sports can be a soothing experience. When stress takes over, I go and find a basketball hoop. All of the stresses and worries of the world seem to be put on the backburner during the session. Even spending ten minutes doing this relaxes me and allows me to deal with my daily challenges.
We often overlook how useful and important these therapeutic breaks can be to our mental health. Turning ten minutes of stress into ten minutes of distressing can change a person’s outlook and mood for the rest of the day. Sounds like a great way to spend some time.
So the next time you are complaining about stress or are overwhelmed emotionally don’t go wasting your time dwelling on it. Go play the game you love and let it work wonders.
Written by Hollen O’Kelley
Edited by Sarah Gross
Image Sources: 2flashgames.com