The kick boxing trainer said something that intrigued me this morning. along the lines of “Technique is more important than Power”. This he meant naturally for my moves, stance, etc. But i wondered, if we can apply this motto across the board. To not only physical well being, but also mental and emotional. I had been determined, with my sheer strength and will power to get over depression, and for the most part i am in the clear. (only leaving room for the unknown here). But what if it wasn’t only strength that I applied, without realising. What if it was not just the determination, strength of will and mind. Because there had been a many moments where the sheer strength of me was irrelevant, and instead I had to give in to pain, instead of push myself through it.
So in the question of mental and emotional well being, what is the technique. and if i had in fact been ‘using technique’, how do i know i was applying this technique, when i don’t know what it is. (specially that i know power alone did not help me here, in fact, as stated, I had to let go of power and strength, right?)
so you know, i’m sitting cross armed in front of the screen in deep contemplation now. i’m curious truly to explore this concept. i’m comparing the instructions given to me by the trainer (lets give him his name, Ramzi Farzhad), and seeing if I can draw parallels. ok lets’s start…
The first Instruction given is to watch my Posture. Legs apart as such, arms aiming and kept in line with body, chin up. The second instruction is on Focus. Focus on the core muscle, let it lead your movement, let IT do the work. If you lose your posture, the strain will be on the wrong muscle/body part, which can lead to discomfort, injury, and you will not benefit from the exercise. the third instruction, is Movement in X Direction, and then the fourth- Repeat. Key Additionals: Make sure other muscles are relaxed, remember to keep breathing in and out as evenly as you can.
Ok, now let me take each of these and see if we can apply, and in fact, technique over power is the way to go. (this can then be applied to all aspects of life no?) fati are you sure you’re not just bored and stretching this discussion for your own amusement? no seriously i am curious.
1- Posture: What is the emotional equivalent to physical posture. In the quick google search i just did to this question, the immediate concepts arising are “Standing up for Yourself”, and then one on ‘facial expressions” and i quote “Emotional Fitness is manifested physically through posture and facial expressions.” So let me combine these two into “emotional posture”. haha. Emotionally I am ready to ‘stand up for myself”, which means putting ourselves in a mind/emotional set to ‘defend’, ‘protect’, ‘take a stance’ for emotional well being. In other words, be ready to face the emotional attacks with the objective of protecting the heart (the metaphorical organ for emotions). Now let me inject into this the concept of facial expressions, lets just say that if i’m happy i will be smiling, therefore, if i smile i will be happy. (if a=b, then b can =a in reverse). So the posture is to ‘stand up emotionally for happiness’, and maintain the ‘posture of happiness’ i.e. smiling, sitting up straight, opening our chest, shoulders and arms welcome. if my body acts happy, then surely my heart will follow? (possible, and up to you to decide)
2- Focus on Core Muscles. (i’m researching a tad as i go along by the way). Now is the core muscle like a core emotion? Or should i be digging deeper than that? one article is interesting, and may help find the correct metaphorical analogy. and i quote “
After they’ve learned relaxation and stress regulation techniques they are still in need of emotional expression skills so they can make the most of opportunities for positive experience. The ability to express emotion effectively, to be aware of feelings before one acts, and to perceive the emotional expressions of others has helped humans to survive the Darwinian evolutional selection process of the survival of the fittest.” from article online
Smile Anatomy: Emotional Self Regulation and Facial Expression Muscle Measurement and Training
hmmm maybe i’m going about this one wrong. let me repeat. FOCUS on the Core Muscle. The core muscle is what i want to exercise, but also it will help me stay balanced (for physical technique purposes) and focus is focus. So then, focus on happiness? Maybe its’ not just focusing on happiness, but focusing on emotions. let’s see if this works: Focus on my emotions, be aware of them at all times during the exercise. So almost like an openness to listen inward to what we are feeling and thinking. to not lose balance by distractions, and focus as intently as possible to what these feelings are. in this technique, surely I can better understand the emotions, understand their drive, where they come from and how to best extract and heal. I think this will suffice for now.
3- Movement in X Direction: This is fairly simply, and in fact i’m using the above quote to support me (this is why i didn’t discard it earlier). The movement of ’emotion’ is expression. To communicate the emotion, is to help it move, so that it is not ‘sitting idle’. Whether i am moving positive emotions onwards, or moving negative emotions outwards. This is like talking to a friend, a therapist, even blogging the entire experience, personal journaling, painting, beating the pillow with a baseball bat (maybe)- screaming even, or crying or laughing with all your might. These are all expressions of emotions. So the ‘talking’ is not the only one, if one is determined not to share. Point is. express. move. do not let the muscle sit idle, this is how we build toxins in our body, this is how the muscle is weakened and atrophied, this is how emotions die or how they kill us.
4- and Repeat: obvious. keep talking, painting, writing, expressing in anyway. don’t start a technique to ‘feel better’, and when you feel you’ve had a fair grip, then just stop. you have to keep going. keep expressing, even until it hurts. this is the same with exercise, upon repeat number 10 i am in so much pain. but this is when the exercise starts to work, this is where the strength, and fitness is built- at the point of it being unbearable. surely it is the same. if i recall even my states of depression, the more i expressed, the closer i got to the pain, and the harsher i felt it. but it took facing that excruciating pain to get me through.
5- Additional A: Other muscles are relaxed. This makes sense, now that I think I have a grip on this idea, I would say, do not strain other aspects or problems in your life all at the same time. like the concept “one battle at a time”. do not worry about 10 million or even 4 other emotions, fears, or worries in the same session of expression. isolate them, make sure these are subsided, relaxed, not strained. Let your body- heart-mind, focus on one set at a time. otherwise, serious injury is at stake. your mind and heart will be overwhelmed, and you will not reap the benefit of the exercise.
6- Additional B: Breath Evenly- Keep Breathing. As i’m doing my breathing, I am focusing on one inhale and then one exhale, one at a time. I cannot anticipate the next breath, even if my heart rate wants me to. If i can equate that, i would say maybe take a day at a time. Do not rush how you will feel tomorrow. OR maybe slow down as much as possible your emotional/ mental rants? I actually don’t know. this is all speculation. But I feel the day at a time theorising possibly works. This was a key approach i took during my getting through depression. I let my focus literally be for today, I forgot tomorrow and held myself to try take each day separately. (because thinking of tomorrow was honestly just too dark of an idea) i’m still not sure if this works. but lets recap the above, and see if a technique has been discovered for emotional fitness.
1- Posture: Have the mentality to stand up for your happiness, and protect your heart.
2- Focus: Focus on your emotions, listen to them, and find what and why they are.
3- Movement: Express your emotions
4- Repetition: Keep expressing your emotions
5- Relax other muscles: Focus on one emotion/ fear/ worry/ pain at a time.
6- Breathing: Take a day at a time.
So basically, and in a nutshell: talk about your feelings? Hardly a revelation. There’s an entire industry catered to this. LOOOOL. damn it, i really thought i’d see something ground breaking here. oh well. it was a fun exercise nonetheless. I shall explore it internally further, and if I have any actual “ah moments”, i’ll make sure to share.