Written by K. Monet Rice
“Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” is a song by Marvin Gaye, in which the song depicts that ghettos of inner-city America as it discussed how the bleak economic situation would lead to someone wanting to holler and throw ones hands up. 41 years later the American experience for some citizens is such that there is plenty of hollering, picketing, and throwing up of both hands. Stress, depression, anxiety and hopelessness are often the emotions that set into motion the impetus to holler until one feels better.
There is no cure for emotions because feelings are a part of being human. And until there are significant changes to the socio-economic racial dynamics in this country, there will continue to be situations that shock, frustrate and infuriate the conscious citizen. Nonetheless, while change is the only panacea that our culture needs, until change comes there is a way to cope and that is by hollering via a workout.
Research shows that feel good endorphins are released during working out and these chemicals can help thwart feelings of stress and depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise probably helps ease depression in a number of ways, which may include:
- Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters and endorphins)
- Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
- Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects
Exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits too. It can help you:
- Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
- Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
- Get more social interaction. Exercise may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
- Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.
As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough go kickboxing! What better way to get going than to punch, kick and scream at something that isn’t a colleague, family member or offender. Go ahead, throw up your hands and holler while getting in that workout. It will help keep you not only physically healthy but also mentally healthy.
Source: Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. Mayo Clinic.