Shut The Door, You’re Letting My Darkness Out!

Everyone has a dark side. It’s inevitable; we grow up dealing with life’s problems and often with other people’s problems, and this causes us to accumulate a deep well of anger, resentment and whatever other negative emotions and feelings you can think of. Eventually, those feelings need to be vented before the well overflows and causes a mess (metaphorically speaking).

There’s no disputing that there’s plenty of suffering in the world. We deal with a lot of it, whether directly or indirectly. And every little piece of suffering can lend to evoking your dark side. Someone cuts you off in traffic, you don’t get your preferred assignment at work, some gutless coward accuses you of wrong-doing… All of it happens to promote releasing your inner dark side.

Proper mental and physical health requires that we find a healthy outlet for this negativity. By healthy, I don’t mean punching out that other driver or hiring an assassin… There are plenty of ways to alleviate some of the negative energy in your life WITHOUT harming others or growing your pet stomach ulcer, Hector!

  • Meditation: I know I play this particular harp to death, but meditation genuinely does help reduce your heart rate, blood pressure and helps eliminate negative thoughts. In most instances, I’ve even taken to meditating for at least ten minutes after workouts and it helps calm my system after pushing myself physically. This brings me to my next method…
  • Working Out: A good workout will help burn calories, lose weight and improve your mental health. Nothing quite helps you forget about the moron who nearly clipped your front bumper like a rigorous fitness session that leaves you sweaty and breathless. A good workout will also tire you out and help you get a better night’s sleep, which once again brings me to my next method…
  • Get A Good Night’s Sleep: I think we can all agree that lack of sleep can turn even the nicest person into a book-burning spawn of the devil. Getting a solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep will ensure your body gets the rejuvenating rest it needs to function properly the next day. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure this proper sleep, which includes having a regular bedtime routine and avoiding depressants such as alcohol. And here comes the next point…
  • Avoid Alternative Methods Of Dealing With Life: I’m no stranger to enjoying the occasional cold beer or delicious rum & coke, but the overuse of alcohol or ANY use of illicit drugs won’t solve the problem and may, in fact aggravate it. And as an addition to the sleep aspect, although alcohol may seem as though it helps you sleep, that sleep is usually temporary and not rejuvenative in the least. And the last point…
  • Hit Something: I’m not even a little bit kidding about this. Get a punching bag, makiwara board or a sparring partner (with gloves and pads, of course) and go to town. Performing actual strikes where you make physical contact with something has been proven to reduce stress and help alleviate anxiety, and calms you. And nothing helps more than taking out your anger or frustration on an object, as opposed to releasing that anger in the moment when something negative occurs in your daily life.

These are simply a few things that one can do to help deal with the darkness that fills one’s well, but there are plenty of others. Quick, simple online searches can provide plenty of relaxation exercises, fitness regiments and different methods of dealing with it all. The important thing to remember is that although it isn’t ideal to “release” your demon, there’s often nothing wrong with letting it out to play. ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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