Many of us are already familiar with the fact that anxiety can either cause paralysis or rushed movements. Sadness and depression can lead to slower and fewer movements. Meanwhile, the adrenaline rush from excitement can lead to more energetic movements. These are all examples of how the way we feel influences how we move.
They show that the brain and our bodies (in motion) are linked.
Again, these are all examples of how the way we feel influences our movements.
But let’s take a moment to consider the opposite: How can our movements affect the way we feel? Can movement be another way to better our mental wellbeing–another tool to help tackle feelings of anxiety, depression, and even low-self esteem?
The answer is, yes.
Countless studies have shown how much exercise can be a healthy medicine for the mind.
But you don’t necessarily have to hit the gym to get the mental benefits of motion.
You simply have to move.
Unfortunately, that’s not always easy. When you’re paralyzed due to anxiety, or lack energy because you’re feeling sad or depressed, moving is the last thing you feel like doing. In fact, just thinking about it hurts. It seems so much easier and better off to do the bare minimum amount of movement possible.
But this can be a mental trap.
As difficult as it may be, get your body to move a little. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-blown high-intensity workout. You can walk in place, go for a walk, dance, play a game–the possibilities of motion are literally endless. The more you counter your emotions with physical activity the better the effect long term. It might seem unnatural. It might seem counterintuitive. In fact, you might even feel miserable (at first). But keep moving.