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Moving improves your mood!

You know those gym rats at the gym? The ones who are there at 5:30 in the morning Monday through Friday and on holidays and vacations? The people we all hate/envy? That’s right, were humans and sometimes we think negative things about people who seem to be “getting life” more than we do. We perceive these specimens as aliens. Well, I am here to say that if you asked why these people have such discipline and endurance, I would tell you that they are there because they have to for their own mental/emotional/spiritual health. Try to remember when you are struggling with life problems, issues and life altering events, and your mind starts to go down the rabbit hole of negativity and you can’t get out of the loop – MOVE! This may be changing rooms, taking a shower or walking around the block. I’m not suggesting you need to be Mr. or Mrs. Universe😉. I can’t tell you how many times this has helped me get out of my funk and start thinking more clearly. I have noticed consistently that this works with my clients as well. It takes a bit of discipline and effort but I promise if you move in some way around 20 minutes later you will feel less likely to want that food, drink, argue with family members, etc. Whatever it is that you want to do that you know is not serving your best self. This is not a concept that I came up with and I credit our friends at AA for the saying, “move a muscle change a thought”. I actually dismissed this skill until I was confronted with trying to change a “bad” habit and create a new healthier option. I had this habit of working all day and coming home and snacking and watching tv. I understand that this is a mild issue compared to some. However, I am a diabetic and this is not a healthy behavior for me. Firstly, I realized that you cannot change a habit without putting some other behavior in it’s place. It just keeps you less vulnerable to the behavior you are trying to change and gives you some preventative measures. I tried a bunch of ways to cope with this habit that didn’t involve me moving. Upon reflection of my unsuccessful attempts at altering this behavior I remembered the saying “move a muscle change a thought.” A universal sign. 😉 So, I reluctantly tried to physically move during times I was most vulnerable to engage in the behavior I was trying to stop. Guess what? It worked better than anything else! I started taking a walk around the block. It only takes 10 minutes yet after I finished I really didn’t have any desire to snack. Usually a craving or urge lasts no more than 20 minutes but when you add physical movement to that it will help you realize your goal. I am not perfect at this skill yet. However, I am, for the most part, able to control my behavior to where I feel good about myself because I am exercising self-discipline which increases my confidence. Imagine saying ‘no’ to yourself promotes esteem of self? Who knew? I didn’t get it and I’m a therapist. 😊 So, I wanted to pass this on to you because it is a skill that can be invaluable to freeing yourself from negative behaviors that make you feel badly about yourself. And that’s never okay. You are imperfectly you and that’s so beautiful when you claim it! So, maybe tonight take a walk after work and look up at the stars and remember miracles happen!

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