Moving is not only great for your body, but great for your mood. Exercise releases endorphins, also known as nature’s mood elevator, which has been shown to improve memory. When we exercise, serotonin is released, which can help alleviate symptoms of depression.
Exercise can help us connect to our body – we can get curious about how we feel when we exercise – particularly if the exercise is mindful and requires concentration – we can fire up our central nervous system and stir our neurology!
When we can learn to concentrate, we may be able to come up with new ideas and become creative. We can learn the skill of becoming aware of the endless repetitive thoughts or “mind noise”, and then learn how to re-direct our thoughts into something calm, and more productive.
Managing our minds is so vitally important, particularly during these challenging times. If we are more self-aware of our thoughts, then we can perhaps become better decision makers on how we chose to behave, react, respond to our external environment (which we cannot control).
Exercise can be the gateway to the mind. The mind body connection is like the infinite symbol – no beginning, no end – the brain directs our body to move – we move – then the brain receives information on how the body feels because of this movement. There is a constant feedback loop from the mind to the body, and then back to the mind.
In these challenging times, the road ahead can appear to be blocked. Can we overcome these roadblocks that hold us back, by choosing a better thought pattern, or choosing to look for the opportunities that may be presented to us? When we have more awareness and control over our minds, we can perhaps start to see that there are indeed opportunities to be explored.
Going for a walk outside – even a brief, brisk walk in the cool air – can give us the qualities of gratitude and patience – walking outdoors can help us open our eyes and see the beautiful things the universe has given us. It provides gratitude for where we live, and this can help change our perspective in life, and deal with our current circumstances.
We can walk tall, breathe deep – we can be right there – in the moment! We can image the air leaving our body metaphorically as a “weakness” leaving the body, or a negative thought leaving our mind, which is being replaced by the inhalation of strength and stoicism!
Walking, while listening to an inspiring podcast, or a walking meditation, can help us develop mental and emotional strength, while simultaneously becoming physically stronger. It is a powerful combination, that anyone can do, anytime!
Deep breathing can help us have calm composure and bring us back to nature – we can also have some peace and quiet, particularly if we turn our phones on silent and look around.
A strong workout at the gym, or dancing can give you courage and intelligence – the strong feeling you have in your muscles the next day gives you a positive and powerful message of self-worth – of “aliveness” – feeling your body!
A mindful movement session such as Pilates or Yoga can help us to feel strong in our minds – if our bodies are felt as a result of a choice we have made to move/workout, then this may light up a part of our brain that delights in feeling sensations as a result of our positive, healthy choices. If we are doing a stimulating workout, for example, challenging balance, or coordination then we can improve our intelligence.
Mindful movement can help us hold on to values – this kind of exercise allows us time to stop, think, breathe. Our brain waves slow down, and we can quieten our minds – which allows us time to remember who we are, and what we stand for – what we are passionate about and what drives us. It helps us develop resilience against tough times, as we discover more about our character.
Onward and forwards – regardless of circumstances. There are movement opportunities everywhere, despite our favourite places to workout being temporarily shut down, and there are plenty of ways to reach out for inspiration or help with this, in our wonderful Community.
Take care, smile, walk, breathe deep, stand tall! We will develop greater resilience and be stronger again.