We all know we need to move, to exercise, blah, blah, blah. But I have come to notice the “lack of chat” about mindful movement. I have been, over the past few months, attempting this practice. Consciously choosing to be aware of my physical actions- my posture, HOW often I move, HOW I move, and when working out being sure I balance: strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance training.
These things might have come to mind when you read “mindful movement”…but something I didn’t even think to note when I started what being conscious of emotional movement. It’s the “why’s” and the “how’s” behind our physical actions. WHY do I move the way I do…or more often WHY am I not? Where am I holding stress or anxiety in my body and HOW can I release it?
Being aware of how your emotions are affecting your daily activity can be beneficial for everyone for a few reasons.
- It will bring light to how you are feeling- where and when. This will help you target and eliminate those stressors or help you manage them.
- Managing those stressors or anxieties will significantly impact how you physically feel. Releasing tension will relax muscles, which puts less stress on your bones and you. Having a healthy, relaxed, and stress free body will help posture, headaches, aches in your back and neck, etc.
- Targeting where you hold your emotions can help you move and process those emotions through movement. An example- when I am laying in bed at night and get too in my head, anxious, or overwhelmed- I hold all those feelings in my chest and in my legs. I have found that putting on my favorite music, just having a little dance party (no skill required), while being mindful of taking deep breaths- releases the stress immediately (most times) and I can fall right to sleep.
- You will find the motivation. I am not implying by simply being aware of your emotions- you will suddenly have the motivation of an Olympic athlete. BUT what you have perceived as a “lack of motivation” could actually be depression, pent up anxieties, fear, stress, etc. Again- consciousness of emotion will significantly reduce being subconsciously controlled by them and often that leads to unlocked ambitions.
- You will find the right time and reasons to move. There are a lot of ideas and opinions and when and how to move. Bull sh*t. You can move whenever and however makes you happy. Want to be a yogi? Great. Gym rat? Cool! Morning? Night? Indoor? Outdoor? Who cares?! As long as you find what makes you happy (Which is an emotion, right?) and you are moving…then you are doing yourself a favor.
So, I challenge you just for today- to take note of of your movement and your emotions behind them. Find your why’s, how’s, and when’s. Take control of what you can and simply let go what you can’t.
Please let me know your thoughts on the matter and what other “Mindful Living” topics you are interested in-in the comments below. For now- Happy Monday!
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally.Jon Kabat Zinn