When you are feeling depressed or dealing with anxiety or nerves, or any other unpleasant mood, how do you get out of that rut?
Do you sit there hoping it will just go away?
Do your thoughts take you further and further down?
Being in a bad mood is never a pleasant experience and most people try to think their way out of one or try to ignore their thoughts altogether, but let's be honest, neither of those works very often.
Are you ready to learn how to improve your depression and anxiety in a more effective way? Then it's time to take action!
This is going to sound silly and feel ridiculous, but it works!
Studies have proven that by mirroring positive movement, you active positive receptors in the brain and it will actually shift your mood to a more positive state.
How do you mirror positive movement? Easy!
Think of interactions that you have with people when you feel good- laughing, hugging, smiling.
Maybe going to a Football or Soccer game, cheering, high-fiving, clapping.
Well, (Here's where you're going to feel ridiculous) do those movements!
Yes! By yourself!
Give yourself a high-five in the mirror, give yourself an air hug, start smiling, laughing, clapping, and even cheering!
Are minds are highly receptive to our body's movements and there is constant communication going both ways.
So give it a shot, give yourself a high five, cheer yourself on, and laugh! This is the first step in improving your depression and anxiety.
Most of us have been called out by parents, or grandparents, about not slouching at the table, or being told to sit up straight.
Well, turns out they were more right than they likely knew.
Correct posture has a surprisingly positive impact on mood, and physical health more generally.
For instance, standing up tall, shoulders back, and chin up, activates a release of serotonin in the brain which makes you feel good!
Good posture also opens up your lungs so that you can breathe more effectively allowing your blood to become more oxygenated, but that's not all!
Having bad posture (being slouched over, hunched, looking downward, etc) tightens your muscles and has been proven to increase the risk of injury, tension headaches, and inhibit muscle development.
So, thank your parents or grandparents, or whoever it is that harps on your posture, they're helping you improve your depression and anxiety!
This one is certainly more effort than the previous sections.
Dynamic movement is any kind of compound movement that can be accomplished in a multitude of ways.
Sports: Basketball, volleyball, soccer, you name it, it covers it- most sports require full body movements that get your blood pumping.
Weight lifting: Having resistance against your muscles is a sure-fire way to impact your mood through positive stress that engaged your heart, muscles, and cardiovascular system.
Running: For however far, and however long you want, running improves coordination, and heart health, and triggers positive mood chemicals in the brain.
Any kind of dynamic movement impacts your mood in a positive way by providing your mind a new direction to orient itself, and activities all sorts of neurochemicals like dopamine and serotonin that will take you out of that mental rut.
Making a daily routine for dynamic movement also improves motivation over time, reduces the effects of mental and physical stress, and is a great way to learn how to make and stick to goals!
People rarely think they can make an immediate change in their mood, much less do so through physical movement.
It's also very difficult to find the motivation to move when you are feeling down or stressed.
But the science is clear, once you start moving, you can improve your depression and anxiety.
From the most immediate actions to long-term lifestyle changes, you can start with something as simple as giving yourself a high five and gradually work up to maintaining good posture and incorporating daily dynamic movements.
By mirroring positive actions, your mind interprets those movements as actual positive interactions and impacts your mood.
Good posture improves blood flow and breathing and prevents the risk of tension headaches and physical injury AND activates serotonin making you feel more confident and content.
And lastly, incorporating dynamic movement activates dopamine, improves coordination and confidence, and takes your mind to a more productive and positive mode of functioning.
So, get moving, and improve your depression and anxiety through action!
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.
It is my primary goal as a counselor to create a space for every individual to explore their lives and find the opportunities that may be lurking where it is most difficult to look. Through a unique therapeutic approach that combines Jungian symbology/dream-work with Narrative and Existential explorations, I will help you re-discover who you are. It is my mission to help you navigate life transitions, depression, anxiety, faith-based and spiritual concerns, as well as how to re-establish a connection with what is most important to you.
In order to perform this action you have to login