Anxiety disorders effect more than 40 million people a year and are the most common mental illness in the US. Of these 40 million people, only about one-third of them actually seek some form of treatment to assist their highly treatable disorder.
Anxiety. OCD. PTSD. Phobias. Panic Disorder. Depression. All of these are forms of anxiety disorders. You can also add Bi-Polar Disorder, Sleep Disorders, ADHD, Eating Disorders and even IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) to this list of treatable disorders almost always linked with anxiety.
You have a friend, family member, or co-worker that struggles with one of these disorders, or likely several of them and you see how it affects them. Whether it’s yourself dealing with it, or it’s a loved one, or a co-worker, it can keep everyone from leading a normal, happy, and active life when not treated properly.
As stress takes over your brain and all of those wonderful nerve connection, your whole body feels the impact. Then again, when your body feels better, your mind also feels better.
Depression or anxiety can make working out, or even just moving, the last thing that you want to do. But here’s what we know…. once you get moving it helps you light a spark or a flame inside of you. What’s happening inside you is the production of, and release of brain chemicals called endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. These not only help you feel good, but they also improve the ability to sleep, which typically reduces stress and allows our body to recover.
Something as simple as a 10-minute walk, or 10-minutes of a combination of resets, can provide several hours of relief.
Now enter a crazy theory… what if those of us with anxiety and depression disorders press reset a couple times a day, or at least just once a day?
As we start moving and playing, we begin to develop more confidence. The movement takes our mind off of our worries. It can give us a social outlet. It’s a great mechanism for coping too. If we are using Original Strength resets to help us get our moving in, you also physically keep your head and chin up, which demonstrate confidence and help us look forward into the world.
The position of our head often reveals the position of our mental state. There is no doubt that our emotions are expressed through our movements.
What if the phrase, “Where the head goes, the body will follow” is much more than a physical truth? What if it is also an emotional, mental truth – a truth of the soul? (excerpt from this blog of Tim’s back in December)
When you are moving and enjoying it and keeping your head up you are also more likely to smile. Smiling is more than just a few muscles of your face contracting when your brain tells it to. When you smile, you kick on a positive feedback loop! That signal that your brain shot to activate the smile then comes right back around to the brain to tell yourself that you are happy. In other words: our brain is feeling good and tells us to smile, we smile and turn around and tell our brain that we feel good! Pretty cool right? Well the brain keeps track of how often we are smiling and the more we smile, the more happy our brain tells us to be.
Need some help smiling? Surround yourself with smiley people, or kids! Kids smile on average about 400 times a day! The average happy person smiles around 40-50x a day. Then the average person just typically smiles 20 times a day.
Anyways, if we pair movement and smiling, we get something pretty spectacular that will continue to shape our day and alter the way our brain feels and does things.
If you or someone you know an/or loves is impacted from any of these disorders, do them a favor. Tell them that MOVEMENT HEALS. Introduce them to the idea that each and every one of us was MADE TO MOVE. Tell them to SMILE and then smile at them, or at yourself. Our minds and bodies were not meant to be riddled with pain, discomfort, stress, aches, and tension. They are meant to be able to handle these things, but not lived under these things for pro-longed periods of times. We were made to move mountains!
Teach them (or yourself) how to move in a way that will reset their mind and body and help themselves get on top of the mountain. Whether you stop and reset right now, or after you get a quick break, or laying in bed, or right when you wake up, it is a good time and a good place to reset anywhere.
Today, try this…
1) Sit quietly (or lay down) and close your mouth. Breathe through your nose, while keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Breathe diaphragmatically. Let the breath pour into you and fill you up all the way through the bottom of your belly. Slowly let it spill back out. Stand outside and soak in the sun and fresh air. Or consider putting on an uplifting song or watch this pretty video. Take time to just breathe for 2-5 minutes. Breathing this way is a reset.
2) Go for a brisk 10-minute walk. Again, keep your mouth closed and breathe through your nose. Get your arms swinging (this is important) and keep your head up high. Smile at the people you pass, or if you have to use a treadmill, smile at the people who pass you. Try your best to get outside to walk. Soak in the fresh air and stand tall. No phones. Or turn it on airplane mode, stick it in your pocket, and just walk. Keep your hands open and free. This is a reset.
By just doing this or some other form of movement (I also really think dancing would be perfect too) for even as little as 10 minutes, you will feel the benefits for hours. Think of this like you are taking an Advil or Ibuprofen to help relieve you of a headache for a few hours. MOVEMENT CAN PROVIDE YOU RELIEF! Often times it’s more than just temporary relief. ]
We already know that an active, movement filled, playful lifestyle benefits our body in some ways, but today, I’m telling you that it benefits your body in almost every way I can think of. I am telling you that your body was made to move all the time. When we stop moving our bodies, we start developing issues and disorders. When we start moving again, our bodies begin thanking us by releasing those endorphins and building us up. Movement heals. This is how your body was intended to combat issues like these!
Give yourself or a friend some relief and press reset. Smile. Breathe. And Move.
If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or one of the disorders mentioned above. Try to do just 10-15 minutes of movement a day, or even just the breathing and walking each day for the next 5 days. If that’s feeling pretty good. Try it another 14 days. If that’s still feeling good…. keep going. Keep moving. Keep smiling.
Dani Almeyda is a Movement Specialist and OS Master Instructor. She has been working in the health and fitness industry for about 10 years and has worked with clients of all ages and abilities from elite athletes and fire and rescue personnel to seniors, pregnant women, and those suffering from physical and mental disabilities. Almeyda has a passion for life and movement and believes we were all truly made to move.
Almeyda is a devoted wife of a fireman, and mother of 2 (a two-year-old boy, and a 5 month old little girl), and is co-owner with Tim Anderson of the Original Strength Institute in Fuquay-Varina, NC.
Dani is available for distance training or private training sessions. If you are interested, email Dani@originalstrength.net.