Research shows that movement decreases anxiety and depression, and increases self-esteem and focus. Movement exercises the body and the mind by reducing stress, improving our mood and boosting focus, memory and creativity.
1. Take a Break
Work a movement break into your day by taking a walk around the block, dancing to a favorite song or stretching it out.
You don’t have to run five miles to feel the benefits of moving. Take a hike, walk around the block during a work or school break, or – if you can’t get outside – take a few laps around your home or office.
Dancing isn’t about “getting it right” or “knowing the steps”. Dancing is about letting go, expressing ourselves, and feeling the rhythm of the music, while benefiting from the mental health benefits of moving our bodies.
You don’t need to be an accomplished yogi to feel the benefits of yoga. At its core, yoga is the combination of movements and breath often with moments of affirmation, reflection or spirituality integrated into the practice. If you find classes or video routines overwhelming, start by learning a few key poses and build your practice from there.
Exercise is most beneficial to our physical and mental health when we are doing it consistently for at least 30 minutes three to five times every week. The key to consistency is finding something you enjoy doing that makes you feel good. If exercise feels like a dreaded chore, explore other ways of moving and working up a sweat.
More Movement Tips
- Movement is a powerful action to build a routine or ritual around. Start each day by breathing deep while taking a walk outside or practicing a stretching or yoga routine. Amplify the impact by setting an intention each day and integrating affirmations or gratitude exercises.
- Movement is also a great way to press pause when we are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. A walk outside or around your office or campus helps us let go of difficult feelings and focus on solutions.
- Movement can also literally shift us out of a negative space or mindset so we can let go of what isn’t serving us and find a fresh perspective. If you’re feeling stuck, try movement.
- Have fun with it. There are so many ways to move, find options that works best for you.
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