Like all things in life, there is a yin and yang and the beauty is finding a balance of the two. I love the relationship between opposites. The next two posts will be about the importance of both movement and stillness as necessary practices for a healthy life. I find it natural to constantly be in motion. So much so that I often plan my days, weeks, and even my vacations to be jam packed. My mind often reflects the same movement and it is not uncommon for my wheels to be turning at all hours of the day and night. To some, this may sound exhausting. I agree! It certainly can be which is why it is imperative to find the balance.
The philosophy of one of my favorite exercise classes, Circuit of Change is "movement will heal you." Think more broadly than just physical movement. Think mental, physical, spiritual, energetic movement. Whatever it may be that ails you, movement certainly can heal. Movement is akin to growth and progress. Whether it is forward motion or not does not matter. The important thing is to get in motion. This is what I love about my walking sessions. The fact that walking alone generates a different state of mind is incredible and can be achieved with very little effort.
Being stagnant or inactive in our bodies and minds differs from being stillness in that stillness comes with the intention to be still and at peace. Stagnation of our physical and mental states rarely opens up positive things. For example, staying in the same place hour after hour, or even day after day, without any change can become depressing. Similarly thinking the same thoughts or staying in the same thought patterns day after day can often be self-defeating.
For these reasons I recommend adding a little movement into your day. Have you ever been stuck on something only to see the answer 5 minutes later after you take a break? This is what I am talking about! Physically, the simple act of taking even a brief walk is shown to have a major positive impact on your body. Even a simple change in scenery can do your body and mind good. This technique works well with feeling stuck, angry, frustrated, and even sad. Allow yourself some space from the emotion or thought and chances are, you will feel much better once you come back to it with a clear mind.
Mentally, you can allow your mind some refreshment by listening to a new type of music, working on a crossword puzzle or even watching funny videos. Mental movement can release tension and open up space for fresh thoughts, feelings and ideas to flow. Studies show that engaging in new thought patterns and challenging your mind with diverse activities helps relieve stress and can even help you live longer.
With all these positive outcomes, it is easy to see why I am a proponent of movement. The challenge, of course, is finding your perfect balance between movement and stillness. Like all things in life, the scale should not tip too far to one side. I look forward to sharing some thoughts on stillness with you next week!