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Why We Have To Move


For those who have never experienced crippling anxiety, depression, grief, or rage, it may not be obvious that there are times in life when it seems like we cannot change things for the better.

Being able to think is an enormous blessing that allows for growth and innovation for individuals and society at large. But sometimes, thinking excessively about something that is troubling us can lead to the feeling that we have fallen into a deep, dark pit that we can't climb out of.

For those who feel this way, my best suggestion is to move more. Take longer walks. Go on challenging hikes. Engage in vigorous exercise. Play sports, ideally with friends or loved ones.

The idea is simple: when we challenge our bodies physically, we have less capacity to dwell on unnecessary thoughts that trouble us.

I'm not suggesting to ignore inner work that we can do to mature. Rather, I'm sharing the view that many of us can become crippled by recurrent thoughts that don't positively serve us or anyone else, and an effective way to liberate ourselves from destructive emotional states is to move more.

Here are some examples of unhealthy emotional states:

1. Chronic anger or bitterness over another person's behaviour.

2. Chronic anxiety over something that is beyond our control.

3. Depression or any similar state where we can't experience joy and laughter.

Sometimes, people will hurt and disappoint us. Humans are capable of all sorts of evil, ranging from petty gossip to horrifying acts of violence. When we get hurt, we need time to heal. But we must be careful not to stay stuck in anxiety, depression, grief, or rage, as remaining stagnant in these states is akin to cutting off blood flow to an injured tissue that needs to heal.

So move we must. Enough to challenge our bodies to stimulate evaporation of crippling emotional states.

Taking cold showers or plunging ourselves into a cold bath can also reduce our capacity to dwell on all that doesn't serve us.

When we move more, we liberate ourselves.


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