movement is medicineWhen you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the demands of life, one of the easiest ways to get de-stressed is to get up and move.

One of my mentors, Gabrielle Roth, said, “Movement is medicine… a dynamic way to free the body, to express the heart, and to clear the mind.” I couldn’t agree more. Often when I have been feeling lethargic or in a non-creative, non-resourceful place, the simple act of going for a walk has changed my perspective and renewed my energy and enthusiasm.

However, even better is when I dance.

I don’t worry about the steps, or what I look like. I just put on some music, often I will even close my eyes, and surrender to whatever movements my body is inspired to make.

Sometimes I start very slowly and tentatively, listening to my body as it gradually unravels from the demands of the day.

At other times my body is drawn to make large, bold, circular movements, or short, percussive, dynamic jabs. I may start “loud” and then melt into the stillness.

Every day is different, but the results are the same. After a short “movement break” my energy is revitalized and by mind is refreshed.

So, the next time you are feeling out-of-sorts, I invite you to put on your favorite music and dance around to it. Don’t worry about feeling awkward. As the wonderful choreographer Twyla Tharp said, “Get over yourself!”

In fact, you could even try it NOW. Go on, give it a whirl. Find your favorite dancing music and rock out!

If you are in a public place (like at work) imagine yourself dancing wildly. It’s almost as good.

And if you need some additional inspiration, here is a great video to get you going.

Did you do it? Did you get up and move? If so, how does your energy feel now versus before?

There is an amazing connection between physical movement and the brain. In fact, in The Brain That Changes Itself,  Norman Doidge wrote, “Nothing speeds brain atrophy more than being immobilized in the same environment.”

So the next time you are feeling stuck or just stressed out…. get up, dance around, go for a walk, just move. You’ll feel better for it.

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