Motion Changes Emotion
Today's Will Power Moment - 46
with Dr. James Meschino
Our topic today is “Motion Changes Emotion”. We all have days that zap our energy or leave us feeling a bit down or defeated. It can result from receiving disappointing news, lack of good news, feeling unappreciated or criticized, being crunched for time, over-burdened by tasks or projects, feeling stressed out, or just feeling like you’re in a rut and going nowhere. When you’re feeling this way, it can be very hard to find the motivation and energy to exercise. We live in very stressful times. As such, many people find it very hard to consistently find the motivation and willpower to exercise, even if they have good intentions.
The truth is, how you feel largely determines how you think and the actions you will take. When you’re feeling down, it feels like a natural impulse to simply lay down. But lying down won’t change the way you feel, and the way you feel is what determines your quality of life, your level of happiness, fulfillment, and optimism. So, lying down or sitting at a kitchen table, or on your couch, eating comfort foods, doesn’t change anything. On the other hand, motion changes emotion. By that I mean, if you’ll hop on your stationary bike, or jump on the treadmill and get going, or get into the gym and start your program, or take that dance class or Cardio-pump class, or Zumba class or ashtanga yoga class, it will most definitely lift your spirits and improve your emotional wellbeing.
I have never heard anyone say, after exercising, “I really regret doing that. It really left me feeling depressed and uninspired.” No one says that. What they do say is, “I’m really glad I did that. I feel so much better and I feel much better about myself and my circumstances.” Not only that but it gets you into a more optimistic state, which gets your creative juices flowing, enabling you to tackle and solve many of the challenges that may have had you feeling a bit down and defeated just a couple of hours earlier.
Exercising helps lift your spirits. You feel better – and with that extra spring in your step, it helps you be the best version of yourself. And when you feel that way, you are simply happier, more productive and more fulfilled. I will tell you that within the first minute or two of exercising you are already making the shift to a more positive emotional state. Within the first couple of minutes of being on the bike or treadmill, you’re already glad you started. With the first couple of repetitions of strength training, you already start feeling better. So, on those days when you feel down, a bit tired or depressed, defeated or zapped of energy. Don’t just “look” at your exercise bike, don’t just “stare” at your running shoes by the front door, don’t just “stand there” looking at your gym bag. Rather, get on your bike, get on the treadmill, pick up your gym bag and go to they gym, do that first repetition. If you do that it Will Change How You Feel and how you Feel is EVERYTHING.
Exercise is the solution, not just another chore you have to face on days when you’re feeling glum. And with it comes more creativity, problem-solving, personal gratification. And you’ll have a better body and improved health status. Not bad side effects. On those glum days, remind yourself, Motion Changes Emotion. The way to feeling emotionally better about your life comes from getting your body into motion. Those glum days are not the days to push yourself to the limit, but rather days to just get your body in motion at a moderate intensity level, so you can release some endorphins and serotonin while keeping stress hormones like cortisol at a lower level.
Okay, motion changes emotion. It’s on those glum, difficult emotional days that exercise can help to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness, and get you back to a productive, optimistic, engaging state and feeling good about yourself and your life. It’s simply good emotional medicine.
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great!
Dr. James Meschino
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.