The dialogue in my head lately is exhausting. It’s a constant, never-ending string of worry and self-doubt. A lot of questions but no answers. My ability to focus is nowhere to be found and my confidence has gone with it. These are the days that feel impossible to accomplish anything. At the end of the day no matter what I have or haven’t done, the voices in my head are telling me I’m failing. And those damn voices won’t shut up.
I believe you always have a choice to either change your state of mind or accept it and I refuse to accept this on-going spiral of negative dialogue. So I turn to the one thing that has never failed me. The one thing that yields nothing but positive results.
Movement. Sweat. Exhaustion.
I have found that exhausting myself physically is the most effective method for quieting the mind. Our bodies need movement and stimulation, without it all the excess energy goes to our heads and that’s when, for me, the voices in my head run rampant. But after 30 minutes of physical demand on my body, it’s as though I’ve beat the voices in my head in to submission. I’ve wrung them out like a dirty sponge. The negative, unproductive, worry-laden dialogue is gone and all that’s left is a calm, sound mind that’s ready to get some shit done.
Through exercise, I’m able to regain control of my mind and return to being positive, productive and focused on the present. So I walk, run, bike, hike…anything that gets me breathing hard and thinking less. I believe that if you could bottle up the effects of exercise and sell it in pill form, it would be the most profitable drug on the market. But you can’t, and that is a beautiful thing. It means that we all possess one of the most powerful prescriptions for mental health and it costs us nothing. I don’t work out to burn calories or win races, I exercise because my mental health depends on it. When my life doesn’t make any sense and I begin questioning everything, that’s how order is restored.
Don’t worry about how out of shape you may be or what gear you wish you had or the training plan you think you need, just step outside and move. Put on some shoes and walk or run. Look for body-weight exercises online and do them in your living room. Hop on a bike and ride around your neighborhood. Stop thinking about it and just start moving.