Feeling stuck? Then move.
Updated: May 22, 2018
We all have difficult thoughts from time to time.
Sometimes these thoughts lead to difficult days, sometimes weeks or worse..
So naturally to improve your mood you have to figure out how to improve your thoughts, work on your mind.
And if you are motivated enough to change you probably even sought help, only to be told you have a chemical imbalance which causes these thoughts.
But saying you have bad thoughts because you have a chemical imbalance in your brain is like saying Warren Buffett is rich because he makes more money than he spends..
That might be true, but it doesn’t tell you anything at all about why he is actually rich. How is he rich? What does he do specifically to make more money, and how does he save? Most importantly what can you learn from him that helps you improve your own financial wealth?
What about your brain chemicals?
Why are they imbalanced?
What can you do to change the chemicals in your brain naturally, right now?
And how can you take control of your thoughts without doing much mental work at all?
Most of us let our thoughts control us.
And as crazy as it sounds we often chose to ignore the empowering thoughts and cling to the negative ones. The ones that make us doubt ourselves or feel sad, angry, lonely, depressed.
But I want you to just think for a moment and imagine your thoughts or your mind did not control you, but instead your body controls your mind.
What would that look like if what you did with your body controlled your thoughts?
What would you do today?
What could you do right now?
Maybe you would make sure you weren't slouching down. You would pick your chin up more. Push your chest out a little more. You would probably even smile more often. You might really dive in and start exercising consistently or even just briefly, doing some squats right now.
You might even be more likely to laugh, clap your hands, or jump around more often. Maybe you would talk with more excitement.. not just to others but even your own self-talk.
And if your body controlled your mind, how would you show love more?
Maybe you wouldn't allow yourself to feel so awkward or self-conscious in social settings and you wouldn't hesitate to give out hugs, or high fives because you know embodying happiness makes your mind adapt and become happy.. Maybe you would smile at people more often, say hi.. you wouldn't wait for others to say hi or smile.
You go first!
Remember your body controls your mind so you're not going to miss any opportunity to practice embodying happiness, love, excitement because that’s what we all want to feel.
Remind yourself of this when you need to.
Tell yourself my body controls my mind. I choose what my mind focuses on. By using my body I determine my thoughts and beliefs even down to the exact chemicals being released in my brain right now. So If I'm not satisfied with my mindset what could I do, RIGHT NOW, to change my state, and alter my body so my mind adapts.
Do a little research on this and you’ll quickly find it has been widely studied and proven that how we move our body affects our biochemistry. From how we walk, stand, move, down to our facial expressions.
One study not only proved that smiling changes your biochemistry for the better, but that even just holding a pencil in your teeth, so not intentionally smiling but holding a pencil so that you have to bite it with your teeth and make a similar movement with your face as you would when you smile, actually changes your biochemistry just like if you were to actually smile. There is plenty more on this, but this really sums it up. You can literally just smile and it will help change your brain.
So if just smiling helps, what happens when we laugh, jump around, clap, stand confidently, raise our hands up, jump and scream?... Yep. It all helps. And it works fast. It’s the reason I intentionally laugh, smile, jump and do all that crazy stuff every single day no matter what. I make it a habit to do this. Everytime I go to the bathroom at work I do either squats/ push-ups, calf raises and most importantly I stand in a confident stance, I raise my hands and I jump around for a little… Sounds crazy right?
Crazy to me, is accepting some limiting belief and choosing to stay in a poor state for longer than a few minutes. Remember your brain chemicals might be imbalanced… but it’s still just a choice what chemicals you want in your brain. And you can chose to change them at any time.
And yes meditation, yoga and many other mental practices have all been scientifically proven to be incredibly effective and healthy. I would love everyone to implement these practices especially for long-term benefits. But still time and time again I find the quickest and most effective way to take control of your thoughts, your mind, and your mental state is to change your physiology. To move.
So start to ask yourself more frequently, if my body and my actions control my thoughts how could I act today physically to get where I want to be mentally?
And now that I know this, what will I do everyday going forward?
Learn more on this:
Video: Your body language may shape who you are - Amy Cuddy
Article: Smile therapy: pencil in your mouth