Anxious? Who Isn't? Time to Move With Mindfulness
"Adam" is a guy I've created to illustrate one big and fascinating idea from a new book by British psychotherapist William Pullen: Movement is medicine.
Yes! Forget the word "exercise" for now. Just moving our bodies -- walking, dancing, jogging, preferably in nature -- can help free us from stress, emotional pain and whatever else we're dealing with that makes our bodies feel stuck, unsettled and depressed.
This therapeutic connection between the mind and body isn't a theory; it's a fact of life. Your body is self-healing and wondrous, and when you move it you automatically get the health benefits that come from the blood and lymph flowing, the molecules of emotion circulating, the tissues nourished, the joints juiced.
And when you add mindfulness to movement, therapist Pullen explains, you're on a self-directed path to enhanced well-being, physical and mental.
So back to Adam: In our hypothetical scenario, Adam is stressed to the point of depression. He's not sleeping. He can't focus at work. And he's starting a relationship with Johnnie Walker in startling and destructive ways.
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Why? Because his wife wants a divorce. He's shocked but also a little relieved. Maybe he'd be happier without her. What should he do?
"DRT is a powerful and engaging step-by-step therapeutic method for confronting difficult feelings and circumstances in your life through movement," writes Pullen, author of "Running With Mindfulness," in which he enthusiastically gives detailed instructions.
Adam -- a slow runner, but that doesn't matter -- could use DRT to work through challenging issues around divorce. But Pullen assures us this revelatory combo of movement, mindfulness and provocative questions is also good for dealing with anger, letting go of fear, overcoming the terrors of perfectionism and more.
"Movement makes it easier to shift our perspective, raise our moods, and return to a place of hope, energy and possibility."