Do you feel stuck? A while ago, I realized that stuckness is a tide-like feeling that mostly shows up when we lose our momentum in life due to decreased self-discipline. I’ve seen clients not being able to move around due to a loss of trust in themselves and their capabilities. The fastest route to depleting our self-belief is disconnecting from our goals and not knowing where we are headed in life. So how can we gain the flow back?
In his podcast, a Stanford University-based neuroscientist, Andrew Huberman, mentions how forward movement and creating optic flow first thing in the morning is associated with suppressing the fear response and activating what you could call “courage or confrontational response.” One of the ways forward movement causes this is through releasing dopamine which releases anxiety at a basal level. The forwarding movement mentioned here has to be a bodily movement, which generates an optic flow; therefore, driving wouldn’t count because the eyes are not conducting the same lateral moves while driving. Generating optic flow is also the core of the EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) interactive psychotherapy technique to relieve psychological stress.
Moreover, walking is an established meditation technique used in many spiritual practices. The core mentality focuses on “the here and now” and grounding us. I have also practiced walking meditations for visualizing the future or creating the flow in life. My beloved spiritual teachers encouraged me to use my physical body to lead my thoughts and emotions, especially when I can not alter my thoughts and feelings. This is also a method used in mindfulness practices.
When I realized that I was not flowing in my daily responsibilities and mostly procrastinating due to long to-do list anxiety, I decided to implement brief walking practice into my morning routine. This additional habit has not only improved my focus throughout the day. In addition, it has alleviated my anxiety based on the big load on the to-do list. Almost five days a week, I go out for 20-30 minutes to walk first thing in the morning, and this has been helping me be more intentional and move forward in my goals and to-do list.
I highly encourage you to try this, especially now that we are transitioning to warmer weather and longer days. All you need to do is go out for 5-30 minutes and walk, run or bike, etc., early in the morning. This doesn’t have to be a physical exercise related to your training goals unless you want it to be.
Like Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle; to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”