The best way to get out of your own way

This weekend my family gathered for a sledding day. I truly only expected the kids to sled and maybe a few of the ambitious adults to join in. To my surprise and delight, 10 minutes in we were all bombing down the hill, laughing and yelling.  It was great and I left nearly an hour later with a huge grin wondering why I don’t do things like this more often.

It got me thinking. You know those days when you can’t seem to get out of your own way?

You’re in a funk. You overindulged and now can’t seem to stop. You have a decision to make and keep spiraling back and forth. Things aren’t going right and it’s just going on and on and on. Or perhaps, everything just feels hard right now?

Yes, I know those days well. You likely do too.

So, how do you get yourself out of this funk and back to a place of grounded and happy equilibrium?

I think we need to take a cue from kids on this one. Have you ever seen a kid running, jumping or playing and not having fun? Kids know what’s up. Instinctively they move. That’s how they play. More running and moving generally equals more joy and laughing.

Unfortunately, most adults are not like this at all. I think we grow out of running and playing around middle school when suddenly it’s deemed uncool.

The thing that I think we all forget is that joy and pleasure can override your funk and propel you forward.  

Not exercise. Movement.

Exercise is something we love to hate. It’s a chore. Something you have to do. Forcing yourself to lace up your sneakers and go for a run when it’s the last thing you want to be doing won’t do any good.

But movement? That’s something you can find real pleasure in. It quite literally gets you moving – the air flowing through your body, circulating blood, fresh thoughts, a clear head and flexed muscles. This all helps you to reset. Your movement might not look like someone else’s exercise, it might not look a thing like traditional exercise. It doesn’t matter, just as long as it feels good to you.

Some days I love a good workout to get out of my head and back into my body. Some other days, I take my kids to a local open gym and jump on the trampoline with them. More than once, I had the greatest time trying out the flying trapeze. Either way, by the time I’m done, I feel 150% better.

Movement can make you feel powerful. It can make you feel confident, joyful and strong. It also helps you release stress and negative emotions in a powerful way. Plus, you must never underestimate the power of a few endorphins.

The next time you’re stuck in your head, or you feel like your world is spinning, know that you have the power to stop it in it’s tracks. Find something you love to do and lose yourself in the joy of movement. Soak it up. I guarantee when you’re finished, you’ll be feeling ready to tackle the world again.


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