When I was feeling depressed, tired and couldn’t concentrate, I used to fall back on a slogan that I heard somewhere in my life at some point, “Move a muscle change a thought”. When and where I heard this is still a mystery to me but it was just waiting in my memory bank to appear at just the right time. These things happen to me often, I used to call them a coincidence but today I know it’s God remaining anonymous.
I would take that slogan literally and set out to take a walk and just breathe. I sometimes told myself I couldn’t even do that – that it really wasn’t going to make a difference anyway so why bother. I would have this whole debate in my head with myself. I would win over by simply saying to myself, I can’t feel any worse by doing it so why not. I would remember that I made a commitment to myself to go to any lengths to stay clean so I would take a stupid little walk, walk the dog or just stroll along the beach.
There is something about the fresh air, sunlight and physical movement that seemed to work. This was encouraging to me. The false sense of physical weakness would leave and my spirits would lift, if only for a short while. The walking and breathing were powerful affirmations toward life and living and away from failure and death, two things I was used to keeping company with. By focusing on breathing while I was walking helped me to forget what I was mad or sad about in the first place and it helped me to learn to concentrate on a single action at a time.
Without trying to overcomplicate things I now incorporate physical activity in my everyday life. The first reason is strictly because it makes me feel good (chemical reactions that take place in the body that a doctor could better explain) and second because it changes my thought process if my thinking isn’t heading in the right direction. I am an addict and often my thinking is off. Remember our disease is a disease that centers in our mind and just moving a muscle changes our thoughts, most of the time, to a better way of thinking and a better day.
Picture By shawnzrossi