(Photo courtesy of Pixabay iStock)
Dr T J Jordan
“If you can’t speak it, dance it.” Quote from Misha Baryshnikov
Think about how we humans use our bodies to express joy. What do we do when we win a championship, get a great job promotion, graduate college, or realize that something else that feels wonderful has just happened to us? We pump our arms, dance around, yell, scream, and smile. Our bodies naturally react to the overwhelming sense of delight and achievement. Envision how many photos we have seen when on graduation day, throngs of students toss their caps joyfully into the air. We have seen many such images that express moments of exhilaration.
Now think about the images we envision when we consider the spectrum of negative emotions, exemplified by the feeling of depression. We all have seen and most likely experienced the paralyzing effects of deep sadness, emotional distress, severe disappointment. The kind of emotional pain that often takes the form: I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE.
Having watched many people waiting to walk into the therapist’s office, the difference between someone who is anxious versus someone who is depressed can be generalized in this way: The anxious person is likely to be fidgety, on high alert, giving the signal that he or she wants to bolt at the slightest threat. The depressed person is the one sitting stooped over, head down, silent and withdrawn, and almost never smiling.
ONE THING WE CAN ALL DO WHEN BESET BY FEELINGS OF DEPRESSION, SOMETHING THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE A THERAPIST, A LIFE COACH, OR A PERSONAL TRAINER IS SIMPLY TO MOVE! As per the quote above, there are times when we truly cannot speak our depression — sometimes because we really don’t know how we got there — but we don’t need deep psychological insights to move.
Get out of the recliner, the bed, out from under the covers and get your body to act “as if” you feel great. This is a physical version of “fake it till you make it.” For some examples, watch how life coach Tony Robbins gets his huge audiences into the training — it’s typically a mandate to get up, pump your arms and yell something like “YES!” Physical movement triggers the release of good chemicals in our bodies, the endorphin phenomenon for…