Moving with the Bad Feels

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If movement can help improve moods, heal pain, and help general well-being, what happens if you feel too low or depressed to move? What if you only feel like curling up in a ball, or just moping around with a cloud over your head? In these times especially, sometimes that’s going to be your day. Some days are going to be mopey and full of clouds. What’s important to remember is that it’s OKAY (I’m pointing at you in the mirror, Carrie Day), and to be gentle with yourself. When those moods hit, even taking notice of tiny movements, small tasks, and little sensations can help prevent a spiral into a darker mood. Meditation teacher Tara Brach talks about being aware of “the second arrow” – that’s the feeling you get after an initial “bad feeling”, like feeling guilty for feeling depressed, or angry at yourself for not being “productive enough”. Next time you feel cloud formations around you, notice a sensation outside or inside of your body, take a deep breath, or, when you do find yourself curled up in a ball because nothing else feels better, see how the smallest of wiggles or curling in more can shift you just a little. And remember that we are adaptive creatures, always changing, tomorrow might be that much better. We can’t avoid the first arrow, but we can be aware and shift the second one.

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