Keep Moving, Be Still


I write about keep moving often, as it is an important element to mental wellness. I recognize that when I am stagnant, not moving toward a goal, not moving my body, I tend to slip into a cloudy darker headspace. When I'm not moving my body more energy flows through my mind and I can't always control the path it takes. What it creates, how that energy manifests itself, can feel out of my control.

We are energy. Energy makes up the Universe. Energy moves through us and shapes us, both mind and body. If we don't take advantage of the energy that flows through us and focus it toward a productive or useful cause, that energy will find another way to move through us. For many of us it tends to swirl in the mind, looking for a way to move on or expend itself. I believe this is in part the energy that manifests itself as anxiety and depression. It is the energy that has no specific intention so it meanders into the brain where it takes hold and causes rumination. When we focus that energy into the mind to contemplate, think, and solve problems we experience a positive use. When the energy finds it's own way into the mind we often end up with a negative experience. Thus, when I speak of my need — our need — to keep moving I am speaking about moving the body to allow the energy to be used in a positive manner. As well, more focused energy into the mind for thinking and creating.

Movement of the body, particularly when in Nature, allows me to direct the energy within out. In the wild environment I also find myself being more present, a stillness of the mind. When I begin there are often thoughts bouncing around in my head, but as my physical efforts continue I tend to lose track of time and problems. Anxiety diminishes and mood rises. I am fully present in the experience. What results is not only a feeling of accomplishment, but solutions to problems that may have been causing anxiety form in the space between thinking and not thinking.

It is important to note that if I push myself in excess physically, mood can lower as the brain falls into a survival state when energy levels become too depleted. When energy falls below what the brain feels is necessary it downshifts my body to conserve what is still available. As endurance athletes an element of what we do in training the body equally trains the mind. We learn to adapt to the workload and allow the brain to understand the body is capable of going further, that it is capable of greater effort on less energy expenditure.

My mantra of keep moving, stay curious is a reminder to myself to always remain active, to not allow myself to become stagnant, and to seek wisdom while being open and flexible to the natural flow of the path I am on.So keep moving reader, and know that in the movement we can find stillness.

— Paul