LESSON THREE: Use Movement
Feel all the Feelings through Movement
The mind + body connection is everything in mindset and physical development. I could go on for hours about that connection, but for right now, let's talk about that connection in how to feel feelings.
When feelings are intense (physical vibrations in your body are intense, see LESSON TWO in case you missed it!) sitting down and breathing through them can be challenging and overwhelming. This is when using movement to move through the vibrations is so useful.
As athletes we are already so tuned into our bodies. I find we have a much easier time connecting with our body when we are being an “athlete.” It is a familiar and comforting space for our mind and body to be in and the connection can come easier.
When I have intense feelings, I hit the trails. I have a hard time staying still and manage my mind in the waves of guilt, shame, and rejection. When my feelings are intense and my mind is wrapped into the thoughts and meaning I give feelings, sitting still only intensifies it because it is so challenging to connect into my body to feel the vibrations.
Mind + Body Connections
When I am moving (I find running outside to be the most useful for intense feelings) I am better able to connect with my body and disconnect from the chaos in my brain. Once I connect into my body, I get space from my mind and I can start to disconnect from the story and the mind drama.
You naturally tune into your body when you run, walk, ride, and swim, life weights, etc. Some of your energy and focus has to be taken away from your thoughts and allocated to your body. Your breath also changes when you move with more effort. That disruption in breath can make space for a deeper connection with your body.
It can be easier to feel the vibrations in your body when you are already in movement.
If we use the wave analogy again, it is easier to manage the crest if we are already in motion in the water. When our body is fluid and moving, we are better able to handle the vibrations than when we are tense and stiff. This can absolutely be achieved without movement, but for the very intense feelings, movement can act as a tool to help you move through it.
Use movement to process feelings:
1. If you can, table the intense feeling until you can move.
I will save very intense emotions for an afternoon run or just go on a run if I cannot escape the crazy loop in my head.
2. Once in movement, drop into your body.
Notice your breathing, your feet pounding, the way your legs feel, get focused on the sensations that are happening in and around your body.
3. Call up the emotion.
Or notice it if it easily comes, and detach the story from the feeling (see LESSON TWO for more help).
4. Feel the vibrations.
Stop if you need to, throw something, run faster, swim slower, whatever you need to do to feel the vibrations and what feels right to you. Let the wave crest.
You might have more and more waves that will crest. That is ok! This is the way to freedom from the story and the intensity.
There are many more ideas, methods, and tools to help you feel and release your feelings. But this mini class shares some of the most. effective and fundamental tools I have found to feel and release the most intense emotions I have ever experienced.
Imagine if you got so good at feeling emotions, that you were not afraid to feeling anything? Would you still be afraid to fail? Face rejection? Experience humiliation? Or would the possibilities for your life look different?
Processing and releasing your feelings are the key to whatever you want to create in your life. Ironman PR, better relationships, career success, self love... Feelings, feelings, feelings. The only through is through. So accept this amazing human experience, feel the feelings, and create a life you are excited to live!