Of course I don’t mean move to a new house or a new city/state/country every time you have a problem. Although, to be fair, I really do believe people should move every 5-10 years so as to force our hands at sorting through and not keeping so many possessions, but I digress (and it is so not a rule we have followed).
What I mean is, when you don’t know what to do or your feelings are too big, or you feel overwhelmed, Move. Move your body. Move your breath. Move.
Moving your body might look like running or kickboxing (lately I really want to punch things, so boxing sounds like fun). It might look like a long walk or going for a swim. Or, you might not be able to do any of those activities for a variety of reasons, but you can still move your body, even if you’re sitting on the couch. Put on some really loud music if it helps, and start shaking your limbs. Flail your arms and legs, move without any other guide than where your body takes you. Let all of that energy move through and away from you. And, if you need to, punch a pillow; that usually helps, too. Rinse and repeat every day to release the pressure value, so to speak (nothing like a good mixed metaphor to drive home an important point).
Moving your breath might be an additional practice to the body movement or it might be its own entity. You can take deep breaths into your belly (diaphragmatic breathing), letting your inhales inflate your stomach like a big balloon; let your exhales be twice as long as you release those deep in-breaths. You can also do my personal favorite – Horsey Lips. This means taking a deep breath and then forcing your exhale out with so much oomph that your lips vibrate and shake, much like a horse does when they snort/snuff with their mouths. Will you look and sound weird? Yep. Will it help and be worth it? Also yep. And, when you’re ready, trying Ecstatic Breathwork; it is transformative and a powerful tool.
This isn’t my wisdom alone; these are lessons learned from years of yoga training and practice as well as tried and true techniques from books I’ve read about the body, stress, and how we store emotions in our physical bodies until we learn how to process them properly. Movement, in the body and in the breath, is the way. These practices won’t always be an instant fix and they aren’t going to solve all of your problems, but they are going to help you feel better, bit by bit, and they will definitely keep you feeling more grounded. This will help you with another important fix to when life feels like too much: rest, the exact opposite of moving and something I will also be practicing the remainder of my days.