Every day when you wake up you have a choice. You can either be proactive about living your best life or you can be like a buoy in the ocean, subject to all the sways of your mind and the world around you.
Most days I wake up and consciously choose to be the master of my life. Some days I don’t.
But the point is that I had to recognize that if I wasn’t proactive about it then I would end up playing the victim to all that life throws at me.
I don’t wake up loving myself.
I don’t wake up in control of my thoughts and actions.
I don’t wake up committed to eating well and taking care of my body.
I don’t wake up feeling like a million bucks.
I have to work at those things (and some days I don’t quite get there).
In this world of high stress, lots of obligations, plenty of opportunities to be mindless, and tons of temptations, we have to be proactive if we want to be successful.
And I’ll let you define success for yourself.
For me, it’s mostly about feeling calm, peaceful, inspired, passionate, and authentic.
That doesn’t just happen.
I work at it.
But these are practices so if you try to fix everything all at once, you will most likely fail and just give up.
It is very important to focus on one thing at a time.
You see, your thoughts are mostly habitual.
And the foundation of mastering your day comes from mastering your thoughts and creating habitual thoughts that serve you.
Again, if you let your thoughts run wild, they will do exactly that.
There is so much I can say about this but in this article, I want to focus on using movement as an incredibly powerful tool.
I will repeat that movement is an incredibly powerful tool that will help you master your day.
“How?”, you say.
Experientially, most of us know that if we take a walk our mood gets better or if we stretch we feel more relaxed.
There is a lot of research on how physical activity can improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress. Check out this past blog post about that.
Here I’m going to introduce you to a few key practices you can do to use movement to master your day.
- Microdose Movement
- Walk daily
- Practice meditative movement
- Use your breath
- Use “Fear Melters”
In our typically “all or nothing” culture, we tend to think we have to dedicate a full hour to exercise every day, or somehow we are failures.
This is simply not true.
I am giving you permission to start small (and maybe even stay small) with your movement.
Why not get up and walk around the block (rather than committing to a 30-minute stint)?
How about walking up and down the stairs 5 times at noon?
You could even just do 10 squats, 3 times a day.
Or perhaps just sneak in some of the meditative movement exercises in the videos below?
Moving throughout the day is very effective at dissipating nervous energy, releasing muscular tension, and helping you to avoid “sitting all day”.
This allows you to feel better; calmer, more energized, and more in control of your mood.
We, humans, were designed to move.
The body of research around the importance of physical activity in longevity and lifelong health is staggering.
One of the simplest and most pleasurable ways to “just move” is to walk.
Again, you don’t have to walk for an hour. Or even a half hour.
How about a 5-minute walk first thing in the morning?
Work on doing this for a few weeks. See what happens.
You might find yourself craving the walk in a relatively short period of time.
Why is that?
What are the benefits for you?
I’ll bet your mood will improve, problems will be easier to solve (I do my best creative thinking when I’m walking), and you will have more pep in your step.
All of this translates to your mastering your day and getting more done with less stress.
Use Meditative Movement
Slow, gentle, deliberate movement combined with breathwork can be the most potent relaxation tool of all.
When you do this type of movement you will feel endorphins flowing like crazy.
What a wonderful way to start and/or end your day!
For those of you that have ever done yoga, you’ll know what I mean here.
Below I’ve included a few videos that show you what I mean by meditative movement.
You can follow along exactly or just get inspired and do your own thing.
The point is that you are absolutely 100% loving toward yourself and that you move in ways that make you feel good.
Inhale as you flow into a movement and exhale as you flow out. Try to breathe through your nose as much as possible to get the maximal relaxing effect. Let your belly expand with each inhalation.
Feel free to do some simple stretches for 2 minutes.
Or perhaps just dance to your favorite song.
Maybe you can do some silly movements and just let the energy out.
Below is a series of videos showing you short (about 2 minutes each) and sweet movements you can do any time of the day to relax, reduce tension in your body, release some energy, invigorate your mind and body, and just FEEL GOOD!
Use Your Breath
In the above videos, I show you how to do what is called the “Yes Breath”.
The Yes Breach was observed in happy babies and articulated by Gay Hendricks of the Hendricks Institute.
It is a simple yet powerful breathing exercise that you can do anywhere, any time.
It will calm your nervous system and bring you more into the present moment.
I recommend starting with a daily practice of just 8 breaths. That will take you all of 2 minutes!!
Making it a daily practice is important because you will get used to deeper breathing and find it easier and easier to take deep belly breaths.
Then when you are stressed, nervous, overwhelmed, tired, etc, you can use the Yes Breath as a tool to feel better right away. I promise.
This is yet another tool for you to stay in control, aware, focused, and calm throughout the day. In other words, it will help you master your day!
Refer to the first video above for the Yes Breath or watch this video.
Use “Fear Melters”
“Fear melters” were created by Katie and Gay Hendricks of the Hendricks Institute.
They are simple movements you can do at any time of the day to cope with fear.
Fear is a core emotion that often is at the root of a lot of our other emotions.
We might feel “frustrated” or “annoyed” or “insulted” but if we dig deep we often find that below all of that is fear.
Anger, sadness, and sexual desire can also be at the root of many emotions.
But fear is almost always involved.
And that’s okay.
Not only is it okay, but it’s also part of being human.
So, how do we deal with fear?
Well, the worst way to deal with fear is to ignore it and squash it down.
Please note, this information does not take the place of working with a licensed mental health practitioner. If you are dealing with serious trauma or any mental health concerns, please seek out professional help.
Assuming it is safe and acceptable for you to do so, you can use Fear Melters any time you feel negative emotions.
The first video above shows you a quick overview of Fear Melters.
Any of the 5 methods listed above can help you feel better throughout the day.
They are tools you can use to improve your mood, calm your nervous system, boost energy and vitality, and feel more in control. Again, these are all important for mastery.
So often we move about life being at the mercy of the events, words, and actions that are happening outside of us.
This is not ideal and it certainly does not lead to mastery.
Rather than being reactionary and dependent on good events or lucky days, you can be present, aware, and peaceful. This leads to mastery.
To be the one in charge and to be calm and aware as you move throughout the day is incredibly empowering.
And of course, each of these is a practice.
You will not change overnight.
If it seems so far off to you that you can’t even believe you could live with this type of mastery, that’s okay. Start small.
It takes years to accumulate these habits so that they are second-nature and feel like part of who you are.
Go easy, but strive for more by adding just one simple practice from the list.
I promise that you will see improvement.
If you’re serious about improving your health and improving your relationship with your body but you’re not sure where to start, I recommend getting on a free clarity call with me. Click the link below.