Using Movement To Shake Up Your Depression

Red-haired woman shaking long hair, face obscured
Image credit: photo by Hannah Morgan on Unsplash.
Tackling depression through movement and motion

Sometimes, motion can unearth emotions that have been buried inside. Many people are unaware of the healing potential of movement because they misunderstand the difference between sadness and depression.

Yet, with the right kinds of guidance, I have found that clients can experience their emotions and move their way through sadness.

How Is Depression Different From Sadness?

Depression is common, and occurs in different forms:

  • It may be a severe response to a certain event or loss.
  • Or it may be a chronic depression for extended periods of time.

To many, depression is often described as a lack of feeling. Sensations are often diminished and numbed. For people suffering from depression:

  • Music may not sound the same.
  • Food may not taste the same, and ...
  • The things that were once enjoyable may no longer bring them joy.

With a low grade depression, people often find that they are still successful in life, and are able to perform at school or work, but that their quality of life is severely diminished.

In cases of a more severe depression, the person may find themselves feeling heavy, emotionally and physically immobile, and unable to perform even some of the simplest daily tasks.

What Are The Key Elements That Distinguishes Depression From Sadness?

  • Perhaps surprisingly, people with clinical depression often express the inability to cry and are unable to feel or release their pain. Such dark feelings leave people feeling heavy and fatigued, as though they are trying to walk through a quagmire of sticky mud.
  • Depressed people can also feel pessimistic, hopeless, and lethargic. That makes positive activities or an upbeat outlook hard to embrace, foster, or consider
  • To have such sadness, anger, and grief inside that is difficult to tap into is what leaves people numb, listless, and lethargic.

Releasing Depression: Techniques, Tips And Strategies That Can Help Bring About Positive, Transformational Change

Yet, there are techniques that anyone can use to bring about some immediate changes in their current state of mind and to begin to work through depression and genuinely start to feel better.

Releasing That “Stuck-Inside” Feeling

The overarching problem that people working through depression experience is the persistent belief that all of their sadness, grief, and anger seem to be stuck inside them.

As a long-time counselor and therapist with Nassau Guidance & Counseling, from Long Island, New York, I often relate these feelings to a dam that is backed up, stuck and blocking free flow.

Because key emotions are unmoving, a person feels heavy and weighed down, inhibiting their natural ability to enjoy life. However, many helpful techniques are available to help you tap into such feelings, as only after allowing them to be experienced fully can they truly pass through.

Yes, You Can Be Free

Like an eagle soaring in the high mountains, a mind unblocked can reveal unexpected gifts, unrealized happiness, and a greater sense of being connected to the stream of life. Like the comparison to the backed up dam, these feelings need to be released, flow freely, and to pass through you before you can move on.

Overcoming The Sense Of Being Numb

One of the most common elements in depression is the feeling of a complete lack of desire to move. The only thing that may feel comfortable is to sit or lie in a single position, exerting little energy.

Although you may not want to move, sitting still only further solidifies the depression. Your body's movement is its natural way of transferring energy. Although it is the last thing you may feel like doing, even the slightest movements may be just the thing to help shift your depression.

Movement of your body will naturally bring about a change in your psychological and emotional state. This technique taps into the sadness, anger, or grief that is inside, and allows the feelings pent up within you to flow and eventually to lessen.

Two Powerful Tips To Help You Get Started Quickly, Simply, Easily

(1) Start Small

One great way to start is by making small, simple movements. Even the mere act of standing and swinging your arms or moving your torso can cause a change in your body's energy, and the difference can be felt immediately. Such movements help your emotions begin to flow naturally, helping bring about the first step in the healing process.

(2) Tap into the Power of Music

Another technique that can be incorporated with your body's movement is to take time to listen to music. Certain songs or types of music will strike a chord with people, and help their emotions begin to flow.

Tapping your feet along to upbeat music, or swaying to sad music, is a technique anyone can use to begin to experience their emotions. Once these feelings begin to flow, you will be able to experience and release them fully.

Perception: An Insightful Key

How you experience your life makes all the difference:

  • Low grade depression often leaves people feeling joyless and disinterested.
  • More severe types of depression may run in the family, or may have a biochemical component to them. For these types of cases, antidepressants are often used to help the physiological part of a person's suffering.
  • Medicinal treatments go hand in hand with therapy, as medication will never address the underlying emotions that are the source of the depression.

Always Keep In Mind The Power Of Movement

Incorporating movement into your routine will help you begin to experience the feelings that have been dammed up inside you. This is the first step toward feeling better.

Once your emotions are flowing freely, you will be able to begin to work through them. Psychotherapy is an important tool in the process of releasing your pent up emotions.

With the help of one of our Long Island therapists, you can gain further insight into yourself, and learn more techniques to help you move through your state of depression, and begin to live your life more fully again.

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