I delight in watching my 3 year old child sing, dance, jump and in his gestures, expressions. His magic. Today's contemplation is about being this child again. To experience all emotions as they are, in movement.
When he is frustrated, he stomps about and flares up in anger. Hands waving, furiously kicking or hopping around. He is fiercely being present to the emotions as they arise.
When he is joyful, his joy permeates the space around him. It rubs off on me. Both his joy and his frustration. I tend to overreact unlike him. I cling onto his frustration, I live with it and allow the emotion to fester. I ruminate. How could I have prevented this angry fit? Could I have done better? Should I be more firm? Was I overly firm?
Yet it is generations of evolution that nature has devised a clever way to allow our emotions to come into this guest house, do as they please, and leave. This is the miracle of movement.
The science is legit, its basically nature's way of regulating ourselves. After being chased by a predator, the deer stops has a rest and things get back to normal. How awesome is that?
Exercise helps regulate our negative emotions by:
Decreasing our muscle tension
Increasing our heart rate (and releasing feel good chemicals such as serotonin, GABA, BDNF, endocannabinoids
Engages the frontal lobe and prefrontal cortex of our brain which manages the executive function, and regulates our perceived stressors and threats controlled in the amygdala
Besides the science, moving helps me engage my body towards being present. Being in the moment, aware of the emotions, especially the bad ones and just allowing the energy from those emotions to be released through movement.
Perhaps the wisdom in all this, is to realize how amazingly complex and awesome the entire body is. Movement is one of numerous miracles present in our daily life.