Before I sat down to write this post, I was feeling all bleh and stuck. I had the afternoon blahs. And I knew it was because I had been in Zoom meetings and client sessions all day.
So I took the dog on a walk and threw his ball for a while. And I trusted that would help me come back to my office chair and tap back into my creative focus.
This seems like an overly simplistic intervention, no?
“Just go for a walk” is such common mental health advice that we even get irritated by the suggestion. But let’s talk about the metaphysical practice behind it.
When we are feeling stagnant from too much of sameness (sitting, watching tv, ruminating, etc), one of the best interventions is what I call “breaking state” by doing something totally different.
The more I lay here, the less I wanna move.
For example, when my energy gets low and I’m starting to devolve into thinking negative thoughts about myself and having a hard time stopping the whirlpool of yucky feeling, I will literally take myself out of the house.
Sometimes I go on a car ride for a change of scenery. Sometimes I throw myself into the ocean (boogie-boarding or wading, depending on the temperature outside). Sometimes I just take a freaking shower. ANYTHING to shift my body and bring my awareness to a different state of being.
Why does breaking state work?
It could be because it gives the brain new things to process or that the body has to move and shift into pumping some blood and activating muscles. We are not biologically designed to sit still for so long, after all.
But I also believe when we feel gross and stagnant, we are actually sitting in accumulation of negative energy. So getting up out of it physically helps brush all those pieces of negativity off of us, ESPECIALLY if you do so consciously.
Martial arts like Tai Chi and Qigong have been doing similar work for centuries. Practitioners learn to move their energy, or chi, out of stagnancy through physical exercises coupled with mindfulness.
How to break state mindfully
When you attempt to break state, think about shaking off the negative thoughts and feelings, some of which may not even be yours. Remind yourself that you are physically stepping into the vibrant world full of possibility and fresh energy. You are now free to begin thinking new thoughts right in this moment.
As you finish reading this message, take a moment to consider the state you’re in right now. Is it time to break it?
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