Anxiety and Depression at an all time high!

As we splash into summertime, I’m feeling the joy of so many summertime vacations with friends and family. We always go to the beach together! The body of water that we swim in may shine with different colors, be warm or cool on my skin, have symphony of sounds, smells or even taste. Rain or shine, we find a way to play carefree. The love and connection with family and friends always amplifies the good feelings and pure joy of summertime for me. When you feel those joyful feelings, you are directly connected to the body of water inside you. It’s your emotional waters. This fascinates me!  It’s fascinating for a lot of reasons. The most important point that I’d like to make is that for so many people, joy and happiness are really illusive and not easy to find and feel. The statistics for anxiety and depression are at an all time high in America. What that means to me is that you and I are most likely in relationship with people who may not feel the simple pleasure of being happy in their day to day life.  It’s a natural part of life to have access to the full range of human emotions and it’s normal to feel depressed, sad or worried sometimes. When anxiety and depression are magnified and become a serious medical and mental health condition, it interrupts access to joy and causes a number of health issues that ultimately can manifest as addictions and potentially suicide. This is a world wide issue and the cost is too great!
Additional effects of Anxiety and Depression on the brain and body:
  • Physical Aches and pains
  • Weight problems
  • Poor appetite
  • Circulation and digestive problems
  • Heart Attacks
  • Weakened immune system
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Foggy thinking
  • Fear/Paranoia
  • Emptiness and Hopelessness
  • Impotence

Medication may not always be the answer. Exercise with clear intention and mindfulness is a beautiful way to boost the healing process. I have great respect for the gigantic contribution that neuroscience and brain plasticity  (this term refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt as a result of experience) research is making for humanity today. New studies show that anyone at any age can create new neural pathways for lasting healthy brain changes that will have a positive effect on the emotional and physical body response to life challenges.   “The development of the brain reflects more than the simple unfolding of a genetic blueprint but rather reflects a complex dance of genetic and experiential factors that shape the emerging brain. Understanding the dance provides insight into both normal and abnormal development.” 2011 Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

This has my attention because I think if more people find their personal pathway from anxiety and depression to joy and freedom, we will greatly lower the addiction and suicide rates across the county and world wide. What I’ve discovered from my own journey from depression, sadness and fear to true JOY is that it takes continuous and consist opportunities to physically, mentally and emotionally experience relaxation in the body while also breathing and moving with intention. Learning to feel the subtle sensations in the body while being present to your inner and outer environment is essential to cultivating JOY and healthy brain changes. This journey is personal and very unique for everyone.

Body Awareness Studio is in it’s 24th year of providing Pilates and other brain and body exercise modalities to our students. There is a lot to be sad, angry and anxious about in this world today. However, I sincerely believe in the human potential to overcome the most difficult challenges. It takes a personal choice and loving communities working together to heal and grow from even the most difficult life challenges.

Your emotional climate of the day or how you are feeling emotionally directly effects the health of your body. How are you meeting yourself today?  If your off on vacation or having a stay-cation at the local pool, I hope your enjoying this fresh summertime energy. If you’re in Atlanta, come to the studio and have some fun with us!
P.S. Next time you go for a swim, a walk, Pilates session, yoga class or your favorite sport, let your mental intention be to meet your body with the utmost kindness and respect for every little or big sensation. Whether you feel stiffness, pain or pleasure, your ability to relax and allow joy to emerge will change your brain for the better!

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