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Keep on Moving Forward - Rethink Mental Illness

Author: Olly Halton


The pressures of work, relationships, money, and life – it’s enough to get on top of you occasionally. When your brain is constantly whirring, sometimes the best thing to do is get your body to follow suit. To step away from it all and get moving.

Ever since I was a child, suffering with anxiety and intrusive thoughts, I’ve always found that moving is curing. It seems a weird thing to say, doesn’t it? But sometimes sitting and watching TV only forces you deeper into your thoughts. You sink deeper and deeper until it becomes your every waking thought. But jumping to music, going for a run, walk, swim, or even something as light as getting up to make a cup of tea, could help more than you think.

Naturally, this approach won’t work for everyone. For every memory of going for a walk when I’m stressed, feeling the light breeze on my skin, and watching the sun colour the leaves, I have a memory of stewing in my room. A memory of being wrapped up in my hoodie, music in my ears, stuffing my face with chocolate buttons.

But it’s not just physically moving to help your mental health that should be on your mind. Moving forward mentally is just as important.

As Timone says in the Lion King: “you’ve got to put your past behind you.”

‘In hindsight’ becomes a pointless phrase when you realise that there is no way to change that which you regret or would have done differently. So, why bother? Why bother wishing you’d done something differently or said something differently or chosen to do something different? It just was or wasn’t meant for you at that time. I can still recount most of the times I’ve made a regrettable mistake in my life, but instead of looking back and shuddering, I look back and smile. I was the only one it mattered to, and once I realised that it no longer mattered to me. Trust me, no one remembers that time you fell over or stumbled on your words!

And here’s where they come quite nicely together. Physical movement itself can be the key to manoeuvring around the obstacles that you need to move ahead of. Even a daily walk around the block has the power to boost your mental health far more than if the only sunlight you get is that which streams through your windows whilst you stare at a screen. Outside, it’s just you, the sounds of animals, and the sunlight. People say the weather can make all the difference and no words have ever been truer. Rain just isn’t the same.

So, it’s time to get the conversation moving. With this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week being all about movement, it’s your chance to think about how you could move to keep your head high and your smile bright. But for those that aren’t ready for this just yet, there will always be a listening ear at the Lighthouse Psychotherapy Practice.

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