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walking_enjoy_life(TNS)—If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and don’t go out much, it can cause you to feel down. Maybe you want to avoid people, so going to the gym isn’t that appealing, or maybe there just isn’t anyone to play kickball with anymore. So what do you do with yourself? You sit in your emotional stuff until it’s time to go back to work or feed the dog. This isn’t really living.

You may find yourself going to bed very early and not having much energy. This is because when you don’t move around, you deprive your body of the energy it needs to function properly. You also need to know that getting your body moving is one of the best cures for depression or anxiety available, and it’s free.

And you don’t have to become a gym-rat to get the movement you need. You can dance, just get up and walk around the room, pick up your clothes or do some actual exercise. Cleaning out the garage, doing yard work, and even walking the dog will help you feel better. It gets those endorphins circulating through your brain.

Being sedentary retards your ability to accomplish any of your goals and be a part of your community. You were not meant to sit around all by yourself forever, but I know that can be hard to see. Making yourself be more physical will make you feel better about almost everything, and doing it to music will make it that much more enjoyable.

If you really can’t find anything at home you’d like to do to get moving again, that could actually be a good thing, because it will force you to get out. I live in a walking destination zone, and what I mean by that is that many people drive to my area just to get some exercise and look at the lake while they do it. The days I go for a walk are always better than the days when I feel too lazy. I also cross paths with many people whom I mostly know only by their dog’s names, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

An older friend of mine whose husband passed away was struggling with what to do with what was left of her life. A breast cancer survivor herself, she considered just letting life pass her by and wait for her time. Guess that wasn’t meant to be. Instead, she received a cell phone and a Yorkie from her children—who thought they would be more useful than flowers—and she knew that if she didn’t take the little doggie out, it would make a mess in her home, so she started walking him every day. Then she met a few people and joined the local yacht club, and now she’s there a few times a week, and at 90 years old, she can still dance the night away.

So getting your body moving has a great deal to do with overcoming your mood both directly and indirectly. Please get up and out, and make your life and the world in general a better place by giving your energy to those who need and want it. Now put on some music and dance like nobody’s watching.

Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.

©2015 Barton Goldsmith
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