As I mentioned, I’m currently recovering from an episode of flu, something which had left me feeling considerably weaker – physically and mentally. Slowly but surely though, with the help of time and colourful, fresh, wholesome food, my energy has returned. The foggy head has become less foggy.
The only symptom in fact, that I’ve had real problems shifting, is the bad mood.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had moments of positivity and inspiration. But overall, I’m finding myself feeling increasingly prone to negative and anxious thoughts, and less inclined to feelings of gratitude, contentment and hopefulness.
Essentially – I was in a funk. And I didn’t feel like myself.
That was, until… I got back to Jiu-Jitsu on Thursday night.
I stepped on those mats and I grappled and rolled, still foggy-headed and so extra reliant on the moves that I’ve spent years committing to muscle-memory alone, as a brutal little Scottish Black Belt attacked me from all angles. It was beautiful; an active form of meditation; a return to flow state, albeit a rather sweaty one.
And the next morning? Balance had been restored. I felt like me again.
I didn’t actually click with exercise until my mid-twenties. And I didn’t find Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu until I was nearly 30. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder – what if I’d discovered the transformative power of exercise before then? All of those years I spent, sitting with my negativity, anxiety and insecurity, all the time thinking that this was normal; that this was me.
But it wasn’t me – it was just an unbalanced version of me – a me without enough happy chemicals to counteract all the crappy ones. How many people, I wonder, are wandering through life in the same state, right now?
So if you do really want to feel like yourself – or perhaps even a happier version – I highly recommend that you get moving. Even better, try to do something active, that doesn’t feel like exercise, maybe something with an element of playfulness or competition. Whatever works for you.
And see if you don’t notice a difference…