Reclaiming Your Power When Stressed: Using Movement

Guided imagery offers ways to move -- even when you feel you can't

“Will it hurt? Because if it’s going to hurt, I need to brace myself. I need to tighten all my muscles and try to be motionless so it won’t hurt much.”

“I’m so tired I can’t move a muscle. I need to curl up in a ball and stay put.”

“I found myself frozen with fear.”

Maybe you’ve had moments or days when getting up or moving seemed overwhelming — whether because of flat-out fatigue, being in pain, or anxiously anticipating a painful experience.

So, this may sound at best ridiculous, or at worst impossible/downright harmful, but stick with me here: In such moments and on such days, your best choice may be to actually move. Yes, I’m suggesting you may find benefit from mobilizing your muscles or your whole body.

Granted, if your health care professional has clearly stated you are to remain as motionless as possible, you will want to abide by those instructions. However, those instances are quite rare, and as hard as we may try to find a great reason to stay absolutely “put,” staying stationary is almost never in our best interest.

This brief video piece outlines the reasons why movement is an important strategy for reclaiming your sense of control, and contains some simple suggestions for moving (from wiggling your fingers and toes to taking a walk). In a nutshell: our common response to tiredness, pain or fear is to constrict — to tighten muscles; to hold our breath; to clench our joints. These responses actually increase our discomfort and intensify fatigue, pain or fear. So, encouraging — sometimes willing — ourselves to move is so very helpful.

Get going. If we shift positions or locations, we change our perspective — and when we change our perspective, we change our experience of any given moment. Watch the video and try it for yourself! Let us know what you experience or if you have questions.

Continue learning how guided imagery can help you reclaim your power:

Reclaiming Your Power When Stressed (introduction)

Using Imagination

Soothing Your Inner Voice

Discover the Comforting Power of Touch