By: John Ratey, M.D., Exercise Revolution
Does your job keep you seated and in front of the computer all day? Do you get a little anxious or feel unmotivated? You’re not alone. In a recent report released by the US Department of Labor, the typical American worker is only productive for less than four hours during the work day.
You can’t be blamed for feeling uninspired, but there are mindful things you can do to rejuvenate yourself throughout the day.
- Moving provides distraction. Literally, moving puts your mind on something else helping you break out of the anxiety of a heavy workload or looming deadline.
- Moving reroutes your circuits. When you activate the sympathetic nervous system through exercise, you break free from the trap of passively worrying and waiting. When you respond with action, you send information down a different pathway of the mind that keep your mind from focusing on an anxiety-filled perspective.
- It teaches a different outcome. When anxiety builds and you choose to start moving to relieve it, it teaches your mind and your body to expect a positive outcome. It’s a type of physiological bait-and-switch to the physical symptoms of anxiety.
And getting moving is easy as well. Anything from a short walk around your building for fresh air to taking the stairs down to the building cafe, can get your mind and body going and provide the physical relief to keep you productive!
So, go ahead! Take a quick break and visit a co-worker at another cubicle. Get moving! How do you feel now?
John Ratey, M.D. is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a clinical psychiatrist in Cambridge, Mass. He has been widely published on the subjects of aggression, autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and other issues in neuropsychiatry.