You tend to think of your body and your mind as two separate entities - the physical and the mental. But, the truth is that they can't really be separated.
As a dancer, you feel this connection maybe even more so than the normals. When your mental demons are running rampant - crushing your confidence and killing your happiness - technique class and rehearsals are a nightmare for your body to get through. Your body brings out all of its aches and pains to play with. You feel heavy and sluggish. You get winded and struggle to keep up. You fall out of pirouettes and balances. You feel super uncoordinated. You all but crumple over in hopeless defeat (sometimes that even happens, too...I've been there). And, you are left wondering how what was so on pointe yesterday could be so disastrous today.
Then there are the days your body drags your mind down. You may waltz into class feeling on cloud 9, but as soon as you start moving, the tightness in your left hip restricts your range of motion. The strain in your ankle forces you to hold back and second guess yourself. Your sore muscles prevent you from moving freely and emoting. The bloat and puffiness from last night's pasta dinner makes you uncomfortable in your body. You try to hide and shrink down in your own skin as your confidence is ripped to shreds...and your mood slowly starts to turn dark and dismal.
Recognizing this connection and pattern is key to controlling it. This is what gives you the sensation of having power over your life and direction. Because guess what? If the body can drag the mind down and the mind can drag the body down, the reversal is true, as well. Everything from experiencing pleasure through your five senses, to nourishing your body with healthy foods, to feeling vibrant in skin can all be influenced by a positive mindset. And, everything from feeling energetic, passionate, fulfilled, and confident can come from taking care of your body, pushing it to its potential of optimal health and performance.
The body and mind are so intimately related and share such a powerful connection, why wouldn't you want to use both as tools to achieve your peak performance state? And, just because they can't be separated from each other doesn't mean you shouldn't address them separately when it comes to learning how to optimize your life. Sometimes you can't fix your body without fixing your mind first, and vice versa. The bottom line is that you want to find the most effective tools to enhance your body as well as the most effective tools to enhance your mind. Just be aware of how powerfully one can affect the other...and then leverage that to your advantage.
- What are some of the tricks you use to get your body out of a negative mental spiral?
- What are some of the tricks you use to get your mind out of a negative body spiral?
Share your thoughts below!