What do you get when you combine an overactive mind with an underactive body?

by Jay Hiller, August 26, 2022

When your mind is overactive and your body is underactive, you become dysregulated
Photo by Joice Kelly on Unsplash

Yesterday, after work I kept delaying my workout. I was pretty wound up from a full day of stuff and then after we walked the dogs I got a letter that I felt I needed to deal with. My mind was circling around the same set of problems and thoughts I’d already thought about those problems. I hadn’t done any real exercise all day. To answer the question above, what you get when you combine an overactive mind with an underactive body is dysregulation. Your mind isn’t settled, your body is lethargic and it feels awful.

My husband likes to say that the hardest part of going running is lacing up your shoes. What’s tricky about dysregulation is that it’s easy to tell yourself that you’re too wound up, it’s been too tough of a day to do the thing you need to do the most–exercise. I got lucky in that I found a streaming yoga practice that was exactly what I needed: a series of challenging poses followed by a slow cool down and a brief meditation. But anything would have worked that would have forced me to pay attention to what my body was doing and forget about the stuff that was bothering me.

Exercise is great for dysregulation and so is meditation. In previous posts I’ve reviewed two super good books about meditation, Embracing Bliss by Jeff Kober and Bliss More: How to Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying by Light Watkins. Links to those posts are here:

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