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Welcome to our 18. Day of the Natural Highs Academy!





WHAT IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GET OFF THE COUCH


We all know that MOVEMENT and EXERCISE is good for us.

Not just for physical health, but also for our mental health.

Physical movement is the most powerful intervention for anxiety and depression.

This makes MOVEMENT and EXERCISE the most powerful resources for these challenging times.

Nothing else stimulates our neurotransmitter system better than physical movement.

Why then is it so hard to get off the couch sometimes?

We all wait for motivation to kick in and it never comes.

Do you know why?

The reason lies in the mechanism of how our Dopamine system works.

Our Dopamine system was designed for the Stone Age and not for 2020.

When you are comfortable, warm and cozy, well fed with food in the fridge, your body will not produce a lot of Dopamine. Dopamine was designed to motivate us to do life sustaining activities, like hunting, eating, procreation, etc. If we are already comfortable on a basic level there is no reason for the brain to kick up Dopamine. This is why it is so hard to get off the couch to exercise.

As a Dopamine-sensitive person myself I had to really find tricks to get myself up and motivated.

Would you like to hear some of these tricks to activate the Dopamine System and get your MOTIVATION going?

1) Dopamine gets produced when we start moving. So before you feel motivated for exercise or movement you have to start moving. The good news is that you don't need to move much, just a little. Like getting off the couch to get a glass of water. Or getting outside and taking a big breath with stretching your body. I promise you that when you start moving you will feel the desire to move more.

2) You can find your own tricks into movement.

Feel free to experiment with any of the following suggestions to kick up your Dopamine:

- get up to get a glass of water

- get outside and take a big breath with a big stretch

- Put on your favorite song and dance to it

- Push against a wall

- Create an incentive to get yourself moving, for example: "I have to do a plank before I get on screens"

3) There are many, many MOVEMENT resources online right now, free yoga classes, free Workout classes, free online Dance parties, etc. I encourage you to look around and see what you like. If you feel overwhelmed by the search, here are some of my favorites:







Feel free to put the Qi Gong Practice or the Dance Videos to a test:

Do a Body Check-in before, rate your stress level from 0-10, follow the instructions on the video and rate your stress level then 0-10.

What do you notice?

Here is another one: The Phoenix, Sober Community is offering lots of FREE online Classes right now: https://thephoenix.org/virtual

A perfect time to try a form of movement you have never done before.

Maybe this would be a great time to challenge our stereotypes around exercise and movement and try something new. Maybe let ourselves be surprised. Maybe fall in love with an unexpected form of movement. Maybe rediscover a form of movement. Stay open. Let yourself be surprised. By yourself.

If you need inspiration to move, we started a collaborative Spotify Playlist with music that inspires movement.

You can find it on Spotify: Natural Highs Covid Dance Playlist

If you want to add your favorite songs that you think would inspire others to move, feel free to add them to this Playlist.

TODAY'S ACTIVITIES:

- Experiment with all kinds of movement today

- Keep an open mind and go beyond your stereotypes, habits and expectations around movement and exercise

- Try the tricks into movement to broaden your choices for movement

- Make your own list of tricks that help you into movement, feel free to write down your list of tricks on the attached worksheet or into your journal.

- Send your favorite trick into movement to avani@naropa.edu. We want to create a masterlist of really awesome and creative tricks that help people into movement who have a hard time motivating themselves. Please contribute yours!

Also, feel free to check out the Natural Highs Google CALENDAR with daily Natural Highs activities for TEENS: 

Teen Calendar of Online Events

https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=83gi6m9jfn9j2noao4gac5adlk%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America%2FDenver If you have joined the Natural Highs Academy after March 30, you can find all the previous exercises and worksheets that you might have missed on:  & Materials

Feel free to share any of these resources with anyone - teen or adult - who you think might benefit from daily inspiration and structure during these times. I so look forward to have you be part of the Natural High https://www.naturalhighs.org/post/welcome-to-the-natural-highs-academy Want more Natural Highs Resources? Now, everything in the Natural Highs Store is available for FREE with the Coupon: "coronarelief": Community. We can support each other to make the best of these times Stay strong & inspired ❤️ Avani



























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Thank you to City of Boulder Youth Opportunities Board (YOAB) for sponsoring Natural Highs!