Running and Positive Mental Health

There are many benefits to running on a regular basis. One of the biggest benefits that running can bring to you is 'head space', and with that comes positive mental health.

Running in morning sunrise

There is a lot of talk around meditation and mindfulness these days and all the benefits that regular practice of these disciplines can bring. People who are busy and a bit stressed (eg. most of us) tend not to be able to sit and quieten our minds long enough to experience the stillness and benefits that meditation can bring, and we just give up its practice. The whole idea of meditation and mindfulness is to clear the mind and help you reconnect with what is going on inside of you.

Imagine that you are like a house with many rooms. You acquire many things and put them in all the rooms. But when you acquire something negative that hurts you either mentally or physically, you then put it deep in the back of a room and close the door so you can't see it. Out of sight, out of mind. Except it's not. It's still there in the background festering and weighing us down. It takes a lot of energy to store and carry around this volume of negative belongings.

When you take the time to reconnect with the negative clutter inside your body and mind something magical happens. As you open the door to a room full of junk and your mind recognises that there is old rubbish in the room it starts to find a way to clear it out. Then all you have to do is sit back and “let it go”. This is exactly what happens when you run. You clear your mind and release stress from your body and then circulate positive hormones throughout your system. This in turn makes you feel positive and helps you find a solution to things that may have been bothering you.

I would encourage you all to see and treat running as a form meditation and mindfulness, as just like meditation, it will provide you with “head space”  and the opportunity to clear out any negative clutter, grow and heal.

So here are some scientifically proven facts about running and positive mental healthRunning can:

  • Alleviate anxiety
  • Decrease symptoms of depression
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve your learning abilities
  • Protect the brain from aging
  • Increase your creativity
  • Decrease cravings for unhealthy foods and substances

So exercise, and in particular running, should be seen as a form of active meditation and is a perfect way for us to maintain balance in our lives and cultivate positive mental wellbeing.

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