The most common type of therapy that people undergo is psychotherapy, which happens through a sit-down talk. It’s a one-on-one session wherein patients get the chance to express all their feelings, and they are also able to get advice from therapists. It is a proven way to take care of people’s mental health. A good therapist could help in problem-solving, stress coping, anger management, and behavioral changes.
While talk therapy has its own set of benefits, some patients feel skeptical about its effects. Eye contact is tough to maintain especially when the patients are not that comfortable to sit in a room with just one person, and all they have to do is talk about the patients’ problems. Sometimes, patients feel uneasy and ashamed. It’s difficult to build a connection and an atmosphere of trust because some patients feel pressured to speak up.
To deal with these inhibitions of patients regarding talk therapy, therapists have found various ways of integrating it into an activity which may be more enjoyable than merely discussing. A starting point here is for therapists to know their patients’ interests and hobbies. They look into those activities and see where talk therapy could be added to the picture.
How Does Running Help The Mind?
One of the most popular hobbies is engaging in sports, mainly running. On its own, running already provides various mental health benefits to people. Running has been proven to reduce the symptoms of clinical depression. It allows the body and the mind to relax, freeing it from the dangers of anxiety. People get better sleep and see fewer symptoms of insomnia.
Especially for those with a drug problem, running helps counter its adverse effects by normalizing the body’s functioning. Drugs disrupt the body’s production of dopamine and serotonin– the body’s happy hormones which trigger feelings of joy. Running, on the other hand, revitalizes the production of these hormones and other neurotransmitters.
Why Talk And Run At The Same Time?
Combining running with talk therapy, therefore, gives the patients the best of both worlds. According to therapists, patients prefer this type of therapy because it removes them from the awkwardness of monotonous talk therapy.
By integrating talk with running, therapists can build more cordial relationships when they run with patients because they appear more like a friend, instead of people who know better about mental health. While on the process, patients don’t feel pressured to speak up and they no longer feel ashamed of their feelings because the whole running experience ceases to appear like a typical therapy session; instead, it becomes a time well-spent with a friend.
During the run-and-talk therapies, patients become more comfortable to share their feelings because they are in their comfort zones. Therapists who do this with their patients say that while running, they can touch even more topics of discussion compared to when they merely sit down. This way, therapists can know more about their patients. They can understand better where their patients are coming from and from there; they are more equipped to give constructive advice.
Lastly, the running and talking sessions allow patients to get in touch with nature. This experience has been proven to lift mood, calm the patients’ minds, and regulate their heartbeats and breathing. While they run, they get to see the bigger world around them too, which brings in various realizations for patients.
There are countless ways by which therapists could reach out to their patients, and the run-and-talk session is only one of them. A good starting point for this is getting in contact with therapists first, which may be via online means such as through BetterHelp. Once patients have gotten in touch with their therapists, it becomes easier to start out these all-new therapy sessions.