5 Ways Running Provides Mental Therapy

Most people have always viewed running as a way to lose weight. Some would have this as their daily exercise routine with hopes of achieving both their ideal body shape and healthy lifestyle. While this is very true, there is less emphasis on the impact of running on a person’s mental state. Running, though it may be a physical exercise, does not make it less of mental activity.

Source: pixabay.com

Everyone runs for a particular reason – may it be your morning warm-up, leisure time with friends, or an actual competitive sport. For day 1, you may do brisk walking first if the actual run is too tiring. For day 2, you can go halfway. 50% of the time you brisk walk then 50% you run. Then on day 3, maybe you can start running the entire lap already. But what is it that keeps you going?

It Encourages You To Focus On A Goal

A significant part of this running progression is your state of mind. Incremental, day-by-day progress allows you to focus on a goal one at a time. Running helps you develop the concentration and determination to move forward, so you are more likely to avoid distractions along the way. It gives you a whole new perspective towards your daily routine and rejuvenates you when you feel like life’s errands have become too overwhelming.

It Boosts Your Self-Esteem

In studies involving adolescents and overweight kids, those who were able to run more laps at a faster pace experienced growth in their morale. It is anchored on the usual human tendency to feel more self-assured when meeting goals.

Source: pixabay.com

Observing an improvement in your body shape, having that feeling of being healthier after burning the calories, and realizing that you feel a lot lighter (physically and emotionally) gives you a confidence boost and a sense of accomplishment.

It Eases Feelings Of Depression

When you run, the brain is said to release beta-endorphins which are neurotransmitters from the pituitary gland which reduce pain, boost the immune system, and bring an overall sense of well being. 

 

As compared to morphine, these have 80 times more pain-relieving effect. That’s why many call them as “miracle” compounds. Also, running increases the concentrations of norepinephrine which temper the brain’s response to stress. Running allows you to break free from the things that weigh you down and let you feel that you’re alive.

Source: pixabay.com

It Squeezes Your Creative Juices

In particular studies as well, there have been pieces of evidence pointing to the correlation of running with higher levels of creative thinking ability. The mental boost that happens when you run also allows you to think of new ideas and to widen your imagination. 

 

Since you are in a more peaceful state, you are more able to think of things apart from the usual and routinary. It occurs because running encourages the growth of new cells and improves the survival rate of these new cells via the hippocampus. This part of the brain is responsible for storing memory, imagining the future, and thinking creatively.

Source: pixabay.com

It Provides A Sense Of Freedom

While you may think that running can allow you to run from danger physically, there is also something that happens with the brain when you run that relates to your problems. That feeling of the wind hitting your face and blowing your hair. That feeling of being able to control your direction. And that feeling that you can run as fast as you wish. 

 

All these ideas create a liberating sense in your mind that somehow you have the key to escape the problem you’re in right now. Although it is not the only solution you need for your troubles, the sense of freedom brings you new strength to face each day’s trials.

 

So the next time you think of preceding your morning run, think twice. You may never know the wonderful effects of running on your mental state. It might be the right motivation you need to keep going on with life.

Running With Your Psychiatrist

Tired of always going to the psychiatrist’s office for a session? There are various ways to deal with your therapy. With today’s advancements, you can choose where you are most comfortable while taking care of your mental health.

 

As the years pass by, we are introduced to different kinds of therapy such as counseling, creative therapy, psychodynamic therapy and even online therapy. More people day are active and concerned about their fitness. Hence, running as therapy was considered.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Running As A Therapy

According to a study, when a person is battling with depression, exercise may act as an antidepressant. In fact, in some countries such as the Netherlands and Australia, exercise is considered as a first-line treatment for depression. The changes in our brain structure and thinking process as an effect of physical activity is crucial.

 

Running is said to be good not only for our physical body but also for our mental health as well. For people battling with anxiety and depression, a consistent running routine can help boost their mental health. When we run, the body releases hormones that alleviate any stress that we are feeling.

 

Advantages Of Running Therapy

We see people around us running all the time. We are all familiar with the physical effects that regular running can bring into our body. However, there are mental health advantages which we can also gain from running.

Source: pixabay.com

 

  • It can lessen anxiety. As we run, we tend to not think about our worries even for a little while. A lot of people are into running because even just for an hour or so, they can forget their problems in life. Running can also make us feel relaxed.
  • It can reduce the risks of depression. Running is now viewed as a way to improve mental health. Digging deeper into it, it also considers changes in the brain and other states that are subjective, such as cognition and mood.
  • It protects the brain from aging. Interesting research from Time Magazine tackled which was better for the aging brain – brain games or physical exercise such as running. The result of the brain scans showed a less cognitive decline for older adults who were physically active.

 

 

Why You Should Consider Running With Your Psychiatrist

 

One trend today in running therapy is bringing your psychiatrist for a run. To experience something new and fresh, people are giving it a go. Instead of being seated in front of their psychiatrists in his or her office for hours, being outdoors, a change in scenery or environment might do the trick for them.

Source: robins.af.mil

For people experiencing mental health issues, talking with their psychiatrist eye to eye might be an issue, and walking or running beside them may be a better idea. Providing a new avenue for sessions with your psychiatrist will open up more topics you haven’t thought of mentioning before. Little by little, this might help you in regaining your mental health.

 

If one type of therapy doesn’t work for you, then try the others. You may think that running is not for you, but you may be wrong. You might be surprised at the results you’ll get.

Running And Online Counseling: A Dynamic Duo?

Mental health is fast becoming a medical aspect that is being advocated by a growing number of people. Awareness of this particular health is being heightened–whether through social media, medical blogs and journals, or even through word-of-mouth. Being physically healthy is not enough anymore. Having excellent mental health will enable holistic growth and an improved overall well-being.

 

Running is one of the most common workouts performed by people of varying ages. Whether you’re young or young at heart, the ‘feel-good’ effect running has will never get old. You want to be healthy and start a healthy lifestyle? Put on your running shoes and start running.

Source: pixnio.com

On the other side, technological advancements have opened new avenues for psychological therapy. Mental health treatment through online counseling is a fast-growing method of therapy. It has bridged gaps that traditional face-to-face counseling has failed to address.

 

Running and online counseling both have their advantages and benefits. And combining the two–incorporating a regular running schedule, and seeking online counseling when needed–can be a dynamic duo for achieving an overall healthy state of mind and physical wellbeing. Let us explore some benefits brought by running and online counseling for holistic wellness:

 

Benefits of Running: 

  • Reduced Stress

There are many distinct physical benefits to running. But it can do wonders for the inside of your body, too. Running and staying active can help reduce stress. This particular physical exercise has been found to reduce levels of tension, and increase focus and productivity. These benefits greatly help in reducing the stress hormones inside your body, enabling you to live your life with significantly lower stress and anxiety.

Source: pixabay.com

 

 

  • Better Sleep

With reduced stress, your sleeping patterns become regular. And having a regular sleeping schedule will improve the overall quality of rest and sleep, and you will wake up ready to run the world. Peaceful sleeping is very important to our health, and going to sleep with a lot of worries on your shoulders can decrease the quality of sleep. It may lead to insomnia which can worsen symptoms of depression.

 

  • Enhanced Self-Esteem

Physical exercise can boost confidence. The physical benefits associated with running will lead us to more healthy body shape, and having confidence in our physical bodies is a leading way to increased self-esteem. Being confident in your body and having enhanced self-esteem leads to a positive self-image, and towards a holistically happy and healthy life.

 

Benefits of Online Counseling: 

  • Convenience

You can contact your counselor anytime and anywhere. You have the freedom to choose the most convenient time for you to conduct your sessions with your counselor, and you are free from the worry of making it to your appointment and considering your schedule.

Source: pexels.com

 

 

  • Affordability

Since you do not need to go to a physical office, considering costs on traveling and appraising your time are not needed anymore. The only costs to be incurred are the costs on internet data consumption and payment for the sessions, making it ideal for people with constraints on budget and people in remote areas with no access to any form of mental health treatment. 

 

  • Comfort

This particular method of mental health treatment can be done in the comforts of your home. You are free to snuggle up with your favorite blanket while conducting a session with your online therapist, making it a more comfortable experience for you.