On running

2 Sep 2022

I have emerged from a six month period of very challenging anxiety, and some depression that followed from it. During this bad time I had one sure thing to rely on. It was running. As I approach 58, with the various physical effects of time, I still run quite well. And I do, and did so because I have always found it to be a great treatment for anxiety. In the short term and in the long term.

I know it’s not for everyone, but it is for me. I was trying very hard to continue working and keep my brain rational at the time, but it was in a continued sate of urgency. This unpleasant feeling made it very hard to think rationally, and so to work. But running would reset my brain to ‘normal’ at least for a few hours. So it went on for months: run, work, run again and so on. 

It was not the solution to the problem, but it helped me so much. Other measures were needed. In this regard I was fortunate to have some friends to help me, and over time I learned to accept a difficult truth about losing work and started to correct some deficits in my life. Especially concerning socialising and making connections with people in various and enjoyable ways. This was very hard to begin with. But now it’s much easier for me.

There are many considerations: physical, cognitive and spiritual (for the want of a better word) to handling emotional trauma. But for me, all throughout my life, running has been the most reliable in difficult times.

And, as I am now a lot happier, I am in fact less fit! Since I now run only to enjoy myself rather than pushing myself to run and run. 

Do you have something you can really rely on in troubling times?


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