Why Running Is The Cheapest Form Of Therapy, But Isn't Always The Best Therapy

I first discovered running as a means of releasing high levels of stress, and immediately got addicted to this endurance sport. Running became a mental, and emotional lifesaver. Now, every time I feel burdened, overwhelmed, stressed, or upset, I throw my Lulu Leggings and Nike Epic React Shoes on, and head to the downstairs treadmill and run for about an hour. Then if I have a little time afterwards I do some yoga to stretch all my muscles out. Following that is a long hot shower, some tea in my cozy bathrobe, and a book to keep my mind off stressful things. I usually pass out shortly after.



So why is running therapeutic?


“Runner’s High”

“Runner’s High” speaks to the feel good effects runners experience during and after their run. Running affects the entire body and leads to a decrease in stress hormones, and an increase in neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are responsible for carrying signals between neurons in the body. Dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine are some of the feel-good chemicals that, when fitted neatly into a receptor site on a receiving neuron, trigger the experience of pleasure. This is why runner’s like you and I find it hard to stop once you start.


Headspace

Solo running can provide some much needed alone time. It gives you time to disengage from all the noise in your daily life, forget about family issues, work stress, and relationship problems. It is precious. Running provides an almost meditative space for you to escape to and gain clarity. All your problems seem to fall away as you focus on the rhythm of your run and you pound it out on the treadmill. And as you tune in to to your breathing you begin to enter a state of flow. You feel serene, focused, and running becomes timeless. After my runs I always feel stronger, refreshed and more insightful. World come at me!



Confidence

There is a significant link between goal-setting and confidence. A study at Columbia University shows that reaching ambitious goals has an impact on your happiness, and therefore your confidence. It encourages positive self-talk and inspires us to make healthier choices, which eventually crates a cycle of healthy habits and self-confidence. That feeling of success will spill into other areas of your life and will push you to step out of your comfort zone and take on newer challenges. I always feel like tackling a new project when I reach a new running goal. Girl Boss all the way.