All In Your Head: The Mental Benefits of Running
We think Asics has it nailed in their adverts that say ‘running releases more than just sweat.’ On a particularly exceptional day or following a high stress experience, running can help you process and handle your emotions and thoughts effectively. And as the bumper stickers say, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy. Here are a few of the mental benefits of running that we’ve found to be the most beneficial.
Whether you’ve had a rough day at work or in your personal life, a run can be a great way to blow off some steam. Running causes a boost in serotonin levels in the brain that can help increase positive feelings. Sometimes a simple run is all it takes to make the insurmountable feel more manageable.
Clear Your Head
If a problem or obstacle in your life has you stumped, then lacing up and hitting the road or trail can help you de-clutter your thoughts. Spending a few miles lost in the rhythm of your stride and your breath can help create a more open mental space for new ideas and potential solutions.
After you’ve cleared out some space in your head, you can use the solitude of the road or trail to process through complex thoughts and situations. Some time away from all distractions can go a long way when it comes to getting you out of a thinking rut.
If you have a hard time falling asleep at night, a consistent running habit can help you catch the z’s you’ve been missing. Why count sheep when you could count miles? Just make sure to finish your run at least two hours before your head hits the pillow or your workout can have the opposite effect.
Running on a regular basis can help you build your self-confidence and self-esteem, because you’ll be in a cycle of building on small successes. Let this confidence spill over into other areas of your life, and who knows where the road will take you…
Is running purely physical for you, or do you lace up for the mental benefits as well?