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Exercise has many emotional benefits. But running has the most powerful impact on your mental state. If you are a runner, you already know the mental health benefits of running. You know the feeling. Before your run, you may have felt tired or stressed. Then after your run, you feel fantastic! Our minds are very powerful. Our minds control our thoughts, emotions, and actions, which often influences our physical health. Of course, running is a great exercise for losing weight, building your cardiovascular health, and preparing for Bikini Season. Know that the mental health benefits of running increase the inner essence of your being.
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” – Oprah Winfrey
4 Mental Health Benefits Of Running
Stress is a negative mental state of mind. No matter how you may hate to admit it or believe it, only you can cause your own stress. When you allow life situations to affect you internally, you have given power to that negative energy. Running allows you to focus more on your breathing. The deep breathing soothes the feelings of fear and/or anxiety that are associated with stress. Running is like a release button to the stress that accumulates in your body.
When you are running on a regular basis, your self-esteem slowly starts to increase. You start to feel good about yourself, whether it is the weight loss, weight maintenance, or the health benefits that you receive. As you have the energy and endurance to run, it gives you a sense of needing to take care of your body, so you are less likely to eat foods that are not good for you or partake in any unhealthy behavior. You see the benefits that running gives you, and you have a sense of pride and respect for your body.
Increases Feeling of Freedom
When you are running, there is a true sense of freedom. You can go where you want, at the speed you want, and how you want. No one and no thoughts can take away this freedom. You automatically feel a sense of release from the demanding boss, nagging children, or pushy creditors. Even if for only a moment, with or with a running playlist, in your own place of silence. Calm soothes both your body and mind. Many may choose meditation. But, sometimes it takes physical activity to really quiet our minds.
Additional mental health benefits of running include the automatic release of beta-endorphins, neurotransmitters affected during depression. This is the reason why many feel a runner’s high after a run. It feels like complete peace and happiness as if all the problems of the day have actually disappeared.