running depression | running mind
Enduring episodes of acute or chronic running depression is not an uncommon occurrence.
These instances may stem from having experienced injury, chronic depression, or even from how often we might compare ourselves, and our current situations, to the unrealistically filtered highlights of others on social media.
Share your story related to the running mind and/or positive mindset.
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Running Depression Impacts All Levels
Feelings of depression are not limited to one type of runner, athlete, or person.
There can be similar pressures experienced by recreational runners and competitive or professional runners alike.
Yes, some of their day to day activities may be different. However, stress, anxiety, and sadness don't discriminate.
Each can be present no matter one's gender, age, profession, level of fitness or level of competition.
Running As An Escape
For many, running becomes an escape from the pressures, anxieties, or monotony of everyday activities.
Each training run, or race, can be an adventure in which we disconnect the norms.
While we're out there, we connect with nature. We connect with our running communities. And, we connect with ourselves in a different way.
In Good Company, Yet Still Alone
Though there is beauty to be experienced in running and in our running
communities, many still endure the feelings of running depression.
What Sometimes Causes These Feelings?
- Injury - It is inevitable that you'll experience running injuries at some point in your overall enjoyment of the activity. Whether a twisted ankle, stress fracture, tendonitis, or any of the many ailments one might endure, you can never be sure when one will strike (usually at the worst possible time). The timing and severity of an injury can certainly impact one's emotions, and a usual, first response may be one of despair.
- Race Results - Many runners attach their identities to their race results. And, when those results are unsatisfactory (in their eyes), it can be easy to feel unsure of your own value.
- Personal and/or Professional Stressors - Sometimes, no matter our enjoyment when running, we're unable to leave thoughts of day-to-day issues at the door. And, when that happens, running doesn't provide the temporary peace that many of us often seek.
- Comparison Syndrome - The accessibility and consistent use of social media has opened wide the doors to the prevalence of unhealthy comparison. When we scroll through these feeds, we're usually seeing the purposefully-filtered "best-ofs" of our neighbors, athletes, celebrities, and others. When it appears that someone may be happier, than we find ourselves to be, while they are surrounded by, or enjoying, the things that we'd like to be enjoying, we may begin to feel worse than need be about our own, current situations or achievements. It is unusual that we see, in these feeds, the struggles of others, as the aim of many is to paint the picture of perfection.
- Clinical Depression - For some, chronic, clinical depression is real. It can permeate every aspect and moment of one's day, impacting interactions with others and with oneself.
Help Is Available
Help for running depression is available in many forms.
For some, conversation is helpful. For others, music has healing powers.
Others prefer reading quotes on mindset, or watching videos about positive mindset.
Much like Personal Training, still others prefer the guidance of a qualified professional, someone who is able to design an outline for successfully navigating running depression in the short and long term.
Share What Has Helped You
If you'd like, you may share (anonymously, if you choose) what has best helped you in keeping a positive running mind through challenges you may have encountered. Write your running mind story here.
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