Running As A Form Of Exercise To Ease Social Anxiety. It Helps Bring About Peace Of Mind.
Ever since I was a teenager I’ve had social anxiety to a certain degree.
It got much worse the unhealthier my lifestyle got and hit a climax in 2009 when I reached 280lbs.
I made the mistake of trying alcohol when I was 19 in an attempt to instill a bit self-confidence in myself.
The worrying thing is that it worked too well. I should have known that I’d run the risk of developing a drink problem as it completely masked my anxiety.
But alcohol stopped masking the effects of the anxiety over time. It took me a year or so to realize that the drug was making it even worse.
Thankfully I run off the anxiety now
Running is an amazing way to deal with anxiety. I still experience some minor panicky episodes, but I can sense when they are coming on.
This is my course of action in my fight back against the condition.
- When I sense the start of a panic attack these days, instead of listening to the thoughts or tuning into the sense of impending doom, I go out and start running.
- For the first few miles I’ll feel like shit certain that I’ll get hit by a truck or collapse of heart attack.
- By the middle of the run all negativity will have ceased. I’ll finally feel at peace inside.
- With the worst of the anxiety over I’ll aim to finish the run strong. If I do some speed work on the final half mile of the run, my body will be sufficiently exhausted that I’ll be able to sleep easier later that night.
- After the run I will experience what is typically called “runner’s high”. It’s not like being on drugs or anything. All of my worries from earlier will seem minuscule. If you’ve experienced anxiety in the past then you’ll know that it makes envisioning your future more difficult. Running has the complete opposite effect. With this form of exercise I know in all truth that I have a great future ahead of me and that I am the captain of my own ship.
In a strange way I’ve turned my anxiety issues into a positive by using them to fuel my running. Without that “fight-or-flight” sensation it’s doubtful that I’d have covered the 3,000 miles I’ve ran over the 2 years without it.
I just wish I’d found running earlier.
I wish I’d found it before I found alcohol.
Running is a proper way to deal with anxiety. Alcohol and all other drugs just make it all worse.