There are times in life when things just don’t go your way. A loved one passes away, you fight with your significant other or you receive a bad review at work. Whatever it is, running is a good way to get through the pain.
Of course, running through physical pain is never a good thing. But emotional is another story. For me, running always helps me clear my head… I’m not sure where the jumbled mess of thoughts go, but I always know that after I run things seem so much clearer.
The toughest challenge I face when I am going through a tough time is finding the motivation and the desire to go out and run. I do not do well with fighting, I am so not a fighter and instead of getting mad I just get really sad. When I get really sad, I only want to mope around or hide under the covers all day. But I know that as soon as I can get on my running shoes and head out the day, I will feel 110% better.
Here are my tips for how to run through emotional pain:
1. Don’t try to do a hard workout. Your heart is somewhere else, your mind is churning through other thoughts. The idea of even going to the track may be overwhelming, let alone thinking about doing a hard sprint workout.
2. Just put on your shoes. The first step to getting out the door is getting on your gear. Once you get that on, at least for me, there’s no turning back. Put on your gear and figure out where you’re going next.
3. Find a long-ish route. Depending on how emotionally hurt you are, one or two miles may not cut it. I know people think I’m crazy, but I like to do at least five if I really have to think through some things.
4. Go at a comfortable pace. Use this time to focus on everything that is going on in your head, not trying to set a new time record for yourself. Of course, it may feel really good to go hard and fast… if it does, do it. If not, stick to a pace that you enjoy.
5. Remember to eat! When I am sad and not in a happy mood, I don’t want to eat. It sounds like the worst idea in the world at the time. But I do feel like if I go run and come back, I know that I need to eat because I need to fuel my body. No emotions related to it, just the plain simple facts that exercise = fuel.
It may take one, two or six runs before you start feeling like yourself, but I promise it will help. I feel like if you are going through a rough time it gives you a chance to focus on YOU and rationalize your feelings. There are things that go on in your mind that you probably don’t want to share with anyone else until you have some sense of what they mean… running helps you find that meaning.
Do you find running helps when you are having a tough time emotionally?
Any other tips to share? Do you find listening to music helps?
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