Much has been documented about the physical benefits of running but there are also significant psychological advantages. This article aims to examine some of the mental benefits of running.
1. Increased confidence and determination
Running can certainly improve your cognitive behavioral faculties. This reflects to how your thinking affects your behavior. Running not only enables you to complete physical challenges but improves your confidence as you achieve goals or overcoming barriers. Perhaps you beat a personal best time or complete a charity run for the first time, this is not only a positive experience at the time but is likely to spill over into other areas of your life enabling you to think and act with confidence. Where previously you might have avoided a set of circumstances that improved confidence and determination may help you to resolve other problem situations that you are faced with.
2. Feel happy
Believe it or not running really can help you to feel happy. As you exercise there is a chemical reaction in your brain that releases Endorphins into your blood steam. These provide a natural high making you feel happy and positive. This is the same reaction that occurs when you laugh, have sex or eat chocolate.
3. Relieves Stress
Running is a great stress relieving helping you to focus your energies on a different problem so that you forget your current circumstances. The effect of running not only boosts your sense of happiness as you exercise but improves blood flow to all areas of your body, including your brain. Runners often report higher levels of concentration after exercise enabling your mental faculties to become sharper and making you more able to deal with problems, or find solutions, reducing stress levels.
There is a film called “The Loneliness of the long distance runner” and it encapsulates the determination and self discipline that is developed by runners who cover distances. In turn these skills help you to build perseverance which is important in life for dealing with difficult situations and circumstances where you might otherwise give up.