Running through struggles – how getting out there can help you own your mind.
Own your mind is easy to say, tough but possible to do.
Everyone searches for a happy balance during life’s journey. It is an enigma for many, but if we can learn to manage our wobbles along the way, life can be great, even for those of us that sometimes, or always, live on the border of dark and light.
For about twenty years, I, like millions of others, can face battles in the shadows. I have not seen this as depression, it is just part of life, but I have accepted what happens and started to understand it, now at 41, I’m learning how to manage it.
The daily grind of society is hard, it can bring us down, but it’s up to ourselves to get back up, or to find the help that can pull us back over.
As time gets shorter, my mind has more fights with itself, which presents the challenge of grasping what really matters and what to ignore. It’s been an interesting education, listening to myself and others that go through similar, or sadly much worse. Over time, I have nearly learnt how to balance towards the good side when feeling lopsided, jelly-legged and incapable of moving forwards.
By owning this process, I manage to love most of life – I own my mind and the awkwardness it comes with.
Logically, there is no reason for me to be sad or uncomfortable. I work, have great friends, am blessed with two children and a feisty, fun and loving wife. But still, I am always treading on a cliff edge, with a constant view of two sides; to the left there is murky ocean full of dangers and unknowns, then on the right, there are beautiful rolling fields covered with light.
The sunny side creates energy, laughter, comfort, love, optimism, and hope. I am happy when there, but always have an eye on what’s beyond the ledge.
The dark ocean side brings doubt, insomnia, lack of motivation and zero confidence. I am afraid when there, but the shoreline feels like too long a swim back into transition.
It’s often the struggle to stay dry, balancing on that cliff top, that drains the energy I need to not trip into the water and be swept away with the tide. Then on occasion, when just about managing to keep stable, something or someone nudges me down the cliff face, it is rarely their fault though, the only person that can appreciate my mental state is me, it doesn’t take much to make a person on the edge stumble.
As an unqualified idiot, I can offer no advice to anyone in the same boat (or lack of!), I can only let you know what helps me.
Own your mind through running, it is the best solution I’ve found.
When younger, it was different extremes that covered the mental cracks (or widened them), but now I can happily say that running is an awesome tool that tangibly helps improve my mental strength. In turn, it improves my life, but more importantly, the lives of people around me also become happier.
Running isn’t the answer, but it helps me stand firm enough to make a happy decision, whatever the questions may be. Running is my headtorch, showing me how to avoid the obstacles waiting to trip me up.
Like all physical activities, running motivation comes in waves, but it’s the one pastime that always comes back to support me, running has been the best sponsor I could have asked for.
Running clears my mind, it provides an immediate lift for the day, but also for the long term it helps solve, plan and act on problems. Running provides the freedom and clarity my head needs to start again, to reset when things are confusing, or to push on when things are good.
Yes, running hurts and it takes effort to get out the door, but it’s the lesser suffering, it’s the pain that provides the power to keep fighting. Running strength keeps me steady enough to not always fall when pushed.
Finding consistent running motivation is super hard, so I have to book events to give more reasons to keep running. Whilst the event itself is always amazing (and painful), it is the training that keeps me on track, it is the daily effort that helps me own my mind, then the event that helps me celebrate that achievement and time.
It does not matter how short, long, slow or fast I run, every time out there helps in its own way.
If I didn’t run, I would not be this content and at peace with the world.
If I didn’t run. I would not be this happy and healthy (that’s relative, I am no athlete)
If I didn’t run, I would not be able to own my mind.
You can run, jog, or walk too, it will help.
Steps to own your mind, here’s 7 potential steps to dealing with feeling unbalanced and down, in any situation:
- Don’t panic
- See the red flags
- Remember it’s an illness
- Realise feelings don’t last
- Practice self-care
- Ask for help
- Understand that depression does not define you
Running has helped me with all 7 strategies to stepping through uneven ground, not just self-care which is the obvious link to running and fitness.
Own your mind is easy to say, tough but possible to do.
Just like me, you do have the ability to own your mind, you can and will find happiness.
(P.S. a pet hate of mine, is sentences that start with ‘I’. This is the first piece of writing I have done in a long time that tells things from my perspective, everything is usually written about the reader, as you are way more important. But, as I am not someone that should give mental health advice, it only made sense coming from me, it is not about you for once, but I sincerely hope it helps, in any little way it can.)
Hope this helps you get out there, enjoy.
iTAB Media, Brand and Marketing
iTAB is a subsidiary of My Sporting Times Ltd. The company’s purpose is inspiring people to make more from their event experiences and time.
iTAB will always try to be energetic, colourful, empowering, and motivational. We are an ‘outdoors’ company that loves life and believes running events make people happy, by helping you take action and own what life has to offer.
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Go and book an event, you will love it.
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