To coincide with mental health week, I thought it would be a good time to write a post to try and help anyone suffering with any mental health issues by talking about one of my own and how I have dealt with it.
Firstly, I feel as though it is important to stress that if anyone reading this suffers with their mental health it is not something to be ashamed of and the stigma that comes with it needs to be suppressed immediately. Suffering with a mental illness is extremely common and affects thousands of people, even the many people I have spoken to in relation to writing this post suffer from some form of mental health problem of their own which in itself shows how common it is and that talking about it is a positive step.
In connection, this brings me to my own mental health. Not many people know this about me but ever since I was a little girl I remember having overwhelming feelings of anxiety. This may seem strange to some but I have specific memories where I remember filling up with so much worry and unease. At the time, I didn't know what it was but as I've grown up and through many situations in my life I have come to realise that it is anxiety. For anyone who does not know what it is, this is how I would explain anxiety; suffering with anxiety means having an overbearing fear of what might happen. These are nervous thoughts that happen in the pit of your stomach that can make you feel like doing certain things is simply too much and far to frightening to attempt.
Fortunately for me, I am able to tell you that I have managed to learn how to deal with my anxiety in a positive way and this is down to one of my favourite hobbies, running!
Becoming a runner has done wonders for my mind. Running can be hard work and challenging yet at the same time has the ability to make you feel strong and alive. To put it simply, for me running has enabled me to push aside any worries I might be carrying and gives me the power to control them in a healthy way. Thanks to running I very rarely suffer with anxiety now as I am filled with so much more positivity and happiness that I can focus my thoughts on what is worth thinking about rather than dwelling on the what ifs and the fear of the future.
I am aware that running may not be the answer for every one of us, but if you do suffer from any mental illness whether it be mild or severe, being able to talk about it with others and adding running into your life could be one of the best decisions you could make for your mental health. It definitely worked for me and I couldn't recommend it enough.