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"I've found running a huge benefit for my mental health" - Bev Hilton

Did you know that today is "Time to Talk" day - a chance for all of us to be more open about mental health?

I wanted to share how much I've found running a huge benefit for my mental health. I don't have a diagnosed condition right now, but I have experienced depression in the past and menopause has felt like a huge mental health issue in its own right for me.

When I run - especially on my own - I am forced to focus on my physical self. As my feet (gently!) hit the ground, I feel connected to the earth and our physical environment (rain, snow, sun, wind, trees, road, mud) more so than at any other time.

All this seems to quiet the "chatter" in my head. The critical voice, the nagging voice, the bitchy voice (we do all have those, right?). At the end of my run I feel calm, centered and all of life's worries seem to be in proportion. This feeling will often last until my next run a couple of days later.

All in all I have definitely felt mentally stronger since I started running. I think it's partly because of the feelings that I get from running itself, and partly because I feel strong and capable now I know I can do something which I always thought was beyond me.

I wonder if any other runners feel like this?

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