The Positive effect that running has had on my mental health is greater than any counselling, any medicine or any other form of treatment I have had.
Over the years I have tried many techniques and I continue to work on my mental health using various methods, including those listed above. Whilst they play their part in balancing me out, none of them gives me the confidence, self-worth and overall feel-good factor running does.
I live with OCD and Anxiety which can then lead to periods of depression. I have lived with these for a long time and it got particularly bad in my early 20's. Then I found running, actually, I found swimming and then got so self-conscious about doing laps at the pool that, I found running. Don't get me wrong, I knew it existed I just had avoided it at all costs.
I started out slow, using a couch to 5k plan and as I progressed I noticed the biggest change in me wasn't physical, it was mental. I had never felt better about myself. The runners high is real because I have felt it on many occasions. If you need any problem solved just ask me in the 30 minutes post run, no challenge is too great in that magic half hour.
My running and Mental health seem to go hand and hand. For years I stopped running and I struggled, really struggled and then I got back into running and I felt a lot better, It sounds dramatic but I had a purpose, I entered races and I completed my first Marathon near the end of 2016. Since then I have really struggled with injury and apart from the slowest Half Marathon time of all time (slight exaggeration) I have barely run at all. Getting back into running I think is a necessity for me, for my head more than anything else.
Running and a positive mental health are regularly linked and this is just the case for Gareth and we hope that this continues.