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Anxiety and Running

I’ve always been an anxious person.  As a child I read that Mozart died prematurely because his father kept him up too late at piano recitals.  Of course I know this sounds crazy, but as a child this caused me to have chronic insomnia.  If Mozart could die young, so could I!

In college I was alway anxious about my grades, labs, tests, everything.  In law school I was so anxious, if I ever felt calm I would automatically think, “But wait, wasn’t there something I was supposed to be worried about?”  You might think that this attitude would be crippling but it’s actually a great way to get your work done.

By the end of law school my anxiety centered around getting a job and the burden of paying back impending law school loans.  Once I started my job I worried about work deadlines and how I’d never have enough money to buy a house and pay off my school loans.

We moved to Utah and bought a house.  I paid off the high interest school loans and I’m fine with paying back the rest for the next 25 years.  I still worry about deadlines, but they’re all manageable and the low level anxiety still helps me do my work.  (My husband may disagree with me about this)

Running is a great way to burn off any excess anxiety.  I’m not one of those people that work through things while I run.  I’m so uncoordinated I listen to beats in the music and run to that without really noticing much.  While I do not get a runner’s high, I feel a lot calmer after I run.  This is supported by a lot of studies by the way.  So today I signed up for a half marathon that occurs next April in Salt Lake City.  Perhaps I’ll be the calmest person you’ll ever meet after I complete my training.

4 Responses to “Anxiety and Running”

  1. tess says:

    Running (or working out hard in general) is the best anxiety medication ever. Or depression medication. It seems to solve all kinds of problems. It’s hard for me to dwell on anything, stressful things included, when I’m pouring sweat and working hard. It’s my time to push myself and zone out. Very necessary!

  2. Tiffany says:

    Half marathon, damn! Congratulations!

    It’s good to find an outlet for that type of excess energy. I have to regularly surf, bike or hike; it really “smooths” me out and be less irritable :).

  3. cindy says:

    Congratulations! I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I ran seven miles today. New record!