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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > April 2019 - Pace, Power, Passion... > Running as therapy Overcoming anxiety

Running as therapy Overcoming anxiety

As we know, running benefits us in more ways than simply our physical fitness. For people who experience the many debilitating symptoms of anxiety, running is a way to help keep calm, to de-stress and it will even aid better sleep – especially if you run in green places

We’ve all experienced nervousness and feeling on edge, perhaps at the start line of a race, before public speaking or a job interview. A fast, pounding heart, shaky hands and stomach butterflies. It’s an unpleasant feeling but it settles quickly once the event is over. The body is reacting appropriately to a high pressure situation. Surging adrenaline and cortisol levels in the blood ensure we’re super alert and perform well.

What if, however, that unpleasant sensation started spontaneously, without the race, talk or interview, and was intense and prolonged? What if it was accompanied by nervous thoughts, self-doubt and a feeling that something bad was about to happen? That is anxiety.

Different types of anxiety

The mental health charity Mind tells us that one in six people in England experience a common mental health problem such as anxiety, in any given week. Anxiety comes in many forms.

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About Women’s Running

Whether you’ve just run your first few steps, or you’re planning your next ultramarathon, Women’s Running is your virtual coach: here to offer inspiration, advice and support, whatever your journey. We have reviews of all the latest kit, including support shoes and sports bras, as well as your essential leg workout to help you run stronger than ever. We’ve got interviews with intrepid London Marathon runners, including Nell McAndrew, as well as with our cover star, Megan, who is the first hearing impaired person to run from John O’Groats to Land’s End. That’s a thousand miles, all told! And this month, we’ve explored the world of hormones, from puberty to menopause and everything in-between, and how we can work with them to run our very best.