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The Psychological Benefits of Running

Unlike other forms of exercise, running is a marginalising activity – the truly passionate are pounding the pavement before sunrise while others avoid it at all costs. Whether you consider it an effective aerobic workout or an exhausting chore, you can’t deny its positive effect on the body and mind.   Some run purely for the physical benefits – it burns calories faster than the same time spent walking or cycling. For some, however, the psychological benefits may outweigh the physical ones.   Though deceptively simple to learn, regular running has a positive impact on the entire body. For instance, incorporating running into your routine will lower your blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries.   The rigorous physical activity also maximises lung capacity. Frequent deep breathing while running forces the lungs to use more tissue, so up to 50% of the otherwise unused lung potential is utilised. Even long-term smokers may increase their lung potential through running.   Running also strengthens the heart, helping to prevent heart attacks. Running is large muscle exercise. This means it keeps the cardiovascular system efficient and strong, while opening the arteries, allowing blood to flow smoothly.   In addition to the physical benefits, running has a positive impact on your emotional and mental health. Running is often suggested by doctors to treat clinical depression and associated psychological disorders. Doctors who treat clinically depressed patients now believe that the physical activity is as effective as psychotherapy. It can decrease tension, depression, fatigue and confusion associated with mental illnesses   The reason behind this is that more endorphins are released into the body and also running can give patients something else to focus their energy on. It provides […]

Coping with the Sudden Death of a Loved One

After experiencing the sudden death of a loved one, it can seem impossible to feel remotely human during the grieving process. Grief impacts every facet of one’s personal life; including your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, physical and mental health. It can feel as though there is a storm raging around you no one else is affected by. Rest assured you’re not alone. Everyone’s experience with grief is unique; it is a process, not an event. Although it seems cliché, everyone does grieve differently. Your unique experience depends on many factors, including: Your relationship with the deceased Your spiritual beliefs Cultural practices Level of support from family and friends, and; Associated stressors i.e. financial hardship, relationship breakdown, etc. When impacted by the sudden death of a loved one, it is important to remember there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You may react in any number of ways, including anger, feeling anxious, panic, change in beliefs, depression, sleep disturbances and inability to cope, among others. While reactions to grief are unique to the individual, grieving styles tend to fall into two broad styles. Your ‘grief style’ depends on your personality; however, many people experience a combination of both. INTUITIVE: The grieving person concentrates on the emotional aspects of their loss and seeks out social support to process their feelings INSTRUMENTAL: The grieving person focuses on the cognitive aspects of their loss. Grief manifests itself by dealing with the practical issues surrounding the loss i.e. handling funeral arrangements, legal issues, etc. Instrumental is a solitary style of grief in which the individual processes his or her feelings alone. While in the throes of grief, it may seem impossible to cope. The truth is, there are […]

Anger Management

Anger is an intense emotional response experienced when personal boundaries are violated. Renowned anger management writer William DeFoore describes anger as a “pressure cooker” which pressure can only be applied against briefly before it explodes. The most common manifestation of anger is in facial expressions and body language however it also has behavioural and cognitive components. However, these behaviours are entirely under an individual’s control. By applying the following tips, you will learn how to manage your anger, so the situation does not escalate.   Think before you speak: Although it is easy to say and much harder to do, this is one of the best ways to avoid a meltdown. During an argument, we often say things we do not mean and later regret. By thinking before you speak, you can articulate your feelings more effectively and often get the required results.   Once calm, express your feelings: When you’re thinking clearly, express your needs and frustration in a productive and assertive way. Explain your concerns to the other party without hurting their feelings or trying to manipulate them. Expressing your feelings promotes open discussion, allowing all involved to have their feelings heard.   Take a timeout: Timeouts can be just as useful for adults as kids. Taking short breaks during stressful times of day will keep you calm and focused. A few moments of quiet reflection will help organise your thoughts, ensuring you are less likely to feel angry or frustrated.   Identify possible solutions: Rather than concentrating on what made you upset, try to solve the issue at hand. In other words, by locating and dealing with the source of the problem, it will no longer be a source of angst for […]

By |Tuesday, March 24, 2015|General| Comments