method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

Running through anxiety attacks

I experience a lot of spontaneous, out of the blue anxiety attacks. Other times my anxiety can easily be traced to certain events or happenings. Most unfortunately, running is one area of my life that can cause a lot of anxiety. Remember that I was running when I experienced my first anxiety attack? It hasn’t let up much since then.

My theory is that I get anxious because of all the focus on breathing. In order to run well, Ginger loves to runand as part of pacing myself, I must pay attention to my breathing. I generally start out a run by inhaling with two steps, exhaling with the next two steps. This actually doesn’t require a lot of conscious effort, it is how I’ve been running for years. But if I am feeling anxious at the beginning of a run, my breathing feels shallow and I occasionally will stop for a second to inhale deeply. I don’t do this because I am out of breath, it is just an effect of anxiety.

It takes about a mile before I hit my groove and run in a more relaxed manner. This evening it took a little longer as my dog Ginger and I ran to the lake. I don’t think that I could have been motivated to run tonight if it were not for the call of the lake. It’s 53 acres, surrounded by little houses tucked in amongst hills and trees. It is beautiful at any time of the day, but these is especially true as the sun sets. It turns out that a run around the lake was just the therapy that I needed, but it was hard to get to that point. I’m never quit sure if running through the pain helps or hinders in the long run. All I know is that I feel better after the run than I did before.

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February 27, 2007 - Posted by | anxiety, health, running

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